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Exceptional Service, Exceptional Profit: The Secrets of Building a Five-Star Customer Service Organization Hardcover – April 7, 2010

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  • The New Gold Standard: 5 Leadership Principles for Creating a Legendary Customer Experience Courtesy of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company
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Editorial Reviews


"A must-read for anyone interested in transforming their interactions with clients - a manual for winning customer loyalty that actually inspires." Daniel H. Pink, author of Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us

"Exceptional Service, Exceptional Profit is a book after my own heart. This is the way to run a customer-focused company!" Ken Blanchard, coauthor The One Minute Manager®
--Ken Blanchard

"What you read here will allow you to recalibrate your business--on any scale--to truly know your customers and keep them coming back for more." Horst Schulze, Founding President and COO, The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company
--Horst H. Schulze

 'Aha'-type examples... Inghilleri and Solomon draw on their experiences with blue-chip service companies [to show how] companies must deliver "anticipatory" service. Inc. Magazine review by Editor Leigh Buchanan

"A wonderful, practical book that explores the interactions that build customer loyalty. Required reading for anyone [building] a new company and for seasoned business leaders." Prof. Frank A. Philpot, George Mason U. School of Management

“...offering fundamental truths that aren’t just trendsetting tips, but timeless points to learn from again and again…” --A Jack Covert Selects, 800 CEO Read

"…highly recommend the essential and must read book to anyone serious about creating the very best in customer experiences in their organization." --BlogBusinessWorld

“No matter how good you think you are doing it right now, you owe it to yourself to read this book...will challenge the norms you have accepted for customer service.” --All Business

"…serves well as a primer for the new manager in a service-based industry, whether it is retail, hospitality or sales.” --Houston Business Journal

“Great advice from some world class companies….pages contain golden nuggets for companies big and small…a must read. Highly recommended.” --SBC

CEO Refresher Best Business Books of The Year 2010

“Unlike many business books, it is one part theory and two parts application. Its straightforward manner, practical examples and ready-to-use suggestions make it an invaluable resource for any company.” --Business Lexington

"From manifesting the customer’s expectations and recovering from negative customer feedback to selecting and training your staff, the book makes for an easy and essential managerial read." --The Debroff Debrief

“If creating legendary customer service is important to your business, this book provides some fascinating insights.” --National Post

"A new guru of customer service excellence is Micah Solomon." --Financial

"...gem of a book...If you want to deliver a superior client experience, then have every employee read this book…volume is simply that profound, that good.” --Prime

“…offers lessons that are immediately applicable to any business, and can help you both attract and retain clients." clients." --Accounting Today

800-CEO-Read Top 25: What Corporate America is Reading 2011

"A wealth of actionable information packed into a short book." --The Advance Me Business blog

Book Description

“Filled with treasure and big ideas, this book will help you become exceptional.” – SETH GODIN

In a tight market, your most powerful growth engine—and your best protection from competitive inroads—is this: put everything you can into cultivating true customer loyalty. Loyal customers are less sensitive to price competition, more forgiving of small glitches, and, ultimately, become “walking billboards” who will happily promote your brand.

In Exceptional Service, Exceptional Profit, insiders Leonardo Inghilleri and Micah Solomon reveal the secrets of providing online and offline customer service so superior it nearly guarantees loyalty. Their anticipatory customer service approach was first developed at The Ritz-Carlton as well as at Solomon’s company Oasis, and has since proven itself in countless companies around the globe—from luxury giant BVLGARI to value-sensitive auto parts leader Carquest, and everywhere in between. Now, readers can take the techniques that minted money for these brands and apply them directly to their own businesses. As Ken Blanchard writes, “Leonardo and Micah’s philosophies, rules, and winning examples of service excellence will make you want to implement their suggestions immediately in your own organization.”

Filled with detailed, behind-the-scenes examples, the book unlocks a new level of customer relationship that leaves your competitors in the dust, your customers coming back day after day, and your bottom line looking better than it ever has before.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 170 pages
  • Publisher: AMACOM (April 7, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0814415385
  • ISBN-13: 978-0814415382
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6.5 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (76 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #51,496 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
When I saw EXCEPTIONAL SERVICE, EXCEPTIONAL PROFIT (AMACOM) by Leonardo Inghilleri and Micah Solomon, I thought to myself, "Oh, no, still another book on customer service." Even the subtitle. THE SECRETS OF BUILDING A FIVE-STAR CUSTOMER SERVICE ORGANIZATION, indicated that might be the case.

But was I ever wrong! The authors immediately got me interested in finding out more through their use of success stories from such companies as The Ritz-Carlton and Lexus, as well as how the principles were applied by such online firms as Netflix and CD Baby.

In addition, they quickly got me thinking about how to make customers more loyal--with one key way being the need to provide anticipatory service vs. merely reacting to customers.

Some of their examples, though seemingly basic, blew me away--such as this one:
*To help launch their Ritz-Carlton luxury hotel brand, initially, founding President and Chief Operating Officer Horst Schulze and his team decided on a set of ideal phrases for use in conversation with customers, then trained employees to use those phrases. The frequent use of certain phrases helped unify their employees around a shared identity and contributed to a distinctive "Ritz style" that the public could easily recognize: phrases like "my pleasure," "Right away," "Certainly," and -a personal favorite-"We're fully committed tonight." (Translation: "We're booked solid, bub!" The list of words and phrases to be avoided included folks, hey, you guys, and okay.

I also loved this technique for how to preemptively unwad your staff's shorts:
* When your own employees first hear you taking the customer's side, don't expect them to be thrilled. ("Does my boss blame me? Does she actually believe that idiot's version of what happened?
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Pamela F. Stanley on May 8, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
From the moment I opened (or slid over as I'm reading the Kindle version) the first part of this book, which was the table of contents, I was excited about what I might be able to learn from this book. As I read from page to page, reading their substantiated reasons for doing what they suggest with stories and experiences that clearly supported and elucidated their points, I knew this would be a constant resource for me, my staff, and my superiors.

I read the book and then gave it to the general manager of our company who became as enthralled as I was. We began implementing the smallest suggestions regarding client interaction which made huge differences immediately. Such as "anticipating customer needs" and "being on the customer's side". We've given our staff the power to make decisions or to promptly bring in upper management for a positive and quick decision that makes the customer feel listened to and appreciated. I won't go on and on, you'll have to read the book, but believe me when I say this is our customer service bible from which we will reference and create guidelines for improving our business through exceptional customer service. Thank you for this book!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By sprucehen on May 14, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Best well-rounded book on customer service I have seen to date. Well-organized, and easy to read and digest. Provides exactly the right overarching philosophy of exceptional service, supported by real world examples. Totally raises the bar on how to approach serving customers. Offers other excellent resources for reference. If you can only buy one book on the subject, let this one be it. Amazing.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Brian Schoenbaechler on May 3, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Length: 2:16 Mins
April Book Review from SBC Fulfillment Blog: [...]
Background: I added this book to my Amazon wish list, which in turn posts to my FriendFeed account. Micah Solomon found my post on Friend Feed and sent me an advance (signed) copy, pretty "exceptional service." Micah is the small business guy who founded Oasis Disc Manufacturing. Leonardo is best known for his work with the Ritz Carlton.

Main Points: The main points I took away from the book can be summed up in language, anticipation, and tracking.

Language: The need to be intentional about the language you and your employees use. This includes words to use, not use, and words that are "banned."

Anticipate: Exceptional customer service comes from anticipating your customer's needs. Anyone can hand a towel to a customer who asks for one, but an "exceptional company" hands you one before you have the chance to ask.

Measure: You NEED a system to track your customers likes and dislikes. Additionally, you can track top problem for continuous improvement programs.
Take Away: Your customer service program must be intentional and must incorporate training that constantly reinforces your program.

Conclusion: Great advice from some world class companies. The pages contain golden nuggets for companies big and small (like mine). My only criticism is I would like to see more case studies. Overall this book is a must read. Highly recommended.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Jim Estill on April 23, 2010
Format: Hardcover
When I first picked up the book I was some what skeptical. I am a big believer in customer service I also believe customer service can be over done. What I have found is consumers are frequently driven to the lowest price yet expect five star service to go along with the lowest price. I know this is not the case in all businesses but in many businesses it is the case.

In some cases, better services clearly does cost more to deliver.

One phrase caught my attention. Keep a firm eye on lily gilding. This comes from a Shakespeare phrase, the "lily gilding" means overdoing something that's already perfect. In customer interactions, it often takes the form of fancying up your offerings beyond what the customers are interested in. Lily gilding has both obvious and hidden costs, including excess features that can make your offering less attractive by complicating it for customers or that imply to customers that they're paying for something they don't need.

Value is relative. Customers often judge your value relatively. That is, they judge each interaction with your company against their previous interactions with you-and with your competitors.

To make sure you understand the competitive expectations of your customers, shop the competition-your best competition. Don't let resentment lead you to dismiss a competitor's innovations. Think rationally about whether there is value there that you could make use of for your own customers.

Pricing is part of the value proposition. Not everybody values money the same. If value was all about low pricing, there would be no space for retailers like Nordstrom; everybody would be shopping at Wal-Mart. A reliable equation is "Value=Personal Benefit-Cost and Inconvenience.
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