America's Service Meltdown: Restoring Service Excellence in the Age of the Customer

Overview

What distinguishes America's Service Meltdown: Restoring Service Excellence in the Age of the Customer is its striking originality and applicability to businesses of nearly every type and size. Based on the author's extensive personal and professional experience, the book offers a straightforward, no nonsense model that clearly explains how to organize the modern enterprise for the delivery of service excellence.

Customer-oriented companies can operate more effectively, Raul ...

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Overview

What distinguishes America's Service Meltdown: Restoring Service Excellence in the Age of the Customer is its striking originality and applicability to businesses of nearly every type and size. Based on the author's extensive personal and professional experience, the book offers a straightforward, no nonsense model that clearly explains how to organize the modern enterprise for the delivery of service excellence.

Customer-oriented companies can operate more effectively, Raul Pupo argues, by focusing on the critical success factors of service: leadership that unequivocally believes they are in business to serve the customer; a business-planning process centered around the customer; an organizational ethic of service up and down the ranks; and an empowered, motivated, and competent frontline organization. Readers will discover what it takes to serve customers superbly, how excellent customer service profoundly improves profitability, and how to identify the biggest obstacles to good service. Most importantly, they will be rewarded with concrete instructions that will enable them to deliver topnotch customer service every step of the way.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"America's Service Meltdown identifies the problem areas, and then provides great detail on fixing the issues, from leadership, to hiring, providing more power to frontline employees, to accounting, to communication; a broad spectrum of business is considered. . . . There's a lot here to contemplate, and I hope you'll do that with this book as a guide."

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800 CEO Read

"Pupo offers a thoughtful perspective and first-hand knowledge of how to organize the modern enterprise for delivery of excellent service. Valuable road map for executives and business students."

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Booklist

"Professors who teach customer service, marketing, and strategic planning courses will find the concepts and

strategies presented here helpful in organizing their courses. Pupo's credibility from experience as an entrepreneur

and consultant adds to the well-researched, timely information he presents. … Recommended. Graduate students, researchers, faculty, and practitioners."

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Choice

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780313386022
  • Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 6/30/2010
  • Pages: 167
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.80 (d)

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 31, 2011

    A thoughtful, pragmatic guide for moving from poor to excellent service

    [[ASIN:0313386021 America's Service Meltdown: Restoring Service Excellence in the Age of the Customer]]
    Customer service in the United States would have to improve to be merely poor. That's the urgent message of America's Service Meltdown by Raul Pupo. The author is an experienced CEO and entrepreneur who is passionate about service excellence and wants to save organizations from the dire consequences of our country's ever-growing service deficit. Pupo's book explains how service quality got so bad and maps out four critical success factors needed to turn things around and build a self-perpetuating customer-centric service culture. Customer service is not narrowly defined as "what the customer service department does," but is seen as a much broader concept. Customer service permeates every function in the organization from executive leadership, strategic planning, finance, legal, sales, marketing and I.T. to production and human resources.

    My key take-away from the book was the strong case it made for the strategic value of focusing organizations on their customers. Focusing on finance and quarterly results leads to myopic, short-term thinking. Focusing on new sales rather than service means high customer attrition and low growth since sales teams have to run as fast as they can just to stay in place. Focusing on products leads to an emphasis on features, not usability. Only focusing on delivering excellent customer service aligns the entire organization around the goals needed for sustained growth and profitability.

    If you're an executive or manager who wants a thoughtful, pragmatic guide for moving from poor to excellent service, written by someone who has "been there and done that," America's Service Meltdown is highly recommended.

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  • Posted April 13, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Informative treatise on building a customer-centric business

    Treating customers right is an established business maxim. Oddly, few businesses really abide by it. Raul Pupo brings his insights and firsthand accounts to this readable, informative book about how all businesses can enhance customer service, which simply is good business and applied common sense. But most businesses fall victim to Industrial Age thinking, myopic leadership, bad strategic planning and inertia. While Pupo does not present any breakthrough concepts, he provides great examples and makes clear points about how to implement customer-friendly service. getAbstract recommends his rundown on "critical service factors" to suppliers who want to build or revamp their businesses to be more customer-centric.

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  • Posted January 31, 2011

    Required Reading

    When I first read Raul Pupo's new book, America's Service Meltdown: Restoring Service Excellence in the Age of the Consumer, my first thought was "This guy gets it!" As someone who has been teaching and consulting in business for more than 30 years, I have had to fight the tide of increasing management and academic focus on the financial aspects of business at the expense of the customer from whom ,after all, the money flows. Raul Pupo seems to understand this issue deeply and has made it his mission to turn this situation around.

    His carefully researched and well-presented book not only describes the meltdown of the American service ethic, but also prescribes a sensible, practical approach any organization can use to excel at customer service. His presentation takes the service issue from each of several perspectives: strategy, executive leadership, front line workers, finances, and ethics. Each section is thorough and compelling without resorting to the preaching and exhortations so commonly found in today's business literature.

    There is much to learn in this book for practitioners and students of business, as well as those who suffer through the daily frustrations and indignities of working with and within many American companies. I was sufficiently impressed that I currently use America's Service Meltdown as a required text in my Services Marketing Course.

    Robert F Everett, Ph.D.

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  • Posted November 24, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    How to build a customer-focused culture of service.

    Raul Pupo's America's Service Meltdown: Restoring Service Excellence in the Age of the Customer is a must-read for business leaders at all levels, for students in business school, academia, and anyone interested in learning more about how to conduct service in this changing economy. Pupo's purpose for writing the book, or the take home message per se, is to alert corporations and the nation that poor service-not just offshore labor rates-are feeding an outsourcing juggernaut that we can't seem to be able to stop. The sad irony is that the United States, which for all practical purposes invented the service economy, is being "outserviced" by most of the rest of the world


    Pupo's style is largely informal, but the book's points are clear and broken down into five, concise and thought-provoking chapters. The philosophy of the book is quite intriguing as it emphasizes a customer-first focus on service. It probes into ethical behaviors in business, proper training for those employees that are at the front of the ranks, as well as differentiating between customer satisfaction and customer loyalty.


    America's Service Meltdown provides information based on experience in the service industry instead of classroom theory from business and marketing classes. Pupo digs deep and uses contemporary events such as Bernard Madoff's $65 billion Ponzi scheme to demonstrate the collapse of ethical service on a national level.


    The content of the text revolves around four customer-service criteria. The first criterion is to establish a leadership team that unconditionally believes its goal should be to provide the best service to the customer. Second, a business planning process begins, not ends, with the customer. The third success factor is the need to instill ethical service principles and practices up and down the employee ladder. The final factor is to have a well-trained group equipped with the proper tools and resources to deliver excellence in service.


    Ultimately, Raul Pupo delves into what it takes to be a leader at the top and how to build a customer-focused culture of service. Unlike textbooks, which hammer readers with theory, America's Service Meltdown presents a series of real life case studies, based on personal experience, in order to relate on a more practical level with the intended audience.

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