What Customers Like About You
Adding Emotional Value for Service Excellence and Competitive Advantage
Once every few years a book comes along which compels managers around the world to sit up and totally re-evaluate their approach to achieving business success.
What Customers Like About You is such a book. It confronts head-on many of the conventions of modern management, marketing and customer service and presents some fundamental challenges to current practice which can only be ignored at a company’s peril.
Despite numerous customer service ‘improvement programs’, customer satisfaction levels are falling and complaints are rising. The decline in service levels is costing companies billions in lost revenue. Furthermore, many marketing initiatives to build customer ‘relationships’ and ‘loyalty’ are not only failing but proving counter-productive.
David Freemantle argues that in the age of hyper-competition there is a critical missing link – doing the things that your customers like. He shows that by adding emotional value (e-value) to everything a company and its people do, the probability of being liked by customers increases along with profitability.
In a competitive world it is relatively easy to copy product and price, but it is virtually impossible to copy people and brand. Adding emotional value is at the heart of the debate about people management and customer service. Customers want to be liked by the people serving them.
At a strategic level, companies need to choose and develop the emotional value they add to the brand and to the organization itself, while at an operational level front-line employees need to choose the emotional value they add to the transaction, whether this takes the form of fun or authenticity, friendliness or integrity. They need to get into the habit of getting out of the habit.
Standing existing convention on its head, the author argues that our obsession with systems, procedures and ‘scientific management’ when dealing with customers and employees can actually damage the relationship with them and threaten profitability. To achieve excellent customer service, rules have to be broken.
You may also be interested in David Freemantle’s The Buzz: 50 Little Things that Make a Big Difference to World Class Customer Service
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