Home HomeContents ContentsPrev PrevNext Next

HPMD Bullets


Here is a sampling of books and chapters that speak volumes about customer service. The single most important lesson we learned from these authors is that excellent customer service is not only a strategic business advantage, it is a fundamental value orientation of the way the people of a business meet the needs of the people seeking its products and services.

Carnegie, Dale, How to Win Friends and Influence People, New York: Simon & Schuster, 1981. This is the classic text on interpersonal communications and the service-oriented relationship.

Heskett, James L., etal., "Putting the Service-Profit Chain to Work," Harvard Business Review, March-April 1994, pp. 164-170. Note the Service-Profit diagram on p. 166.

Hawken, Paul, Growing a Business, New York: Fireside, Simon & Schuster, 1987. The chapter "You Are The Customer, You are the Company" (pp. 191-207) is the gem. The widget example of how bureaucracy is created (pp. 191-192) is priceless. The moral: don't legislate the exception. Also his golden rule of service (my paraphrase): treat employees as you would have them treat customers.

Mackay, Harvey, Swim With The Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive, New York: William Morrow and Company, Inc., 1988. The "Mackay 66" (pp. 43-56) is a list-lovers definition of how to get close to customers. Mackay knows more about his customers than most people know about their parents! Isn't this what building relationships is all about: listening to who your audience is?

Osborne, David and Ted Gaebler, Reinventing Government, New York: Plume, 1992. See chapter 6 on "Customer-Driven Government" on pp. 166-194.

Peters, Tom and Bob Waterman, In Search of Excellence, New York: Harper & Row, 1982. See chapter 6 on "Close to the Customer" on pp. 156-199. This is the book that more than likely started the service revolution. It reviews how excellent companies always put the customer is first.

Peters, Tom, Thriving on Chaos, New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1987. See section II on "Total Customer Responsiveness", pp. 47- 190

Peters, Tom, Liberation Management, New York, Alfred A. Knopf, 1992. Makes the (now) radical statement that the customer is not first (employees are). See chapter 47 on Customerizing on pp. 740-751. Also see pp. 702-721 on customer commitment and trust.

Peters, Tom, The Tom Peter's Seminar, New York: Vintage Books, 1994. The latest Peter's book, based on his management seminar. See chapter 8 on "Toward Wow" on pp. 223-267.

Sewell, Carl, Customers for Life, New York: Doubleday Currency, 1990. Sewell's first two sections are the best statement of a service philosophy we've read (pp. 3-49). While you are at it, read section four on measurement (pp. 81-91). Stanley Marcus' comment in the Afterword sums it up: "If you don't learn from this book, it's your fault." (p. 169).

Zeithmal, Valerie, Delivering Quality Service; Balancing Customer Perceptions and Expectations, Free Press, 1990.

Zemke, Ron (with Dick Schaaf), The Service Edge, New York: New American Library, 1989. Part One on "The Principles of Distinctive Service" (pp. 3-76) provide five timeless principles of excellent service. The segment on good recovery (pp. 21-26) is noteworthy, especially the summary of the TARP study findings (also see. p. 4). Also note pp. 47-58 on service standards and measurements, and pp. 70-76 on recognition and rewards. Then read about Nordstrom (pp. 352-355) and L.L Bean (pp. 378-381).

At HPMD, we are ready to help you tailor and apply the insights of these resources for your specific business needs. Our priority is to develop a long lasting relationship with our clients. We take pride in the fact that most of our business comes from our existing customers.
© Copyright 1994, HP Management Decisions Ltd., All Rights Reserved
© Copyright 1996, 2019, HP Management Decisions Ltd., All Rights Reserved.