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Pay brand-new employees $2,000 to quitMake customer service the responsibility of the entire company-not just a departmentFocus on company culture as the #1 priorityApply research from the science of happiness to running a businessHelp employees grow-both personally and professionallySeek to change the worldOh, and make money too . . .
Sound crazy? It's all standard operating procedure at Zappos, the online retailer that's doing over $1 billion in gross merchandise sales annually. After debuting as the highest-ranking newcomer in Fortune magazine's annual "Best Companies to Work For" list in 2009, Zappos was acquired by Amazon in a deal valued at over $1.2 billion on the day of closing.
In DELIVERING HAPPINESS, Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh shares the different lessons he has learned in business and life, from starting a worm farm to running a pizza business, through LinkExchange, Zappos, and more. Fast-paced and down-to-earth, DELIVERING HAPPINESS shows how a very different kind of corporate culture is a powerful model for achieving success-and how by concentrating on the happiness of those around you, you can dramatically increase your own.
To learn more about the book, go to www.deliveringhappinessbook.com.
When it comes to refined service and exquisite hospitality, one name stands high above the rest: The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company. With ceaseless attention to every luxurious detail, the company has set the bar for creating memorable customer experiences in world-class settings. Now, for the first time, the leadership secrets behind the company's extraordinary success are revealed.
The New Gold Standard takes you on an exclusive tour behind the scenes of The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company. Granted unprecedented access to the company's executives, staff, and its award-winning Leadership Center training facilities, bestselling author Joseph Michelli explored every level of leadership within the organization. He emerged with the key principles leaders at any company can use to provide a customer experience unlike any other, such as:Understanding the ever-evolving needs of customers Empowering employees by treating them with the utmost respect Anticipating customers' unexpressed needs and concerns Developing and conducting an unsurpassed training regimen
Sharing engaging stories from the company's employees--from the corporate office and hotels around the globe--Michelli describes the innovative methods the company uses to create peerless guest experiences and explains how it constantly hones and improves them.
The New Gold Standard weaves practical how-to advice, proven leadership tools, and the wisdom of experts to help you create and embed superior customer-service principles, processes, and practices in your own organization.
(7L) The Seven Levels of Communication tells the entertaining and educational story of Rick Masters, who is suffering from a down economy when he meets a mortgage professional who has built a successful business without advertising or personal promotion. Skeptical, he agrees to accompany her to a conference to learn more about her mysterious methods. Rick soon learns that the rewards for implementing these strategies are far greater than he had ever imagined. In seeking success, he finds significance. This heartwarming tale of Rick’s trials and triumphs describes the exact strategies that helped him evolve from the Ego Era to the Generosity Generation. This book is about so much more than referrals. This is about building a business that not only feeds your family, but also feeds your soul.
Now Burg and Mann answer that question in Go-Givers Sell More, a practical guide that makes giving the cornerstone of a powerful and effective approach to selling.
Most of us think of sales as convincing potential customers to do something they don't really want to. This mentality sets up an adversarial relationship and makes the sales process much harder than it has to be.
As Burg and Mann demonstrate, it's far more productive (and satisfying) when salespeople think like Go-Givers. Cultivate a trusting relationship and focus exclusively on creating value for the other person, say the authors, and great results will follow automatically.
Drawing on a wide range of examples of real-life salespeople who have prospered by giving more, Burg and Mann offer tips and strategies that anyone in sales can start applying right away.
Closing the sale is where most people balk, feel uncomfortable or even stall. They just can't bring themselves to ask someone for money -- even when the person will receive incredible benefits in exchange for that money. Even worse, people ask for the sale and when the buyer doesn't immediately jump at it, they change the subject and stop the sale themselves.
Don't let this happen to you. When done properly, the move into closing the sale is smooth as silk. And when you handle the close as Tom Hopkins teaches you, you'll walk away with more business than you thought you could ever get.
Knowledge builds competence and confidence. Become a more confident (and more successful) salesperson. Get started by reading and implementing the strategies in this book. It'll be the best return on your money you've ever gotten!
Turning the well-known adage of “Nice Guys Finish Last” on its ear, THE POWER OF NICE shows that “nice” companies have lower employee turnover, lower recruitment costs, and higher productivity. Nice people live longer, are healthier, and make more money. In today’s interconnected world, companies and people with a reputation for cooperation and fair play forge the kind of relationships that lead to bigger and better opportunities, both in business and in life.
But being nice doesn’t mean acting wimpy. In fact, nice may be the toughest four-letter word you’ll ever encounter.
Kaplan Thaler and Koval illustrate the surprising power of nice with an array of real-life examples from the business arena as well as from their personal lives. Most important, they present a plan of action covering everything from creating a positive impression to sweetening the pot to turning enemies into allies. Filled with inspiration and suggestions on how to supercharge your career and expand your reach in the workplace, THE POWER OF NICE will transform how you live and work.
In their acclaimed bestseller The Challenger Sale, Matthew Dixon and his colleagues at CEB busted many longstanding myths about sales. Now they’ve turned their research and analysis to a new vital business subject—customer loyalty—with a new book that turns the conventional wisdom on its head.
The idea that companies must delight customers by exceeding service expectations is so entrenched that managers rarely even question it. They devote untold time, energy, and resources to trying to dazzle people and inspire their undying loyalty. Yet CEB’s careful research over five years and tens of thousands of respondents proves that the “dazzle factor” is wildly overrated—it simply doesn’t predict repeat sales, share of wallet, or positive wordof-mouth. The reality:
Loyalty is driven by how well a company delivers on its basic promises and solves day-to-day problems, not on how spectacular its service experience might be. Most customers don’t want to be “wowed”; they want an effortless experience. And they are far more likely to punish you for bad service than to reward you for good service.
If you put on your customer hat rather than your manager or marketer hat, this makes a lot of sense. What do you really want from your cable company, a free month of HBO when it screws up or a fast, painless restoration of your connection? What about your bank—do you want free cookies and a cheerful smile, even a personal relationship with your teller? Or just a quick in-and-out transaction and an easy way to get a refund when it accidentally overcharges on fees?
The Effortless Experience takes readers on a fascinating journey deep inside the customer experience to reveal what really makes customers loyal—and disloyal. The authors lay out the four key pillars of a low-effort customer experience, along the way delivering robust data, shocking insights and profiles of companies that are already using the principles revealed by CEB’s research, with great results. And they include many tools and templates you can start applying right away to improve service, reduce costs, decrease customer churn, and ultimately generate the elusive loyalty that the “dazzle factor” fails to deliver.
The rewards are there for the taking, and the pathway to achieving them is now clearly marked.
From the Hardcover edition.
Lee Cockerell knows that success in business--any business--depends upon winning and keeping customers. In 39 digestible, bite-sized chapters, Lee shares everything he has learned in his 40+ year career in the hospitality industry about creating an environment that keeps customers coming back for more. Here, Lee not only shows why the customer always rules, but also the Rules for serving customers so well they'll never want to do business with anyone but you. For example:
Rule #1: Customer Service Is Not a Department
Rule #3: Great Service Follows the Laws of Gravity
Rule #5: Ask Yourself "What Would Mom Do?"
Rule #19: Be a Copycat
Rule #25. Treat Every Customer like a Regular
Rule #39: Don’t Try Too Hard
As simple as they are profound, these principles have been shown to work in companies as large as Disney and as small as a local coffee shop; from businesses selling cutting-edge technologies like computer tablets to those selling products as timeless as shoes and handbags; at corporations as long-standing as Ford Motors and those as nascent as a brand new start-up. And they have been proven indispensible at all levels of a company, from managers responsible for hiring and training employees, setting policies and procedures, and shaping the company culture to front line staff who deal directly with clients and customers
Chock-full of universal advice, applicable online and off, The Customer Rules is the essential handbook for service excellence everywhere.
Drawing on his incredible success in transforming his Dallas Cadillac dealership into the second largest in America, Carl Sewell revealed the secret of getting customers to return again and again in the original Customers for Life. A lively, down-to-earth narrative, it set the standard for customer service excellence and became a perennial bestseller. Building on that solid foundation, this expanded edition features five completely new chapters, as well as significant additions to the original material, based on the lessons Sewell has learned over the last ten years.
Sewell focuses on the expectations and demands of contemporary consumers and employees, showing that businesses can remain committed to quality service in the fast-paced new millennium by sticking to his time-proven approach: Figure out what customers want and make sure they get it. His “Ten Commandants” provide the essential guidelines, including:
• Underpromise, overdeliver: Never disappoint your customers by charging them more than they planned. Always beat your estimate or throw in an extra service free of charge.
• No complaints? Something’s wrong: If you never ask your customers what else they want, how are you going to give it to them?
• Measure everything: Telling your employees to do their best won’t work if you don’t know how they can improve.
Here is the 200,000-copy staple, praised by Warren Buffett as "a gem ... I wish everyone at Berkshire would follow [Jack Mitchell's] advice--we would own the world."
If you want to put your arms around your business and bottom line, you'll want all the updated information and practices found in the landmark business bestseller, Hug Your Customers. The only way to stay in business is to have customers; the only way to increase your profit is to attract more customer visits by providing exceptional customer service. It's that simple says Jack Mitchell. Hug Your Customers shares the hands-on practical philosophy that has allowed Mitchell and his Family of Stores to thrive and excel in today's challenging retail marketplace. Filled with accessible advice, personal case studies and tips any businessperson can use, Hug Your Customers is an energizing blueprint for customer and employee retention, increased per capita spending, and groundbreaking success.
Each guide is an easily accessible primer to economic sectors,regions, or other components of the global stock market. While thisguide is specifically on Health
Care, the basic investment methodology is applicable foranalyzing any global sector, regardless of the currentmacroeconomic environment.
Following a top-down approach to investing, FisherInvestments on Heath Care can help you make more informeddecisions within the Health Care sector. It skillfully addresseshow to determine optimal times to invest in Health Care stocks andwhich Health Care industries have the potential to perform well invarious environments.Explains some of the sector’s key macrodrivers—like its defensive characteristics, economic cycles,and investor sentimentShows how to capitalize on a wide array of macro conditions andindustry-specific features to help you form an opinion on each ofthe industries within the sectorTakes you through the major components of the industries withinthe global Health Care sector and reveals how they operateOffers investment strategies to help you determine when and howto overweight specific industries within the sectorOutlines a five-step process to help differentiate firms inthis field—designed to help you identify ones with thegreatest probability of outperforming
Filled with in-depth insights, Fisher Investments on HealthCare provides a framework for understanding this sector and itsindustries to help you make better investment decisions—nowand in the future. With this book as your guide, you can gain aglobal perspective of the Health Care sector and discoverstrategies to help achieve your investing goals.
Drawing on years of experience consulting with the top customer service companies around the world and in his role building his first business, John Robert’s Spa, into one of the top 20 salons in the US, DiJulius will show you exactly how to create your very own Customer service revolution and make price irrelevant.
Picture your ideal customer: friendly, eager to meet, ready to coach you through the sale and champion your products and services across the organization. It turns out that’s the last person you need.
Most marketing and sales teams go after low-hanging fruit: buyers who are eager and have clearly articulated needs. That’s simply human nature; it’s much easier to build a relationship with someone who always makes time for you, engages with your content, and listens attentively. But according to brand-new CEB research—based on data from thousands of B2B marketers, sellers, and buyers around the world—the highest-performing teams focus their time on potential customers who are far more skeptical, far less interested in meeting, and ultimately agnostic as to who wins the deal. How could this be?
The authors of The Challenger Customer reveal that high-performing B2B teams grasp something that their average-performing peers don’t: Now that big, complex deals increasingly require consensus among a wide range of players across the organization, the limiting factor is rarely the salesperson’s inability to get an individual stakeholder to agree to a solution. More often it’s that the stakeholders inside the company can’t even agree with one another about what the problem is.
It turns out only a very specific type of customer stakeholder has the credibility, persuasive skill, and will to effectively challenge his or her colleagues to pursue anything more ambitious than the status quo. These customers get deals to the finish line far more often than friendlier stakeholders who seem so receptive at first. In other words, Challenger sellers do best when they target Challenger customers.
The Challenger Customer unveils research-based tools that will help you distinguish the "Talkers" from the "Mobilizers" in any organization. It also provides a blueprint for finding them, engaging them with disruptive insight, and equipping them to effectively challenge their own organization.
Most advertising and marketing people would claim great client service is an elusive, ephemeral pursuit, not easily characterized by a precise skill set or inventory of responsibilities; this book and its author argue otherwise, claiming there are definable, actionable methods to the role, and provide guidance designed to achieve more effective work.
Written by one of the industry's most knowledgeable client services executives, the book begins with a definition, then follows a path from an initial new business win to beginning, building, losing, then regaining trust with clients.
It is a powerful source of counsel for those new to the business, for industry veterans who want to refresh or validate what they know, and for anyone in the middle of the journey to get better at what they do.
In North America, call centers are a $13 billion business,employing 4 million people. For managers in charge of a call centeroperation, this practical, user-friendly guide outlines how toimprove results measurably, following its principles of revenuegeneration, efficiency, and customer satisfaction. In addition,this new edition addresses many industry changes, such as the newtechnology that's transforming today's call center and thelocation-neutral call center. It also helps readers determinewhether it's cost-efficient to outsource operations and looks atthe changing role and requirements of agents.The ultimate call center guide, now revised and updatedThe authors have helped over 60 companies improve theefficiency and effectiveness of their call center operationsOffers comprehensive guidance for call centers of all sizes,from 20-person operations to multinational businesses
With the latest edition of Call Centers For Dummies,managers will have an improved arsenal of techniques to boost theircenter's bottom line.
If you’ve tried manipulative, self-focused selling techniques that demean you and your customer, if you’ve ever wondered if selling could be more than just talking people into buying, then Integrity Selling for the 21st Century is the book for you. Its concept is simple: Only by getting to know your customers and their needs — and believing that you can meet those needs — will you enjoy relationships with customers built on trust. And only then, when you bring more value to your customers than you receive in payment, will you begin to reap the rewards of high sales.
Since the publication of Ron Willingham’s enormously successful first book, Integrity Selling, his sales program has been adopted by dozens of Fortune 500 companies, such as Johnson & Johnson and IBM, as well as the American Red Cross and the New York Times. In his new book, Integrity Selling for the 21st Century, Willingham explains how his selling system relates to today’s business climate — when the need for integrity is greater than ever before.
Integrity Selling for the 21st Century teaches a process of self-evaluation to help you become a stellar salesperson in any business climate. Once you’ve established your own goals and personality traits, you’ll be able to evaluate them in your customers and adapt your styles to create a more trusting, productive relationship.
Drawing upon Willingham’s years of experience and success stories from sales forces of the more than 2,000 companies that have adopted the Integrity Selling system, Ron Willingham has created a blueprint for achieving success in sales while staying true to your values.
Developing successful business-to-business relationships withmore customers in highly competitive markets requires processes andskills that go beyond traditional selling activity. The very beststate-of-the-art strategies are set out clearly in this book byintentionally known authors who have worked at the highest levelswith more key and strategic account managers worldwide thanprobably any other leading advisors. Based on the hugelyinfluential KEY CUSTOMERS it looks at:Why has account management become so critical to commercialsuccess?What are the key challenges and how do successful companiesrespond?What part does key account management play in strategicplanning?How do companies build profitable relationships with theircustomers?How does key account management actually work?What does a successful key account manager look like and whatskills does he/she need?How should key account managers be evaluated and rewarded?How do companies achieve key account management?
By addressing these key questions Woodburn and McDonald providetools and processes for success honed by tough consultancy projectswith the boards of some of the world's leading companies. The bookstresses the elements that really matter - from developing acustomer categorization system that really works and analyzing theneeds of key accounts; to understanding the new skills required bykey account managers and ensuring that key account plans areimplemented. The 'real world' approach is backed by testedprinciples and the latest research from the renowned CranfieldSchool of Management.
Key Account Management comes from authors who have taughtleading companies how to approach their most powerful and demandingcustomers and still make money. It is essential reading for allsenior management with strategic responsibility, for key orstrategic account directors, and for marketing and salesexecutives. The clear and authoritative approach also makes it anoutstanding text for the serious MBA and executive student as wellas business-to-business company directors and key accountmanagers.
What does your company do better than anyone else? What unique value do you provide to your customers? How will you increase that value next year? Drawing on in-depth studies and interviews with the top CEOs in the country, renowned business strategists Michael Treacy and Fred Wiersema reveal that successful companies do not attempt to be everything to everyone. Instead, they win customers by mastering one of three "value disciplines": the highest quality products, the lowest prices, or the best customer experiences. From FedEx to Walmart, the companies that relentlessly focused on a single discipline not only thrived but dominated their industries, while once powerful corporations that didn't get the message, from Kodak to IBM, faltered.
Presented in disarmingly simple and provocative terms, The Discipline of Market Leaders shows what it takes to become a leader in your market, and stay there, in an ever more sophisticated and demanding world.
Ignoring them is.
Eighty percent of companies say they deliver outstanding customer service, but only 8 percent of their customers agree. This book will help you close that gap by reconfiguring your customer service to deliver knockout experiences.
The near-universal adoption of smartphones and social media has fundamentally altered the science of complaints. Critics (“haters”) can now express their displeasure faster and more publicly than ever. These trends have resulted in an overall increase in complaints and a belief by many businesses that they have to “pick their spots” when choosing to answer criticisms.
Bestselling author Jay Baer shows why that approach is a major mistake. Based on an extensive proprietary study of how, where, and why we complain, Hug Your Haters proves that there are two types of complainers, each with very different motivations:
·Offstage haters. These people simply want solutions to their problems. They complain via legacy channels where the likelihood of a response is highest—phone, e-mail, and company websites. Offstage haters don’t care if anyone else finds out, as long as they get answers.
·Onstage haters. These people are often disappointed by a substandard interaction via traditional channels, so they turn to indirect venues, such as social media, online review sites, and discussion boards. Onstage haters want more than solutions—they want an audience to share their righteous indignation.
Hug Your Haters shows exactly how to deal with both groups, drawing on meticulously researched case studies from businesses of all types and sizes from around the world. It includes specific playbooks and formulas as well as a fold-out poster of “the Hatrix,” which summarizes the best strategies for different situations. The book is also filled with poignant and hilarious examples of haters gone wild, and companies gone crazy, as well as inspirational stories of companies responding with speed, compassion, and humanity.
Whether you work for a mom-and-pop store or a global brand, you will have haters—and you can’t afford to ignore them. Baer’s insights and tactics will teach you how to embrace complaints, put haters to work for you, and turn bad news into good outcomes.
From the Hardcover edition.
In today's fast-paced networked economy, professionals must work harder than ever to maintain and improve their business skills and knowledge. But technical mastery of one's discipline is not enough, assert world-renowned professional advisors David H. Maister, Charles H. Green, and Robert M. Galford. The key to professional success, they argue, is the ability to earn the trust and confidence of clients. To demonstrate the paramount importance of trust, the authors use anecdotes, experiences, and examples -- successes and mistakes, their own and others' -- to great effect. The result is an immensely readable book that will be welcomed by the inexperienced advisor and the most seasoned expert alike.
Customer success teams are being created in companies to quarterback the customer lifecycle and drive adoption, renewals, up-sell and advocacy. The Customer Success philosophy is invading the boardroom and impacting the way CEOs think about their business. Today, Customer Success is the hottest B2B movement since the advent of the subscription business model, and this book is the one-of-a-kind guide that shows you how to make it work in your company.
From the initial planning stages through execution, you'll have expert guidance to help you:
Understand the context that led to the start of the Customer Success movementBuild a Customer Success strategy proven by the most competitive companies in the worldImplement an action plan for structuring the Customer Success organization, tiering your customers, and developing the right cross-functional playbooksCustomers want products that help them achieve their own business outcomes. By enabling your customers to realize value in your products, you're protecting recurring revenue and creating a customer for life. Customer Success shows you how to kick start your customer-centric revolution, and make it stick for the long term.
Sarah Petty and Erin Verbeck are here to show you that there's a radically different way to run a small business--
one in which the owners focus on creating specialized offerings and an over-the-top customer experience, not on matching the prices of their competition. Worth Every Penny encourages you to explore and use this model, which is designed to maximize your advantages over the big-box stores and other discounting competitors.
You'll learn how to:
-- Build a brand that lays the foundation for you to charge what your offerings are worth.
-- Create products, services and high-touch customer experiences to achieve healthy margins and an outspokenly happy and loyal client base.
-- Understand how to use a pricing strategy that allows you to create demand and attract the right customers instead of discounting.
-- Throw traditional advertising to the wind and implement a boutique way of marketing to excel in this competitive business environment.
-- Learn the relationship-based sales skills needed to close every sale and have your clients clamoring for more.
The authors' strategies are enhanced by real-life business experiences and vivid anecdotes from all types of business owners--restaurateurs to contractors to professional service providers and photographers. With the advice in Worth Every Penny, you will be inspired to live your passion and pass your enthusiasm on to your customers. The result: a profitable business that avoids succumbing to the pressure to discount.
If you can measure your key business relationships, you canimprove them. Even though relationships are "fuzzy and intangible,"they can be measured and managed-with powerful results.
Measure What Matters explains simple, step-by-stepprocedures for measuring customers, social media reputation,influence and authority, the media, and other keyconstituencies.Based on hundreds of case studies about how organizations haveused measurement to improve their reputations, strengthen theirbottom lines, and improve efficiencies all aroundLearn how to collect the data that will help you betterunderstand your competition, do strategic planning, understand keystrengths and weaknesses, and better respond to customerpreferencesAuthor runs a successful blog and serves as a measurementconsultant to companies such as Facebook, Southwest Airlines,Raytheon, and Allstate
Don't draw conclusions or make key decisions based on guesswork.Instead, Measure What Matters and the difference will showin the most important measure: your bottom line.
Employee-owners exhibit such enthusiasm for their organization that they infect countless customers with similar satisfaction, loyalty, and dedication. Customer-owners are in turn so satisfied with their experience that they relate their stories to others, persuade them to try your product, and provide constructive criticism and new product ideas.
As a new generation of managers has been changing the way that products and services are designed and delivered, authors Heskett, Sasser, and Wheeler have followed the evolution of this new ownership model. Case studies from companies as diverse as Harrah's Entertainment, ING Direct, Build-a-Bear Workshop, and Wegmans Food Markets bring home the central principle of engagement - and showcase ways to raise the ownership quotient among both your employees and your customers. With the authors' decades of consulting and research paving the way, you'll learn to identify your customer-owners; consistently exceed their expectations in ways they truly appreciate; and foster, measure, and grow the Ownership Quotient throughout your company.
An organization that learns how to cultivate an ownership attitude creates a self-reinforcing relationship between customers and front-line employees. The lifetime value of a customer-owner can be equivalent to that of more than a hundred typical customers. And that makes the lifetime value of an employee who can promote customer ownership priceless.
This powerful and practical book shows you how to add that value to your company and delight your employees, customers, and investors. Is your organization ready to make the transition to an ownership state of mind?
The Simple Truths of Service is an inspiring true story about Johnny, a very special young man whose creative choices will spark the way your company approaches their clients. By putting his own personal mark on each customer interaction, Johnny makes it clear that the bottom line of service is to lead with the heart.
His story, along with many others, provide a tool kit for the success of your company. After reading this book, your service team will be bursting with new ways to stand out from the crowd and really make a difference.
Whether you are a retailer, manufacturer, distributor, or service provider – if you cannot answer this question, you are surely losing customers, clients and market share. This eye-opening book reveals how identifying your competitive advantages and trumpeting them to the marketplace is the most surefire way to close deals, retain clients, and stay miles ahead of the competition.
The five fatal flaws of most companies:
? They don’t have a competitive advantage but think they do
? They have a competitive advantage but don’t know what it is—so they lower prices instead
? They know what their competitive advantage is but neglect to tell clients about it
? They mistake “strengths” for competitive advantages
? They don’t concentrate on competitive advantages when making strategic and operational decisions
The good news is that you can overcome these costly mistakes – by identifying your competitive advantages and creating new ones. Consultant, public speaker, and competitive advantage expert Jaynie Smith will show you how scores of small and large companies substantially increased their sales by focusing on their competitive advantages. When advising a CEO frustrated by his salespeople’s inability to close deals, Smith discovered that his company stayed on schedule 95 percent of the time – an achievement no one else in his industry could claim. By touting this and other competitive advantages to customers, closing rates increased by 30 percent—and so did company revenues.
Jack Welch has said, “If you don’t have a competitive advantage, don’t compete.” This straight-to-the-point book is filled with insightful stories and specific steps on how to pinpoint your competitive advantages, develop new ones, and get the message out about them.
“The biggest marketing flaw in most companies is their failure to fully reap the benefits of their competitive advantages. Either they think they have a competitive advantage but don’t. Or they have one and don’t realize it. Or they know they have a strong competitive advantage but fail to promote it adequately to their customers and prospects.
“In my research with middle-market companies, I found only two CEOs out of 1,000 who could clearly name their companies’ competitive advantages. The other 99.8 percent could offer only vague, imprecise generalities. These same CEOs often rely on outside consultants to guide strategic-planning sessions. Yet, in my experience, very few consultants – even seasoned ones – give competitive advantage evaluation more than a superficial glance….
“Ignoring your competitive advantages can be an expensive and even fatal mistake. Because no matter the size of your company or the kind of business you are in, your competitive advantages should be the foundation of all your strategic and operational decisions. They’re the reasons customers choose to buy from you instead of the other guy.” – From Creating Competitive Advantage
From the shuttered factories of the Rust Belt to the strip malls of the Sun Belt-and almost everywhere in between-America has been transformed by its relentless fixation on low price. This pervasive yet little- examined obsession with bargains is arguably the most powerful and devastating market force of our time, having fueled an excess of consumerism that blights our landscapes, escalates personal debt, lowers our standard of living, and even skews of our concept of time.
Spotlighting the peculiar forces that drove Americans away from quality, durability, and craftsmanship and towards quantity, quantity, and more quantity, Ellen Ruppel Shell traces the rise of the bargain through our current big-box profusion to expose the astronomically high cost of cheap.
When it comes to innovation, Curt Carlson and Bill Wilmot of SRI International know what they are talking about—literally. SRI has pioneered innovations that day in and day out are part of the fabric of your life, such as:
•The computer mouse and the personal computer interface you use at home and work
•The high-definition television in your living room
•The unusual numbers at the bottom of your checks that enable your bank to maintain your account balance correctly
•The speech-recognition system used by your financial services firm when you call for your account balance or to make a transaction.
Each of these innovations—and literally hundreds of others—created new value for customers. And that’s the central message of this book. Innovation is not about inventing clever gadgets or just “creativity.” It is the successful creation and delivery of a new or improved product or service that provides value for your customer and sustained profit for your organization. The first black-and-white television, for example, was just an interesting, cool invention until David Sarnoff created an innovation—a network—that delivered programming to an audience.
The genius of this book is that it provides the “how” of innovation. It makes innovation practical by getting two groups who are often disconnected—the managers who make decisions and the people on the front lines who create the innovations—onto the same page. Instead of smart people grousing about the executive suite not recognizing a good idea if they tripped over it and the folks on the top floor wondering whether the people doing the complaining have an understanding of market realities, Carlson and Wilmot’s five disciplines of innovation focus attention where it should be: on the creation of valuable new products and services that meet customer needs.
Innovation is not just for the “lone genius in the garage” but for you and everyone in your enterprise. Carlson and Wilmot provide a systematic way to make innovation practical, one intimately tied to the way things get done in your business.
Teamwork isn't enough; Creativity isn't enough; A new product idea isn't enough
True innovation is about delivering value to customers. Innovation reveals the value-creating processes used by SRI International, the organization behind the computer mouse, robotic surgery, and the domain names .com, .org, and .gov. Curt Carlson and Bill Wilmot show you how to use these practical, tested processes to create great customer value for your organization.
From the Hardcover edition.
Money Lessons from a Money Manager speaks directly to theindividual who wants to manage their own investment portfolio justlike a professional portfolio manager would. Written by portfoliomanager William Thomason, this comprehensive guide providesprofessional investment advice on how to identify, research andultimately purchase profitable investments. The book covers suchsubjects as fundamental analysis, understanding financialstatements and financial ratios, when to buy and sell, portfolioconstruction and various investment strategies that readers can useto manage their own money just like a professional portfoliomanager. Easy to read and informative, this book is a valuableresource for readers looking to take their first steps in the worldof professional portfolio management for themselves.
Renowned customer experience expert Shep Hyken explains how consistently amazing customers through stellar service can elevate your company from good to great. All transformations require a role model, and Shep has found the perfect role model to inspire your team: Ace Hardware. Ace was named as one of the top ten customer service brands in America by Businessweek and ranked highest in its industry for customer satisfaction. Through revealing stories from Ace’s over-the-top work with customers, Shep explores the five tactical areas of customer amazement: leadership, culture, one-on-one, competitive edge, and community.
Delivering amazing service requires everyone in your organization to step up and be a leader. It doesn’t take a title. It takes the right set of tools and principles. To help you empower employees at all levels, Shep brings the content to a deeply practical level. His 52 Amazement Tools—like “Ask the extra question” and “Focus on the customer, not the money”—are simple, clear, useful for almost anybody, and supported with compelling research and stories.
Between these covers, you will find the tools and tactics you need to transform your company into a seriously customer-focused operation that will amaze every customer every time.