Customer experience is now the only sustainable source of competitive advantage for companies. More than any other factor, the experience a customer has with a brand determines whether that business will thrive or struggle, according to a new book from Forrester Research, Inc. (Nasdaq: FORR), Outside In: The Power of Putting Customers at the Center of Your Business (Amazon Publishing/New Harvest). Written by Forrester analysts Harley Manning and Kerry Bodine, Outside In includes more than 80 case studies and examples and a complete road map for attaining the customer experience advantage. It will be published on August 28, 2012.

Outside In offers new analysis that proves the value of customer experience. Over a five-year period during which the S&P was flat, for instance, a stock portfolio of customer experience leaders grew 22%.

“Customer experience drives profits — but only when it is treated as a business discipline,” said Manning. Bodine added, “The customer experience challenge goes far beyond customer-facing employees like sales staff, since the causes of experience challenges are often rooted in policies, procedures, and technologies deep within corporations. We call this the customer experience ecosystem.”

Based on years of research by Forrester, Outside In includes tools to help master the six disciplines of customer experience: Strategy, Customer Understanding, Design, Measurement, Governance, and Culture. Outside In illustrates these disciplines with case studies of successful customer experience strategies and positive business outcomes across 15 industries in 16 countries, at companies like BBVA, Boeing, Fidelity, JetBlue, Mayo Clinic, Office Depot, Sprint, USAA, and Virgin Media.

“Forrester’s customer experience team has spent the past 14 years researching and analyzing the most powerful and misunderstood element of corporate strategy and establishing the tools necessary for companies to master the experience advantage,” said Forrester’s Chief Marketing and Strategy Officer Tom Pohlmann. “Outside In is an extension of how Forrester offers a programmatic approach to help business, marketing, and IT executives across all industries drive corporate growth and profits.”

Harley Manning founded Forrester’s customer experience research practice when he joined the firm in 1998. Today he leads a team of analysts who cover customer experience topics ranging from strategy to design to metrics.

Kerry Bodine is a vice president and principal analyst in Forrester’s customer experience research practice and the creative force behind the customer experience ecosystem, a framework that helps companies diagnose and fix customer problems at their roots.

Outside In is the first title from Amazon Publishing/New Harvest. It is available for pre-order online.