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Executive Book Review # 2
to Turn That One-Time Buyer into a Lifetime Customer
Sewell and Paul Brown, © 1990, Simon and Schuster, Inc. ISBN 0-671-74795-9
This book is the most frequently read
and quoted book by CEB members in the area of customer service.
The senior author is the owner of a very successful General Motors
dealership in Dallas, Texas.
The book is full of practical examples of how to
provide outstanding customer service.
OF THE BEST IDEAS
Customer service is a matter
of systems, not smiles. In
McDonald’s quest to serve the perfect french fry every time, they
developed systems for grading potatoes; systems for guaranteeing the grease
would maintain a constant, perfect temperature; and systems for storing
potatoes. They also created
their own frying equipment to ensure that the potatoes cooked the same way
every time. They even controlled the soil the potatoes would be grown in to
achieve the consistency they wanted.
What you charge a customer
is not a part of customer service. After
visiting a restaurant, you probably don’t remember exactly what the
hamburger cost, you only remember whether you liked the experience or not
You can’t compete solely
on price. No matter what you
charge, somebody because they are smarter (they figured out a way to be more
efficient) or dumber (they don’t really know what their costs are) - can
always charge a dollar less.
The customer, more than
anyone else, will tell you how to provide good service but you must have
ways of facilitating that feedback on a continuous basis.
Customers are pleased when
you exceed their expectations. You
have a lot of control over what they expect.
To exceed their expectations, always under promise and over deliver.
Customers don’t want their
money back, they want it right when they buy it.
Fire your customer relations
department. The people who deal
with customers must have the authority to resolve problems.
If you can get a customer to
come back, you (1) increase sales, (2) strengthen your position in the
market place, (3) cut marketing costs, (4) insulate yourself from price
competition and increase the odds the customer will buy other products and
services from you.
“Stay in touch.
Once you have identified your best customers, communicate with them
“You can shear a sheep for
many years, but you can only skin it once”.