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Exceeding Customer Expectations: What Enterprise, America's #1 car rental company, can teach you about creating lifetime customers Hardcover – January 16, 2007

3.6 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This love letter to Enterprise Rent-A-Car is also a comprehensive case study on how a company grows from an idea into a multibillion-dollar corporation within its founder's lifetime. But just as the company's first "We Pick You Up" commercial was aimed at both company insiders and consumers, this book has the feel of an internal communication on the company's 50th anniversary. Despite excessive enthusiasm and a somewhat repetitive writing style, Kazanjian (The Market Masters, etc.) does offer insight into how a company can succeed by remaining focused on motivating employees to satisfy customers completely. Drawing on examples from Enterprise's history, he emphasizes that focusing on customer satisfaction must permeate every aspect of operations. While Kazanjian's themes are not revolutionary, he convinces that helping employees improve service to customers attracts more customers, so the company and its profit-sharing employees prosper. (Jan.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Advance acclaim for Exceeding Customer Expectations:

“Classy people create classy companies, and there is no more classy—or successful—company than Enterprise Rent-A-Car.”
—Warren Buffett, Chairman and CEO, Berkshire Hathaway

“I loved this book and learned from it as well. It’s essential reading for every business manager and a powerful example that if you create value for your customers, your business will flourish and all your stakeholders will benefit.”
—Anne Mulcahy, Chairman and CEO, Xerox Corporation

“In a world where management styles come and go, the Enterprise philosophy remains timeless. Exceeding Customer Expectations is a firsthand look at the company that has been writing the book on customer service for the last 50 years.”
—Ken Chenault, Chairman and CEO, American Express

Exceeding Customer Expectations provides an entertaining and insightful look into the customer-centered culture and strategies that drive the continuing success of a remarkable business.”
—J.D. Power IV, Executive Vice President, J.D. Power and Associates, co-author Satisfaction: How Every Great Company Listens to the Voice of the Customer

“Want to learn how to grow your business into an economic juggernaut by moving beyond customer satisfaction—all the way to loyalty? Then read this book because there is no better case study than Enterprise Rent-A-Car.”
—Fred Reichheld, author, The Ultimate Question: Driving Good Profits and True Growth

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Crown Business; 1 edition (January 16, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385518323
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385518321
  • Product Dimensions: 5.7 x 1 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #641,611 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Monty Rainey VINE VOICE on March 1, 2007
Format: Hardcover
EXCEEDING CUSTOMER EXPECTATIONS by Kirk Kazanjian may be viewed in a variety of ways. Many will consider this book nothing more than a marketing campaign, and in large part, they would be correct. However, I find no fault in that. If that were the intention of the people at Enterprise, it is ingenious. They certainly won my loyalty, not that I ever have much need to rent a vehicle, but if I ever do,....

Others might view this book just as the title opines, an instructional treatise on customer service. They too would be correct, but only to a certain degree. I say that because I found the book to be more of a business model. In fact, I would say this book is broken down thusly; 50% business model, 30% Enterprise company history and 20% customer service. Therefore, my only big knock on this book is the title, which leads the reader to believe customer service is the primary focus here. It is not. That is not to say, however, that readers will not glean valuable information on customer service, just not as much as this reader would have liked.

The book reads well and Kazanjian is to be commended for his work, but I do not believe the story paints quite the intended picture. I found in large part, the Enterprise Company bumbled its way into prosperity because a few headstrong employees refused to follow company policy! A good example is the Enterprise "we'll pick you up" mantra. I won't give too much of the book away, but this and other business innovations within the company happened by chance. Please do not mistake this as ridicule of the company. Enterprise is certainly a gem in today's marketplace, just understand that according to this book, much of the company's success wasn't planned that way.
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Format: Audio CD
This is a good book, but Mr. Sklar's reading of the material makes it sound like the guys at Enterprise Rent A Car should, by the 4th disc, have a cure for cancer! It is interesting to hear how CEO Jack Taylor was able to start the business from a small idea at a single car dealership in St. Louis. But, as the company grows, Jack and later his son Andy are given credit for anticipating every challenge, and solving them with their stunning execution of the business plan to provide "excellent customer service."

At every turn, Enterprise emerges as the leader, the innovator, the business where everything turns to gold! When talking about the succession plan from Jack to Andy Taylor, Andy is presented as the humble genius who has the vision that dad did not, while wise dad looks on with fatherly pride as his son and family members 'of course' think that running a family business 'is best' because after all, Enterprise Knows Best!

By the 3rd CD, I kept listening just to hear how amazing everyone could Enterprise could be! IT Systems? Deployed in a single bound. Partnerships with insurers? Progressive L O V E loves Enterprise, so much so that the CEO appears 'unscripted' in a "Thank You" commercial sent to Enterprise employees. Enterprise is so smart that they 'know' that if they reduce the number of days that their insurance customers are in a car (thus reducing immediate revenue to Enterprise), it will save the insurer money, which will result in more love for Enterprise among claims adjusters - truly a 'Win Win!' Rah Rah Sis Boom Bah.

When by the 4th CD, they admit some 'mistakes' the examples truly aren't mistakes because they recognize the challenges so fast that the mistakes barely appear as blips on their balance sheet.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
In a world where corporate giants (e.g.: Bank of America, Wells Fargo, JP Morgan/Chase, Goldman Sachs) and the executives who populate them have been revealed to be the lowest form of human filth (they lie, cheat, and steal as a regular course of business and then they pay off the politicians to avoid prosecution) this book offers an extraordinary peek into the inner-workings of one of the world's great companies! They are ruled by, honor, integrity, customer service, fair pricing, and doing what is right - always! Simply refreshing!
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Format: Hardcover
Although there is some good information in this book, it is hidden behind a gushing view of the one company used as an example, Enterprise. It is obviously just a book about Enterprise, but without any hint of objectivity. The title should have been "Enterprise: An Almost Perfect Company". If I had known that prior to reading it, I would have had a much different expectation.

A few other annoying habits in this book include:

1. End every section with a list of ideas just presented in the chapter.
2. Always remind the reader how great Enterprise is.
3. Pound it into our brains.
18. Make sure every list is a really, really long list.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a great book if your desire is to learn about Enterprise and it's history. However, I don't see it as a guide to other businesses as the majority of it's pages are Enterprise specific. Furthermore, it speaks of how "wonderful" a company Enterprise is with grand opportunities for it's employees, however, after having personally speaking with a former Enterprise employee I learned that the opportunities that were once there don't exist quite at the same level as when the company was younger. At any rate, the Enterprise story is a very interesting and impressive one. If you want to read about how this company went from having one Missouri location with just one employee to having 6000 locations worldwide and 70,000+ employees in just 55 short years then this book is a must read. Well written.
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