Customer service experts Leonardo Inghilleri and Micah Solomon's anticipatory customer service approach was first developed at The Ritz-Carlton as well as at Solomon's company Oasis, and has since proven itself in countless companies around the globefrom luxury giant BVLGARI to value-sensitive auto parts leader Carquest and everywhere in between.
Their experience shows that the most powerful growth engine in a tight marketand best protection from competitive inroadsis to put everything you can into cultivating true customer loyalty. Exceptional Service, Exceptional Profit takes the techniques that minted money for these brands and reveals how you can apply them to your own business to provide the kind of exceptional service that nearly guarantees loyalty.
Soon, you'll be reaping the benefits of loyal customers who are:
- less sensitive to price competition,
- more forgiving of small glitches,
- and, ultimately, who are "walking billboards" happily promoting your brand.
Filled with detailed, behind-the-scenes examples, Exceptional Service, Exceptional Profit unlocks a new level of customer relationship that leaves your competitors in the dust, your customers coming back day after day, and your bottom line looking better than it ever has before.
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About the Author
Micah Solomon is one of the world’s leading authorities on customer service, company culture, and the customer experience. He’s a bestselling author, customer service consultant, and popular keynote speaker. Additionally, he’s a frequent contributor to Forbes and has been featured in The Washington Post, The New York Times, Harvard Business Review, as well as on ABC and CBS.
Solomon is a business leader and entrepreneur, and he was an early investor in the technology behind Apple’s Siri. His broad expertise includes the hospitality industry, healthcare (patient experience), AI (artificial intelligence), retail, automotive, manufacturing, technology, banking, finance, nonprofit, and government.
Read an Excerpt
The Only Shop in the Marketplace
The best thing you can do for your business right now has nothing to do with new technology, economies of scale, or first-mover advantage.
It’s something simpler.
It’s something more dependable.
The single best thing you can do for your business is to build true customer loyalty, one customer at a time.
Everything changes when a customer becomes a loyalist. To the truly loyal customer, you are the only shop in the marketplace. All the other brands and all the other vendors don’t even come into focus. Like someone in love, the loyal customer only has eyes for you.
Few businesses realize how valuable customer loyalty is, and even fewer know how to achieve it consistently. But a company of any size can build great wealth and stability through customer loyalty. Businesses with loyal customers grow faster than others when times are good, and they have the most breathing room when times are bad.
At its root, creating loyal customers is about taking the time to learn about your customers individually and then using simple systems to turn that knowledge into enduring business relationships. In doing so, you turn your offering into much more than a commodity—you turn it into a personal relationship.
The primary threat to a business today is the perception by customers that all you offer is a replaceable, interchangeable commodity. This hazard stalks your every move: No matter how unbreachable your business’s advantages may appear right now, whether they are advantages of technology, geography, or branding, eventually your business model is going to be knocked off. And, in this era of accelerating change, it will likely happen sooner than you think.
Escape this threat of commoditization by creating enduring, loyal a human relationships with customers. It’s the surest way to escape market obsolescence.
The payoff is huge.
Learning to create loyal customers has made all the difference for the companies where Leonardo has been involved, including The Ritz-
Carlton, BVLGARI, The Walt Disney Company, and the new hotel brands—Capella and Solis—that Leonardo heads up with his partners.
The principles that lead to loyal customers will work for you, too.
They’re simple, they’re solid, and they’re replicable. You needn’t work in a luxury industry to apply them. Far from it.
As you’ll learn, Micah used the principles of loyalty to transform a tiny manufacturing and entertainment services company he started in a single room in his basement, with financing that consisted of only a credit card, into a renowned and high-growth enterprise. His approach built his company, Oasis, into one of the top players in its field, as well as attracting attention in the business literature, including case studies in such places as Success magazine and Seth Godin’s bestseller Purple Cow.
Oasis catapulted to success because customers respond with loyalty when you treat them according to the principles and methods we will describe.
Since then, Leonardo and Micah have been able to lend their loyalty-based methodology to a great diversity of industries: from white shoe law firms to restaurants to banks to organic flower farms; from tour operators to independent music labels to convention centers to hospitals. Loyalty pays off—measurably—for all of them.
The reward for using these principles isn’t only financial. As you begin building customer loyalty, your pride in your profession, your integrity, and your ability to build positive relationships (at work, and even in your own home) will also bloom. This happens naturally, because the process of earning loyalty involves caring about your customers a respecting them, and thinking constantly about their needs.
Spending this time being deeply attentive will tone your personality.
Building customer loyalty will require your hard work and thoughtfulness, but it is a refreshingly straightforward process. While so many aspects of business are out of your control—exchange rates a international tension, technological changes—the single most important process, creating loyal customers, obeys predictable, stable rules that can be mastered and then applied successfully for a lifetime.
We’re pleased to help show the way.
Table of Contents
Special Features xi
Foreword by Horst Schulze xv
The Only Shop in the Marketplace 1
The Engineer on the Ladder: Reaching for the Highest
Level of Service 4
The Four Elements of Customer Satisfaction:
Perfect Product, Caring Delivery, Timeliness, and an
Effective Problem Resolution Process 7
Language Engineering: Every. Word. Counts. 14
Recovery! Turning Service Failures Around 26
Keeping Track to Bring Them Back: Tracking Customer
Roles, Goals, and Preferences 45
Building Anticipation Into Your Products and Services:
Putting Processes to Work for You 59
Your People: Selection, Orientation, Training, and
Leadership: Guiding the Customer-Centered
What’s Worth it, and What’s Not? Pointers on Value,
Costs, and Pricing 108
Building Customer Loyalty Online: Using the Internet’s Power to Serve Your Customers and Your Goals 115
Hello/Good-Bye: Two Crucial Moments with a
Oasis Disc Manufacturing: Customer and Phone
Interaction Guidelines and Lexicon Excerpts 147
CARQUEST Standards of Service Excellence 153
Capella Hotels and Resorts ‘‘Canon Card’’: Service
Standards and Operating Philosophy 155
What People are Saying About This
Filled with treasure and big ideas, this book will help you become exceptional.