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Unleashing Excellence: The Complete Guide to Ultimate Customer Service Hardcover – November 16, 2009

4.8 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"I recommend...to any company needing a 'how to' and 'can do' manual to implement service excellence in their organization." -- Richard A. Nunis, Retired Chairman, Walt Disney Parks & Resorts

"Many authors tell you why great customer service matters; Yanovitch and Snow show you how to make it happen." -- Rich Stamberger, President & CEO, SmartBrief, Inc.

"The customer you save may be your own." -- Don Ogilvie, President, American Bankers Association --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Inside Flap

Happy customers make for healthy bottom lines. For most businesses, that means customer service is the key to long-term profitability and success. But some companies do it better than others, and it's often difficult to tell what works and what doesn't. If you want to build a customer service culture that gets real business results, you need the reliable, proven guidance in Unleashing Excellence.

Unleashing Excellence guides you through the process of improving the customer experience and gives you practical, effective tools that you can tailor to your company's specific needs and culture. Divided into nine "Leadership Action" sections, it shows you the exact steps to take to create an organizational culture in which service excellence becomes a habit rather than an afterthought.

You'll learn how to train and educate your people in the most advanced and effective customer service techniques, how to measure the quality of the service you deliver to your customers, how to build a culture of personal accountability in your organization, and how to recognize and reward excellence in your people.

You can't build a great customer service organization without having a clear vision shared by everyone involved. Unleashing Excellence also helps you craft that vision, spread it among your people, and imbue those people with the sense of dedication and excellence that spectacular customer service demands. Rather than focusing just on customer service theory or philosophy, this book is a guide to the practical actions you need to take in order to turn service excellence into business as usual.

Changing your customer service practices is tough even in the best of times, but the reward is huge. Unleashing Excellence provides the ideas and tactics you need to keep your customers ecstatic.


Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 2 edition (November 16, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470503807
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470503805
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 0.9 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #76,111 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Customer service is similar to Motherhood and Apple Pie. Organizations that deliver outstanding customer service as an integral part of their business operation build customer loyalty and bottom line strength. Those that don't...well, we all know that bad customer service can destroy a company, or at least severely limit its potential.
This knowledge is legendary. Techniques for delivering good customer service are well-known. This is not brain surgery. Why another book on the ubiquitous topic?
First, note the title. The book title doesn't talk about Excellent Customer Service or You Will Be Fired if You Aren't Nice to Our Customers. The Unleashing Excellence title-and theme of the book-is directed toward senior executives. Customer service is a corporate strategy that needs to be led from the top. This book needs to be read by senior executives that allege that they don't have time to read it. The downside of mediocre customer service can be career-limiting to executives who don't pay attention to this critical component of their company's business.
The authors, both formerly part of the Walt Disney leadership development programs, are now in private practice. They are active consultants-to a wide range of employers-on customer service issues. In their work, they apply what they learned at Disney and other employment experiences to deliver an executive-targeted message. Toward this end, the book is easy to read, includes shaded call-out boxes, Action Steps and Pitfalls to Avoid at the end of each chapter. The book's concluding chapter presents nine leadership actions to guide readers in strengthening their customer service delivery. A comprehensive index makes the book even more reader-friendly.
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Format: Hardcover
As the title Unleashing Excellence suggests, this book is directed at senior executives. It starts with the premise that customer service is a corporate strategy (just as technical competence is) and needs to be cultivated from the top.

Companies that build customer service as a vital part of their business model also build customer loyalty and strengthen their bottom lines. Those that don't, end up limiting their potential in the marketplace. The first chapter develops a framework to understand the essential ingredients of customer service, and the second chapter outlines the rest of the book. The remaining chapters focus on making customer service part of the "corporate DNA."

These remaining chapters go through the steps of institutionalizing customer service as part of corporate strategy. Topics range from setting up a service improvement team, and also setting service philosophy and standards, communication, training, measuring program effectiveness, recognition, and accountability.

The clean layout without footnotes, endnotes or a bibliography is clearly aimed not at the academician but at the practitioner. The fluid writing style makes the book easy to read.

The numerous anecdotes from a wide variety of settings peppered throughout the text help bring the concepts to life. The ideas and thought-provoking discussions in the chapters are supplemented with shaded call-out boxes, Action Steps, and Pitfalls to Avoid. The book's concluding chapter presents nine leadership actions to help readers strengthen customer service delivery.

While reading this book is the first step, the authors' intent is for readers to implement their ideas and suggestions.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
In this book the authors outline an action plan, made up of nine elements, to "inculturate" service excellence (excerpted):

"1) Create the Service Improvement Team(...) Action Steps: a) Try to select 8 to 12 members at the most. b) Ensure that the team represents a cross-section of the organization c) Have as many senior level members as possible on the first Service Improvement Team. Members need to have the authority to get things done. d) Draft the team charter.

2) Develop the organization's Service Philosophy and Service Standards(...) The service Philosophy answers two questions: what we do? how we do it?...Guidelines for Developing your service standards: Each standard on the final list should be unique from every other standard...Each standard should be actionable...The standards must focus on customer service.

3) Develop and execute on ongoing service Communication and Awareness plan(...) Communication during the awareness stage - what employees need: information...Communication during the awkwardness stage - what employees need: reassurance...Communication during the assimilation stage - what employees need: what's new about the service effort.

4) Create and execute a plan for ongoing service Training and Education(...) Training for the frontline employees should: 1) Ensure consistent understanding of the service improvement process. 2) Share best practices regarding service excellence. 3) Develop personal action plans for service excellence. 4) Communicate next steps.

5) Adapt the Interviewing and Selecting processes to include all elements of the service culture(...) Action Steps: a) Observe and interview your best employees in order to uncover their service talents. b) Enlist your service superstars in your recruiting efforts.
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