Alumni Books

The Frictionless Organization

The businesses that many of us admire most are companies like Amazon, Uber, Airbnb, Tesla and Xero. They are businesses that have made themselves easy to deal with and ones that we rarely have to contact for the ‘wrong’ reasons. They are examples of what this book calls frictionless organizations. These companies have worked hard to make their products and services easy for customers to use and by doing so have also lowered their costs and improved their reputations. In order to compete with these businesses, all organisations need to drive out friction.

The book defines a complete methodology that organisations can follow to reduce friction. It shows that every contact customers have with an organisation is telling the business something and can help drive improvement, if used properly. Now that customers can interact by using a range of mechanisms like websites, apps, phone, chat and email it’s become a complex problem to integrate and understand what these interactions are about and how to use all this data. Many organisations are so busy dealing with these interactions that they don’t have time to ask why they are there, understand the costs or consider which areas of the business need to change to remove these points of friction. They are also busy asking, ‘how did we go on that interaction’ rather than, ‘why did the customer need to do that?’

The book provides techniques on how to understand the information and then work out who, in the business is accountable to drive out friction. It describes a range of strategies that organisations can follow to become more frictionless and then make this a permanent way of operating.

(David Jaffe / Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 2022)

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