The Offer You Can’t Refuse by Steven van Belleghem

The Offer You Can’t Refuse by Steven van Belleghem

The latest book from award-winning author Steven van Belleghem offers a fascinating insight into the customer expectations we’re all soon going to have to measure up to.

Steven van Belleghem is widely regarded as one of the world’s leading experts in customer experience, having worked with brands including Google, Microsoft, Disney and, so I was intrigued to see what lessons he has to share for other smaller businesses.

The book starts by looking at how over the last decade, digital technology has made a fast, convenient service the minimum standard customers have come to expect. Many smaller businesses found this out the hard way when the global pandemic hit in 2020 and had to adapt quickly to survive. Having reached this point, however, the book argues that just offering convenience will no longer be enough for many businesses to differentiate themselves, and the next decade will see brands start to build stronger relationships with customers and connect on a deeper level to create, what the author calls, The Offer You Can’t Refuse.

So, as business owners, how do we go about standing out from the crowd in a world where customers expect limitless products and services at the touch of a button? Well, the foundations of a successful business will of course always be offering quality products and good service for the right price, but Steven argues we should be also investing in the three following areas:

  • Creating ultimate convenience: By embracing new technology, we can remove any effort customers must make to do business with your company. The book helps outline important steps towards creating the perfect transactional relationship.
  • Become a partner in life: This is not just about your customer journey, but about the life journey of your customer. What aspects of your customers’ lives create negative or positive energy? The book will help you understand and tap into this, so you can optimise your emotional relationship with your customers.
  • Save the world: Studies show people are increasingly looking to brands more than governments to solve the world’s biggest problems. Companies must take responsibility to do good and use their strengths to create a societal added value. The book will make you think about how your company could make a truly tangible impact.

While it might not feel like The Offer You Can’t Refuse will give you quick tips and advice you can use today, it will certainly provide inspiration to help you to imagine what your business might look like in 2025. The eye-opening examples of how brands we know well like McDonald’s and Tinder (and those we maybe don’t, such as Toutiao and Meituan Dianping) are already embracing technologies and save-the-world strategies left me feeling much more positive in this time of uncertainty.

The Offer You Can’t Refuse by Steven van Belleghem is out now, published by Lannoo Campus, priced £30.00. For more information go to

Sally Anne Butters
Sally Anne Butters

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