The author of ‘The Carrot and the Stick’ makes the connection between CX and strategic control points

William Putsis explains why companies like Google, Walmart and P&G seem to have all the advantages necessary to provide great customer experiences

About three years ago, shortly after making a presentation to a group of executives in Latin America, the CEO of one of the area’s largest insurance companies approached William Putsis with some unexpected feedback: that he hated Google.

The CEO wasn’t an unhappy customer of Google’s, necessarily. He was simply incensed that the search giant seemed to have so many advantages from a data perspective.

William Putsis, author,
‘The Carrot and the Stick’

“With Google Maps, for example, Google knew the location and driving habits of everyone living in the two main cities of the country,’ Putsis recalled. “And he was saying, ‘Now they want to sell that to me.’”

It’s hard to create a great customer experience (CX) when your company seems to have a monopoly or dominant position where customers feel they lack enough choices. However to Putsis — a professor at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and a Faculty Fellow for Executive Programs at Yale University — such advantages are better described as “strategic control points.” And they matter, he says, because they ultimately determine what markets a given firm can enter and what kind of CX resources they’ll have as a result.

“Alphabet (Google’s parent company) isn’t in the insurance business,” Putsis told 360 Magazine in a recent phone interview, “but because they have those strategic control points, they can leverage value across multiple value chains.”

Putsis provides more detail into his studies of how companies cross over into new industries in his recent book, The Carrot and the Stick: Leveraging Strategic Control for Growth.

“Companies such as Amazon, Zappos and Alphabet do a really good job of customer experience because, in many ways,

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