The Customer Rules

The Customer RulesReview by Paul Aas, Loyalty Group

Author: Lee Cockerell
Publisher: Profile Books
Release: 2013
Number of pages: 189
Language: English

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Why you should read this book

One of the things that impresses me most about successful leaders of large companies who are famous for treating their customers in an exquisite manner, -  is their openness and willingness to share their story and actually give away good tips and recipes on how to succeed.

Lee Cockerell, former Executive Vice President of Operations at Walt Disney World Resort, has done just that in his latest book. Through 39 essential rules he shows us how Disney has become such a success, and how other companies can also succeed by working after these principles.

" If you want to create raving fans and have customers brag about you, read this book" says Ken Blanchard, author of "Raving Fans" (earlier reviewed here in LoyaltyNews). We're being reminded that our customers are our single source of revenue and profit, without them we would be out of business and without a job. If any company; large or small, public or private, in any industry, follow Lee's rules you would better serve your customers and your bottom line.

Two interesting quotes from Lee's grandchildren when he asked them about great service set the tone of the whole book: "Be nice" and "Always be the giving one".
Through examples not only from Disney but several other companies he point out why and how it's crucial to deliver top service to succeed.

Main conclusions from the book

Here are some of the rules I "liked" best:

  • Rule #1: Customer Service Is Not A Department; it's everyone's responsibility, and "great service does not cost any more than average or poor service"
  • Rule #3: Great Service Follows The Law Of Gravity; it all start at the top; - without a service focused management that "walk the talk" the organisation won't succeed in their customer relation handling.
  • Rule #24: Just Don't Make Promises, Make guarantees; "promises are like the full moon; if they are not kept at once, they diminish day by day" while a well formulated guarantee show that you care about your product, your company and not least about your customers.
  • Rule #30: Be Relentless About Details; by giving attention to details signalize that you care and also are concerned about the total experience.
  • Rule #34: Never Say No - Except "No Problem"; no is seen as one of the most negative words in any language and often lead to confrontations and unpleasant dialog, something you don't want in your work with customers.
  • Rule #38: Keep Doing It Better; "better is not a destination; it's a journey" and the whole organisation should strive after new ways to improve, - everyday.

After working through the 39 rules you should be able to adapt Lee's wisdom and philosophy and transform it into your business.

In todays "Age of the Customer" your customer is becoming more demanding and better informed, and it's simply not enough to provide a service. If you want to stay in business, you have to operate with such consistency, integrity and creativity that people not only come back to you, but also recommend you to everyone they know.
All statistics show that service is of the most critical factors in the battle of getting and keeping customers. Here you get a recipe on how it should be done.  Through the 39 rules you can secure the most revenue-boosting asset you could wish for: a reputation for brilliant service. 

Evaluation of the book

Another well written "How-To" manual that could have been a bit boring and "old news" if it wasn't for the nice cases presented. I know that a lot of what's presented will bring large challenges to most companies, but the core message is that by focusing on premium service you will get payback.

The book works fine as an inspiration for the whole organisation, and everyone can get ideas and learn from what Disney and others have tried and tested with great success. For readers who are interested to learn more from Lee Cockerell and Disney; check out his book "Creating Magic" and also several speeches on YouTube.

Rating: 6 stars out of 7.

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