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In Customer Mania!, Ken Blanchard, one of America's biggest bestselling authors and inspiring business leaders, writes of the key to customer service—creating a people-oriented, performance-driven, customer-first organization. Customer service is the single most pressing problem for business managers and people in any service or sales operation, especially at the retail level. In fact, many experts believe that you build a business from the customer up. With coauthors Jim Ballard and Fred Finch, Blanchard explains why the customer is the right starting place from which to build a successful business. By drawing on examples from the world's largest restaurant company, Yum!—owner of KFC, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, Long John Silver's, and A&W Restaurants—the authors explain how any company, large or small, can develop a unified, people-first, customer-oriented culture. Packed with practical insights, Customer Mania! emphasizes four critical steps: • Set Your Sights on the Right Target. The bottom line grows from taking care of customers and creating a motivating environment for your people. • Treat Customers the Right Way. Determine the kind of experience you want your customers to have as they interact with every part of the company. • Treat Employees the Right Way. Use strategies ranging from smart hiring to training and development to managing performance and creating a recognition culture. • Build the Right Kind of Leadership. You can't do it all yourself, so let your people put their own brains to work and then support them all the way. By relying on these concepts, businesses everywhere can cultivate passionate and engaged team members who contribute to the company's overall success. From CEO to middle manager to the person facing the consumer, Customer Mania! is a vital tool for enhancing their experience -- and their customer's.
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To succeed in business today, you have to provide consistently great customer service. In other words, unless you have a unified, people-first, customer-oriented culture, it will be difficult to build your business going forward.
Fortunately, any company large or small can achieve this. The steps are simple to describe but challenging to implement fully:
Note that you can't build a customer-focused company by emphasizing the results that you want to achieve. This is the equivalent of putting the cart before the horse. When you focus on results, getting people to do the right thing will be an effort──people will have to be convinced that's the right way to go. A much more effective idea is to concentrate on building your people first, and then they will just naturally take care of the customer in the ways you prefer. Get your people acting with passion and commitment and everything else will just naturally fall into place. With astute management, you'll even be able to create a self-perpetuating cycle where the work feeds the energy of the people involved, which in turn means the work gets done better, leading to increased levels of energy in the future and so on.
If you set a goal of making more money, your customers and your people become a means to an end at best. A better idea is to set a triple bottom line target──view profits as the applause your organization gets for taking good care of your customers and for creating a highly motivating environment for your people. You don't have to choose between people and results, but organize yourself to achieve both.
Your ultimate aim should be to become:
1. The provider of choice—because you have create raving fans for what you offer.
2. The employer of choice—because your people are free to become customer maniacs.
3. The investment of choice—because your profits are both strong and sustainable.
Great organizations are not one dimensional. Instead, everyone's energy gets focused on a"Triple Bottom Line":
1. To become the provider of choice within your industry, you have to take care of customers better than your competitors do. This means converting ordinary customers into"raving fans"for your product or service──customers who are so enthusiastic about the way they were treated they want to tell everyone else. When you exceed the customer's expectations, the chances increase that you can and will create a raving fan.
2. These days there is much more competition for top talent. To become the employer of choice is smart. Employees are far more likely to stay where they feel empowered and motivated. It makes good sense to do everything you can to retain your best people who can and will provide top service to customers.
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