Amaze Every Customer Every Time

Amaze Every Customer Every TimeReview by Paul Aas, Loyalty Group

Author: Shep Hyken
Publisher: Greenleaf Book Group Press
Release: 2013
Number of pages: 235
Language: English

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Why you should read this book

Is this the new Customer Service handbook? With the sub-title "52 tools for delivering the most Amazing Customer Service on the planet", Shep Hyken absolutely raises the expectations of his latest release.

"The message is clear and the lessons are simple. This book is a guide to creating customer loyalty, employee engagement, and overall business success" says the former president of Ritz Carlton Hotels (Customer Service "World Champions" in the hospitality industry).

Shep opens his book by saying that: "A customer-centred culture doesn't happen by accident. It happens because of the influence and conscious choices of the people in the organisation"

And that's what it's all about through the next 230 pages; whatever you do, running your business is a consequence of decisions and ability to transform these through the whole organisation and into the local community and the customers.

Main conclusions from the book

In the book Shep take us through how it is to run, work for and be a customer of Ace Hardware; a 90 year old hardware company with more than 4000 outlets in several countries. Ace has several times been awarded as one of the best customer service providers in the US market.

According to Shep its 7 key principles that have to be understood to get most effect of the content in the Amazement toolbox: 

  • Principle #1: The Moment of Magic; when above-average service is delivered
  • Principle #2: The Moment of Truth; touch points where it's possible to form an impression
  • Principle #3: The Moment of Misery; when Moments of Truth are mishandled
  • Principle #4: The Moment of Mediocrity; when things are only Satisfactory
  • Principle #5: Customer Amazement; by managing Moments of Truth and creating Moments of Magic
  • Principle #6: Internal & External Customers; both Employees and Clients must be amazed
  • Principle #7: The Five Stages; uncertainty, alignment, experience, ownership, amazement related to the Brand promise

 The 52 tools (one chapter each) could be like:

  • "Adapt or die"; listen to your customers...and what changes they expect
  • "Play your strengths"; the best get better by working on their strengths, not on their weaknesses
  • "Consistency"; one of the basic key strategies in customer loyalty building is predictable consistency
  • "Focus on the customers, not the money"; the function of your business is not to make money, but to get and keep customers, and by that reach the goal of making money
  • "The customer is not always right"; if the customer is wrong, let him be wrong with dignity, - after all he's still your customer
  • "Avoid loyalty killers"; be careful to avoid words and phrases that destroy your customers' confidence and loyalty

By examples from Ace Hardware and quotes from customer service capacities, Shep explains in detail what he means by the different tools, and also challenges the reader to look at his/her own business situation through several "drills" as he calls it. The book is also accompanied by a workbook that can be downloaded for free.

Through the book the reader gets brainwashed about why and how to make your business Customer Centric. And the message is clear; by developing a culture with extreme focus on the customers and how they are treated, you will be able to build a winner in every marketplace.

The book rating

I find the book well written, and as mentioned love the examples from Ace Hardware to illustrate the different tools.

52 tools presented over 235 pages can feel a bit hefty from time to time, and you can ask if "all" of them is equally important and necessary. The reader should also bear in mind that it's very "American" in its approach, and that some of the things presented feel a bit "distant" from our European perspective.

But as one Business School reviewer writes:"This book is not meant to be read. It is meant to be used!" And it should be used by all employees in a company; from the CEO to the frontline and back office people. Rating: 6 stars out of 7.


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