Satisfaction: How Every Great Company Listens to the Voice of the Customer


The ultimate guide to customer satisfaction, from the people who understand it better than anyone

For nearly forty years, J. D. Power and Associates has been synonymous with measuring customer satisfaction and helping businesses understand what customers really want. Now two of the company's senior executives, Chris Denove and James D. Power IV, unlock the vault on decades of closely guarded research data-and insights previously available only ...

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Satisfaction: How Every Great Company Listens to the Voice of the Customer

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The ultimate guide to customer satisfaction, from the people who understand it better than anyone

For nearly forty years, J. D. Power and Associates has been synonymous with measuring customer satisfaction and helping businesses understand what customers really want. Now two of the company's senior executives, Chris Denove and James D. Power IV, unlock the vault on decades of closely guarded research data-and insights previously available only to the firm's clients.

This is the first book that really explains how great companies like Lexus, UPS, JetBlue, and Enterprise Rent-A-Car get it right, delivering consistently high customer satisfaction and translating it into profitable growth. It will teach you, for instance, how to:
• Understand the financial link between satisfaction and profits
• Turn customers who are simply 'satisfied' into vocal advocates
• Empower frontline employees to do the right thing
• Use problem resolution as an opportunity to make new fans

Satisfaction offers advice for companies large or small, for product manufacturers, service providers, and retailers alike. It delivers not just a stockpile of customer research, but a road map to developing specific policies and processes. It also tells fascinating stories of companies that don't just talk the talk, but walk the walk every day-and of other companies that ignored the voice of the customer, with dire consequences.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
A customer's experience with a retailer, call center, or web site should be positive. At a minimum, any company's customer service department should acknowledge its customers, answer their calls, and be capable of processing their orders. Customer service is one of the hottest new topics in the world of marketing. Denove and Power, both affiliated with J.D. Power and Associates, get down to the basics of the subject in this book. Most executives seem to understand that if you give people a negative experience, they will tell their friends over and over again, but, as the authors state here, those same executives often fail to see that the company call center-full of tired and unmotivated customer service employees who make up a growing industry in itself-may not be the best way to give customers what they want in the first place. In contrast, JetBlue customer service representatives often get to work out of their homes. Denove and Power do a great job of arguing why customer satisfaction is important for any business and how to make it a part of an entire organization. Similar books include Janelle Barlow and Paul Stewart's Branded Customer Service, which speaks of the emotional level at which good or bad service affects customers, and Jeffrey F. Rayport and Bernard J. Jaworski's Best Face Forward, which argues for programmed customer service technologies, as a stable and predictable solution. Because Satisfaction is really intended for practicing professionals, it is an appropriate acquisition for corporate as well as business school libraries.-Stephen Turner, Turner & Assocs., San Francisco Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Soundview Executive Book Summaries

Despite the rhetoric, most organizations have not made a significant and sustained commitment to customer satisfaction. This lack of attention to customer satisfaction can be costly. There is an intractable connection between high levels of customer satisfaction and increased shareholder value. Anecdotal evidence abounds to support the theory that high customer satisfaction is important, but most chief executives need more than a good story to prod them into action.

The Relationship Between Satisfaction and Shareholder Value
One J. D. Powers and Associates study showed that the relationship between satisfaction and shareholder value wasn't just visible; it was paramount! Companies were divided into one of three groups: companies whose customer satisfaction rank within their industry remained constant, those whose rank improved and those whose satisfaction ranking dropped relative to their industry competitors. The companies that improved customer satisfaction more than doubled their shareholder value! And those whose rank declined lost 22 percent of their value within the previous five years.

Loyalty: The Common Denominator for Improving Customer Satisfaction
Studies show that customer satisfaction does in fact impact the likelihood your customers will return, but customer satisfaction is only one of many factors that determine actual loyalty.

Different Companies, Different Touchpoints
It might be difficult to compare the fortunes of a plumber, a major Japanese automaker and a U.S. office supplies retailer, but Mike Diamond Plumbing, Toyota Motor Co. and Staples have one very important point in common: Each has demonstrated an in-depth knowledge of the various ways its business touches customers and has used that knowledge to maximize both its sales and customer satisfaction. Each company offers up dramatic examples of how the three major categories of businesses - service providers, product manufacturers and retailers - touch its customers in a unique way.

Take Enterprise, for example. Rather than standardize every movement an employee makes, the car rental company lets the unique talent and personality of each employee shine through, thereby providing the branch with the opportunity for greatness in its own unique way. By measuring the relationship between a branch's customer satisfaction and its financial performance, Enterprise was going where few companies had gone before. The results were clear: Narrow the performance gap between branches and overall customer satisfaction will improve.

Consider hotel chains. In the eyes of the customer, best is always better than good. Providing the best, however, just isn't always economically feasible. Not every company can be The Ritz-Carlton; someone has to be the Holiday Inn, and someone even needs to be Motel 6. You just need to balance the financial benefits of any action against the cost.

Just because you're Motel 6 doesn't mean that you shouldn't spend money to improve customer satisfaction. You may find that providing coffee and donuts in the morning is cheap compared to the resulting increase in satisfaction, but that installing down comforters in every room is not.

Full Disclosure
Among other touchpoints, full and honest disclosure during the sales process (both in spirit and in fact) is one of the fundamental features that characterize companies with high customer satisfaction scores. High-scoring companies refuse to mortgage their future and their reputations for a short-term bump in sales. These companies are very clear that short-term profits are meaningless if they come at the expense of a hard-earned spotless reputation.

Perhaps the most common broken promise of all is one made with the intention - or at least the hope - that it will be fulfilled. These “best-case scenario promises” are promises likely to be broken and should never have been made in the first place.

Listen to Complaints
Too many companies that empower their employees to do good watch those employees take the easy way out by trying to buy their way out of a bad situation. Don't just automatically offer a $25 gift certificate to every customer who walks up with a legitimate beef. Take the time to really listen to your customers when they complain. Sure, for many customers the correct, and perhaps only, course of action is to incur the cost to make the problem go away. But, for others, by listening and trying to find the root cause of their discomfort, you will not only be able to do a better job of building advocacy, you may be able to save money in the process. Copyright © 2006 Soundview Executive Book Summaries

—Soundveiw Review
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781591841647
  • Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 6/26/2007
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 727,657
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Meet the Author

Chris Denove is a vice president at J. D. Power and Associates.
James D. Power IV is an executive vice president at J. D. Power and Associates. J. D. Power and Associates, founded in 1968, is a global marketing information firm that conducts independent and unbiased surveys of customer satisfaction, product quality and buyer behavior for many different industries.

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Table of Contents

1 Show me the money 1
2 Loyalty : the common denominator for improving customer satisfaction 17
3 Sorry, boss, but it was out of my control 38
4 The good, the bad, and the advocates 47
5 Different companies, different touchpoints 65
6 Too much of a good thing 81
7 Promises, promises 98
8 Sending a message from the top 116
9 Hitting the jackpot 137
10 The superhero who dressed as a janitor 150
11 Trusting employees to do the right thing 166
12 Turning bad customer encounters into wins 182
13 Building a community, or how to turn your customers into fans 192
14 The Internet : filling the information void for consumers 203
15 Taking control of the online experience 216
16 Manage the store, not the score 223
17 Voice of the customer 231
Measure your own VOC proficiency 255
About J. D. Power and Associates 257
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 9, 2007

    Useful insights about customer satisfaction

    Most companies say they believe in catering to their customers, yet many top executives overlook the connection between service and profitability. Ignoring the ''voice of the customer'' leads to missed opportunities, alienated consumers and disastrous product launches. Chris Denove and James D. Power IV of J.D. Power and Associates are experts in customer satisfaction. They explore the link between customer satisfaction and loyalty, and increased profits. They explain how you can create a ''top down'' corporate culture of customer service that extends from the executive suite to your front-line employees. The authors breathe life into their lessons with examples from their years in the field. If you're interested in giving your customers what they deserve, we believe this book sets a high standard and tells you how to hit it.

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