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Zingerman's Guide to Giving Great Service

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Overview

Entrepreneurial phenomenon Ari Weinzweig, co-founder of the much-loved Zingerman's Deli, shares the secrets to providing world-class customer service.

Zingerman's in Ann Arbor, Michigan, is a beloved deli with some of the most loyal clientele around. It has been praised for its products and service in media outlets far and wide, including the New York Times, Men's Journal, Inc. Magazine, Esquire, Atlantic Monthly, USA Today, and Fast Company. And what started out as a small deli...

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Overview

Entrepreneurial phenomenon Ari Weinzweig, co-founder of the much-loved Zingerman's Deli, shares the secrets to providing world-class customer service.

Zingerman's in Ann Arbor, Michigan, is a beloved deli with some of the most loyal clientele around. It has been praised for its products and service in media outlets far and wide, including the New York Times, Men's Journal, Inc. Magazine, Esquire, Atlantic Monthly, USA Today, and Fast Company. And what started out as a small deli has grown to a flourishing restaurant, catering service, bakery, mail-order operation, creamery, and training business.

Booming business and loyal customers are proof enough that the Zingerman's team knows a thing or two about customer service. Now in Zingerman's Guide to Giving Great Service, co-founder Ari Weinzweig shares the unique Zingerman method of treating customers, giving the reader step-by-step instructions on what to teach staff, how to train them, how to implement the training, how to measure their success, and finally, how to reward performance.

Some of Zingerman's time-tested principles:

  • Customers who get a great product but poor service won't be as loyal as those who are disappointed with a product but get great service.
  • You'll get more complaints if people believe you care enough to listen to them. And that's a good thing.
  • Employees who are rewarded, respected, and well cared for treat customers the same way.
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Editorial Reviews

Ari Weinzweig
"Zingerman's Guide reads like a high-powered seminar, with humorous illustrations and quick-reference information."
Niche
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781401301439
  • Publisher: Hyperion
  • Publication date: 12/28/2004
  • Pages: 144
  • Sales rank: 96,958
  • Product dimensions: 5.34 (w) x 7.74 (h) x 0.61 (d)

Meet the Author

Ari Weinzweig, along with Paul Saginaw, founded in 1994 Zingerman's Community of Businesses, which includes Zingerman's Delicatessen, Zingerman's Creamery, and Zingerman's Bakehouse. He lives in Ann Arbor, MI.

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Table of Contents

Preface 1
Part 1 Teaching It: Effective training on the art of giving great service 9
Part 2 Defining It: Zingerman's recipe for successful service 37
Part 3 Living It: Making the recipe a reality 69
Part 4 Measuring It: Setting up a scorecard for service 87
Part 5 Rewarding It: Appreciating great service givers 95
Final Thoughts 99
Appendix Handy service tools 103
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 3 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 2, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Customer Service

    The book I recently read, Zingerman's Guide to Giving Great Service by Ari Weinzweig is based on the experiences of the author in taking his tiny, hole-in-the-wall Ann Arbor, Michigan deli and turning it into a $25 million enterprise. He attributes his success to vastly superior customer service and wrote this guide to help teach others his "secrets."

    Zingerman's is a hugely popular place to go and when you come to visit this area, that's where you go! It's always packed, the service is impeccable, and the experience is always positive for the customers. Nobody ever has anything bad to say about it. So, it makes sense that Weinzweig, the engine behind this fabulous institution, would be sought-after training on customer service.

    Though I found the book itself to be a little slow going, the message is one that I think is right on the money. You can't deny him the credit for taking his 1,300-square-feet deli and growing it into this huge business - without turning it into a chain and remaining solely in Ann Arbor! This is an incredible story and there is something there. Anyone interested in learning more about how a small company can accomplish extraordinary things will really enjoy this book.

    The book could have benefited from some more specific examples - service stories, if you will - but Weinzwig did provide very specific and practical advice on how to deliver better service. The book teaches the keys to better in-person experiences with your clients and that can be useful in all industries. The tips even drill down to such basics as how to be polite, how close to stand to someone when speaking with them in different service situations, and how to answer the phone professionally.

    One thing I really appreciated, as a business owner, was being reminded that measuring your service performance is really important. How do we measure up today? This week? This month? This year? Did we do better than yesterday? Without measurements, it can be hard to track progress and recognize where you might be dropping the ball.

    Overall, I thought the book was repetitive, but that's mainly because Weinzwig is so passionate about service he really wants to reinforce the lessons. He loves what he does so much that it just hops off the page to you. It's undeniable.and that's what I ended up taking away from the book.

    Even more than his commitment to service and the endless hours he's spent studying it, teaching about it, and guaranteeing that his business is run to that higher standard, his passion is what has led to his success. He hasn't written a book about passion, but that is the lasting message of his story.

    Loving what you do will make you more successful and make you feel more successful and people - employees and customers - will want to be around that! That enthusiasm is probably an even bigger factor in Zingerman's success than the service. And we could all use more lessons in that!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 10, 2007

    Actionable steps in easy to read format

    Ari Weinzweig writes his 'recipes' for great customer service in an easy to digest format that any entrepeneur or manager can incorperate into their business. The narrative style makes the reading a pleasure and the simplicity of the material makes the adoption of these proven strategies with in the reach of every business owner whose vision includes great customer service. I highly reccomend this book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 29, 2005

    Insightful !

    Customer service is not theoretical; you want practical advice from someone with hands-on experience. Author Ari Weinzweig has the credentials to deliver first-hand advice since he actually worked at the counter of Zingerman¿s Delicatessen in Ann Arbor, Michigan (and is the co-founder of its group of eight businesses). We recommend this jazzy little book and the restaurant, with its good reputation and good food. It¿s also as expensive as any famous deli in Manhattan, which - coupled with great service - could explain how it expanded. Who can argue with success? Weinzweig¿s book, which is very literate despite its purple cartoons, covers the tactics he used to cultivate customers and to encourage staffers to deliver great service. He examines the obvious features of memorable service. And, in the course of retracing the basics, he often provides new insights and refreshing ideas about making customers feel special. Small business owners, service managers and human resource managers and staffers should all order a copy. Read it with a side of slaw and a big dill pickle to get the full effect.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 16, 2005

    Zingerman gives lousy service

    The material is good. Packaging is good. But why in the world is the author reading the book. He had the most monotonous, boring tone I have ever heard in my life. It was not great service. It was pathetic. I buy lots of books and tapes on business, etc. This was the worst delivery I have ever heard. I do not return items for refund nor do I ever complain. But since the cds go on about giving great service, I had to write this. Delivering good content with a monotonous voice would be like serving goodies on a filthy plate. It would have cost very little to hire a talented college actor to read the book. I feel ripped off. It is ironic that the author is so concerned with his food service customers but doesn't transfer this concern over to his listening customers.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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