Delivering Knock Your Socks Off Service

( 6 )

Overview

When the first edition of Delivering Knock Your Socks Off Service arrived in book­stores, “Does service matter?” was an unsettled question. Now 20+ years and a service industry revolution later, it’s taken as gospel that superior service leads to higher profits and faster growth.

The Internet has changed how customers both shop and relate their experiences, but the foundations of exceptional service remain constant. And now, in this special 20th anniversary edition of the book ...

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Overview

When the first edition of Delivering Knock Your Socks Off Service arrived in book­stores, “Does service matter?” was an unsettled question. Now 20+ years and a service industry revolution later, it’s taken as gospel that superior service leads to higher profits and faster growth.

The Internet has changed how customers both shop and relate their experiences, but the foundations of exceptional service remain constant. And now, in this special 20th anniversary edition of the book that has long been relied on for the best guidance on knocking customers’ socks off—you’ll find all-new tips, tools, and techniques for the world we live in today.

Whether you’re new to customer service or an old pro, this book shows you how to:

• WOW your customers

• Become a fantastic fixer and powerful problem-solver

• Determine the right times to bend or break the rules

• Work with cultural and generational differences

• Become a valued “listening post” for your organization

• Effectively handle “customers from hell”

Featuring real-world examples, the book contains all-new chapters on using social media for communication and service recovery, owning service encounters, responding positively to negative feedback, and more.

The most important part of creating a “service advantage” is still you. And this fun-to-read, classic resource will show you how to provide the best service imaginable, time after time.

Praise for Previous Editions:

“An easy-to-read service bible.” — The American Salesman

“…A must-read for retailers working with today’s challenging customers.”— Retail News Magazine

“Written in a witty, engaging style, and offers real tactics any service provider can use. Once you’ve read this book, pass it on to your employees.” — Entrepreneur Magazine

Performance Research Associates, Inc., founded in 1972 by the late Ron Zemke, one of the leaders of the American customer service revolution, trains and consults with organi­zations of all types and sizes on service quality, customer loyalty, and creating a customer-driven culture. PRA’s clients have included PricewaterhouseCoopers, Microsoft, Pruden­tial Insur­ance, Harley-Davidson, GlaxoSmithKline, Universal Studios theme parks, Motorola, Turner Broadcasting System, and many others. The firm is located in Minneapolis. For more information please visit www.socksoff.com

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"A book packed with practical gems. There’s a lot of meat in this book." --ABA Banking Journal

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780814417553
  • Publisher: AMACOM
  • Publication date: 10/29/2011
  • Edition description: Fifth Edition
  • Edition number: 5
  • Pages: 208
  • Sales rank: 154,496
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

PERFORMANCE RESEARCH ASSOCIATES, INC., was founded in 1972 by the late Ron Zemke, author of nearly 40 books on service quality and organizational effectiveness.

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Read an Excerpt

Preface

What You Do Is Critically Important

“It’s not enough to merely satisfy the customer;

customers must be ‘delighted’— surprised by

having their needs not just met, but exceeded.”

—A. Blanton Godfrey

Serving customers. The two words cover so much. Answering

questions. Solving problems. Untangling corporate logjams. Fixing

what’s broken and finding what’s lost. Soothing the irate and

reassuring the timid. And time after time, performing the business

equivalent of pulling a rabbit out of a hat.

Not too long ago, working in customer service was just

about as thankless a job as a person could find. Sales? That

was a job with a future. Marketing? Now there was a title with

some prestige. Digital marketing? Wow, the wave of the future.

Advertising? What mystique! Web page design—really cool!

But customer service? Backwater. A burden. A career path to

nowhere. Fellow employees looked down their noses at

“those people who deal with whining customers.” And customers—

well, they mostly seemed to see customer service as

a title for not very bright people who woke up most mornings,

looked in the mirror, grinned wide, and said to their reflections,

“This is going to be a fun day. I’m going to go down there

and annoy the first 217 people I talk to.” And then did just

that. Not exactly positive images.

In the late 1990s, about the time of the dot.com debacle,

professional business watchers began to re-learn something important.

They discovered that organizations that had dedicated

themselves to working hard at giving their customers superior

service were producing better financial results. These organizations

grew faster and were more profitable than the organizations

that were still working as hard as they could to give their

customers as little as possible, whether online, over the phone,

or face-to-face. Now, in the second decade of the new millennium,

it’s not just about focusing on customers, it’s about creating

loyal ones. That’s where the real money is.

In short, companies that emphasize total customer service

make more money and keep customers longer than companies

that don’t.

Researchers also started to notice that highly successful

service organizations had lower marketing costs, fewer upset

and complaining customers, and more repeat business—

customers were “voting with their feet” and beating a path

back to the doors of the companies that served them well.

What’s more, good service had internal rewards: Employee

turnover and absenteeism were lower and morale and job

satisfaction higher in these same organizations. Companies

that asked employees to make customers happy had happier

employees.

Almost overnight, being customer-focused, understanding

and meeting customer needs, and coddling customers with

Tender Loving Care became a critical organizational goal. And

received spotlight attention. Books were written. Banners hung.

And speeches made—all trumpeting the importance of customer

service. A revolution in the way customer service was

viewed and valued began—and continues to this day.

In the two decades since the start of the latest service

revolution, we’ve all learned a lot about what it takes to create

and sustain a service advantage. As the world grows ever

smaller, we’ve learned that good service requires a new sensitivity

to the cultural differences and varied service expectations

of customers we serve around the globe. As Baby

Boomers, Generation Xers, and Millennials continue to collide

in the workplace, we’ve learned that each generation has distinct

service preferences that we need to account for in how we

plan or deliver service. And for all we’ve learned, for all that

has been written and said, the most important part of creating

a “service advantage” is still... you.

What you do is important. What you do is work—hard

work. Answering questions. Solving problems. Untangling

corporate logjams. Fixing what’s broken and finding what’s

lost. Soothing the irate and reassuring the timid. Matching

people you do business with with just the right products and

services, and helping them enjoy and get the most out of those

purchases.

Twenty years ago, Ron and Kristin penned the original

Delivering Knock Your Socks Off Service to share with you

what we had learned about quality customer care during fifteen

years of watching and working with thousands of customer-

oriented customer service professionals. People just like

you who provide great service over and over and over again;

true Knock Your Socks Off Service pros who make their customers’

lives and jobs simpler instead of more difficult, more

interesting and less boring—and who have a heck of a good

time doing it, too.

In the ensuing two decades we have had the opportunity

to work with thousands of customer service professionals

worldwide. And we have learned even more about the fine art

of delivering world class customer care. We have taken those

lessons in hand and to heart, and we present here for your consideration

the Delivering Knock Your Socks Off Service: 20th

Anniversary Edition. You’ll notice something new in the back

matter of this edition: We have included a cross reference feature

that ties back to our book, 101 Activities for Knock Your

Socks Off Service. The recommended activities are tied to

specific chapters of this book as an additional resource.

Whether you are new to customer service or an old pro, we

think there is something here for you. What you do is more important

to your organization than ever before. If this book helps

you to do it even a little bit better, your thanks should go not

to us, but to the thousands of pros who served as our teachers

and mentors. And if you find the journey through these pages

not only helpful but enjoyable, then we’ll have met our customer

service goal.

Performance Research Associates

Minneapolis, MN

February 2011

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Table of Contents

Contents

Foreword

Our Thanks

Preface

Part One: The Fundamental Principles of Knock

Your Socks Off Service

1 The Only Unbreakable Rule: To the

Customer You Are the Company

2 Know What Knock Your Socks Off

Service Is

3 Knock Your Socks Off Service Is:

Reliable

4 Knock Your Socks Off Service Is:

(Re)-Assuring

5 Knock Your Socks Off Service Is:

Tangibles

6 Knock Your Socks Off Service Is:

Empathetic

7 Knock Your Socks Off Service Is:

Responsive

8 The Customer Is Always. . .

The Customer

Part Two: The How To’s of Knock Your Socks

Off Service

9 Honesty Is the Only Policy

10 All Rules Were Meant to Be Broken

(Including This One)

11 Creating Trust in an Insecure,

Suspicious World

12 Taking Ownership of Your Service

Encounters

13 Become a Listening Post

14 Asking Intelligent Questions

15 Winning Words and Soothing Phrases

16 Facts for Face-to-Face

17 Tips for Telephone Talk

18 It’s a Small World: Culturally

Sensitive Service

19 The Generational Divide: Serving

Age-Diverse Customers

Part Three: Communicating Knock Your

Socks Off Service

20 Co-Workers as Partners:

Communicating Across Functions

21 Exceptional Service Is in the Details

22 Good Selling Is Good Service—Good

Service Is Good Selling

23 Communicating with Customers

in the Digital Age

24 Putting Your Best E-Mail Foot Forward

25 Responding Positively to Negative

Feedback

26 Never Underestimate the Value

of a Sincere Thank-You

Part Four: The Problem-Solving Side of Knock

Your Socks Off Service

27 Be a Fantastic Fixer

28 The Axioms of Service Recovery

29 Use the Well-Placed “I’m Sorry”

30 Fix the Person

31 Fair-Fix the Problem

32 Service Recovery in the Digital Age

33 Recovery: Social Media Style

34 Customers from Hell® Are

Customers, Too

35 The Customers from Hell® Hall

of Shame

Part Five: Knock Your Socks Off Service Fitness:

Taking Care of You

36 Master the Art of Calm

37 Keep It Professional

38 The Competence Principle:

Always Be Learning

39 Party Hearty Activities Connections

“The Knock Your Socks Off” Library

Index

About Performance Research Associates, Inc.

About the Editors

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 10, 2010

    Delivering Knock Your Socks Off Service - It's just what it says it is. It knocks your socks off.

    I love this book. I haven't completely finished it. I am taking a slow read and trying to implement some of the things as I go along. The book starts out with a little bit of explanation on how and why it happened to come into being. It is written with a certain amount of lightheartedness that kind of gives you a nice break.
    "Delivering Knock Your Socks Off Service" is written in such a manner as to get you thinking about everything that you do as a service based company, a retail store or even a warehouse or supply house, it really doesn't matter. It will effect the way you look at everything in your business.
    This book makes you think about your business and gives you the ideas and allows you to make the necessary adjustments to fit those ideas into your daily practice, and change the way you deal with every one of your customers, employees and vendors.
    I hope that you enjoy it and notice the difference that it will make for you.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 20, 2010

    All Socks Off!

    In such a competitive business environment, it behooves us all to take note of what we can possibly do better. Our group has decided to use this book as a tool in our growth. We will read a weekly lesson and have a 10-15 minute discussion at weeks end. So far...so good. I believe this will help us all better understand how to serve beyond the call of duty.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 11, 2004

    Packed With Knowledge!

    In Delivering Knock Your Socks Off Service, Performance Research Associates ¿ with some editorial help from Ron Zemke ¿ highlight the main principles and techniques involved in providing great customer service and resolving customer problems. This lively book features many short chapters, cartoons, bulleted axioms and what-to-do examples. However, much of the information seems very familiar, like a juiced-up version of hints, tips and advice that have appeared in many other customer service books. Thus, it has a kind of déjà vu quality. While someone who is experienced in this field may find the information here too familiar, we recommend this accessible volume as a great introduction to customer service.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 23, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 15, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 19, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 19, 2008

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