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Unleashing Excellence: The Complete Guide to Ultimate Customer Service Hardcover – November 16, 2009
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"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
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.
Top Customer Reviews
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.
Readers will benefit from a continual flow of best practice stories from many employment settings. Many of the examples of good work come from the authors' clients. These illustrations serve to enhance and illuminate the content to bring the traditional concepts to life in ways that leaders can read the book and initiate appropriate actions for individual and organizational improvement. Several sections of the book stand out in my mind, but all chapters are filled with ideas, thought-provoking discussions, and anecdotes to bring the concepts to life.
Yes (sigh), this is ANOTHER customer service book. Do we need more books on this topic? Some of us are beginning to feel overstuffed with this topic---like the bloated feeling we get after a huge Thanksgiving dinner. Thankfully, this book serves a specific purpose of providing how-to advice and insights for executives and managers to consider and implement. Use it as a tool to stimulate customer service conversations in your organization as you inspire increasingly high attention to incredible customer service as a part of your corporate DNA.
"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. c) Track how the best employees were recruited to your company. d) Model your company's values during the interview process.
6) Create and implement a service Measurement process(...) Keys to local measurement success: a) Local measurements should be linked to the overall service improvement effort...b)The workgroup should be able to impact the factors they measure...c) The act of measuring shouldn't negatively impact the customer experience...d) Improvement in one service factor shouldn't negatively impact another service factor.
7) Develop appropriate Recognition/celebration processes that reinforce the service culture(...) Action steps: a) Ensure that recognition is strategically linked to the overall service improvement effort. b) Create mechanisms that encourage recognition at all levels of the organization. c) Review current recognition practices to determine if they are consistent the Service Standards and contain an emotional component. d) Provide special recognition for your stellar performers. e) Communicate and train all management and frontline employees on the importance of recognizing service excellence."
8) Implement a Service Obstacle System for identifying and addressing barriers to service excellence(...) One of the most important jobs of a leader in a service improvement initiative is to help remove obstacles that keep employees from giving great service.
9) Build a Management Accountability system that ensures commitment to ongoing service excellence(...) The three-legged stool suggests that leaders should be accountable for three broad areas: a) The customer experience. b) The employee experience. c) Business results."
Most Recent Customer Reviews
"Unleashing Excellence," by Dennis Snow is a highly informative book.Read more
Comment: "Finished reading the book. I'll add this to the top of my review, leaving the original intact at the bottom.Read more