Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.
For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.
For those who wish to improve their business, here is a fresh and innovating look at customer service - the most important element in creating a successful business sin the 90s, from the co-author of The One Minute Manager.
|Publisher:||Random House Audio Publishing Group|
|Edition description:||Abridged, 1 Cassette, 90 min.|
|Product dimensions:||4.38(w) x 7.00(h) x 0.77(d)|
About the Author
Ken Blanchard is chairman of the board of Blanchard Training and Development, Inc. He is the co-author of The One Minute Manager and eleven other bestselling books. His books have combined sales of more than 12 million copies in more than 25 languages. He lives in San Diego, California.
Sheldon Bowles is president of Ode to Joy Ltd., a diversified holding and management company, and founding president of Domo Gasoline Corporation, which he built into a $75 million company. He lectures throughout North America and Europe, serves on several boards, and lives in Winnipeg, Canada.
Read an Excerpt
Panic. Palpitations and Panic. He was aware of sweaty palms and cold feet as he wandered around his new office, the Area Manager's office.
He had expected to feel the responsibility of the new job resting heavily. What he hadn't counted on was the President's advice.
Thinking to prove himself worthy of the new position, he had promised the President to drive for quality in his department. Total quality.
"Great idea. Too narrow a focus," the President had told him abruptly. "Quality is how well our product works in relation to the customer's need. That's just one aspect of customer service. Customer service covers all the customer's needs and expectations."
Then she'd added in a quiet but firm voice, "Remember, this company was built on customer service. If those others had understood that they'd still be here. I trust you'll do better."
The Area Manager knew that "those others" were the three Area Managers who had cycled through the office before him. Each lasting about eight months. The Area Manager also realized that "those others" had all known more about customer service than he did. He wondered what chance he had to hold the job.
"The only positive thing about this panic," he thought, "is that it shows I'm in touch with reality."
The Area Manager eased himself down into his chair. He closed his eyes and leaned back, wondering how long it might be before he too was ejected and joined "those others".
As he thought about his future and customer service, he heard a small, attention-getting cough. He decided it must be his imagination and kept his eyes closed.
A second, louder, more persistent cough caused him tolook up. At first he saw nothing. Then he realized a man was sitting on the couch. A stranger wearing sport clothes, and beside him, a golf bag.
"Ah, there you are," said the stranger as if he had just discovered the Area Manager, who, shocked to find anyone in his office, managed to stammer, "Who are you? I mean, what are you doing here?"
"I'm your Fairy Godmother," the stranger replied seriously. Then he added brightly, "As for what I'm doing here, I'm here to show you the three magic secrets of creating Raving Fans, the ultimate in customer service.
"Also, I'd hoped we might get in a round or two of golf. The heavenly links are so crowded you have to book at least a month in advance," he added with an apologetic shrug, gesturing toward the golf clubs.
"I'm not in touch with reality," the Area Manager thought. "I've already gone off the deep end."
"No, you haven't," said the stranger, reading the Area Manager's mind. "Nothing is more real than your Fairy Godmother. You'll want to remember that."
"You can't be my Fairy Godmother," the Area Manager challenged, "you're a man." That obvious fact, he decided, was irrefutable evidence that he was dreaming.
"I know it's a bit unusual, but I came in on the quota."
"Yes," confirmed the stranger. "You see, Fairy Godmothering is traditionally a female job and so, under the Celestial Equal Opportunities legislation, the job has been assigned a quota. When I applied I was snapped right up."
The Area Manager gave his head a sharp shake as if to drive the stranger away.
"Hi, still here," said the stranger gleefully, lifting his wrist and wiggling his fingers in greeting.
"Well, then, do you have a name, Fairy Godmother?" the Area Manager asked.
"A name? Yes, I keep forgetting about names. Here people usually call me Charlie. Let's make it Charlie, shall we?"
"Fine. Charlie it will be," said the Area Manager, wondering how he would get this nut case out of his office. "You're here about customer service, then?"
"You could say that," said Charlie. "Although, in another way, I am customer service. It's all a bit tricky," smiled Charlie, "depending on how you approach it."
"Of course," the Area Manager said in a tone of voice most people reserve to humor the very young or the very old. "So where do we begin?"
This wisdom isn't a secret. Mission statements, annual reports, posters on the wall, seminars, and even television programs all proclaim the supremacy of customers. But in the words of Shakespeare, this wisdom is "more honoured in the breach than the observance." In fact, generally speaking, customer service, in a word, stinks.
And no wonder. Look at how we've been training our managers. When I was in college, we took courses in marketing and consumer behavior. The assumption was that the public was a mindless group of buyers and that with proper advertising and promotion, products could be produced en masse and sold to naive buyers. Unfortunately, as I tour the country speaking, I find too many young managers still think this way. Advertising, product positioning, and marketshare pricing strategies are all important. But when all is said and done, goods aren't sold; products and services are bought.
Since most service is awful, America is ripe for a revolution. Although we may not be following the mission statements and wall posters, the recognition of the need for customer service is there. More and more, managers in individual organizations are zeroing in on customers, and their success stands as a beacon for others. Five to eight years ago, the quality wave was about to break over us. We discovered quality isn't enough. Today the customer-service wave is swelling larger than the quality wave, and whenit fully hits, those not prepared will be washed into history.
What success I've enjoyed in business, with my books, my public speaking, and the many volunteer community organizations I've worked for, has been due to looking after customers-seeing them as individuals and trying to understand all their needs. I wish I'd been able to read Raving Fans years ago. This book is Ken Blanchard at his best. And that is very, very good indeed. He and co-author Sheldon Bowles have taken an important, complex subject, peeled back all but the critical core, and set out fundamental truths in a simple, understandable, and enjoyable form. Decide, Discover, and Deliver will become your guideposts, as they have become mine, to creating Raving Fans.
I can't think of two better people to write about this subject than Ken and Sheldon. I have known both of them for well over a decade through ourinvolvement with the Young Presidents' Organization-an educational association of presidents under the age of forty who run companies with more than fifty employees and $5 million in sales. Sheldon and I were members of YPO, and Ken has been a topresource teacher for this group since 1977. Ken has been my writing mentor and the initial "prodder" for me to write How to Swim with the Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive. He has an incredible way of making complicated subjects simple and leaving people with gems they can apply immediately. Sheldon, along witha team he would insist be given credit here, built Domo, a full-service retail gasoline business, into a customer-service legend.
Raving Fans may be an easy, fun read, but the message is dead serious. I'll be buying a copy for every single one of my employees at Mackay Envelope Corporation. Those wanting to create Raving Fans and enjoy future success will do likewise.