The Satisfied Customer
A leading expert redefines customer service for the twenty-first century
In a world where consumers have access to an abundance of free information about purchase alternatives, business managers must adapt to a startling new reality. What businesses and investors must realize, says Fornell, is that customers know something that Wall Street has yet to figure out. The Satisfied Customer makes the case that global market forces are all pointing towards one inevitable truth: the cost of poor service will soon be borne by the companies that serve it – not the customers that receive it.
The Satisfied Customer prepares managers and investors for a major shift in economic power that will change how capital moves, how corporate assets are managed, and ultimately, how business is done. This book describes how companies that underestimate the newly-empowered customer are punished by product and equity markets alike, and offers practical advice on how to prosper when buyers are kings and investment capital fuels their power.
The implications of the newly-empowered buyer turn much of conventional business practice on its head. The Satisfied Customer explains how superior financial returns can go hand-in-hand with reduced risk; why customer satisfaction should not be maximized, but customer complaints should; why exceeding customer expectations is a bad idea; why getting too close to customers should be avoided, how customer loyalty can sometimes be too costly, and why high productivity is not always a good thing.
According to the New York Times, Claes Fornell’s American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) is the definitive benchmark for how consumers feel about the products they buy. The Satisfied Customer draws from the ACSI database and CFI Group cases, including examples from Amazon.com, American Airlines, Apple, AT&T, Best Buy, Chrysler, Circuit City, Comcast, Costco, Charter Communications, Dell, Double Tree Club Hotel, eBay, Electrolux, Florida Marlins, Ford, Gateway, Google, Haier, H&R Block, Hyundai, KLM, Kmart, McDonald’s, Northwest Airlines, Microsoft, Southwest Airlines, Sprint Nextel, the Swedish Postal Service, Time Warner, Toyota, Trader Joe’s, Volvo, Whole Foods, and many others, to reveal the winners and losers in the battle for buyer preference.
Claes Fornell developed the American Customer Satisfaction Index. The founder and chairman of CFI Group, an international consulting firm with offices in ten countries, he is the Donald C. Cook Professor of Business at the Stephen M. Ross School of Business and the Director of the National Quality Research Center, both at the University of Michigan. He lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
1. The Big Picture
2. The Science of Customer Satisfaction
3. Winners and Losers
4. Customer Satisfaction and Stock Returns
5. Things Aren’t What They Seem: The Most Common Management Mistakes
6. Customer Asset Management and the Value of Satisfied Customers
7. Companies That Are Doing It Right
“In today’s world of intense global competition, customer satisfaction is a given. Without it, customers quickly move on to another of their endless choices. And they never return. That’s why The Satisfied Customer is a must read.” —Jack Trout, author of The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing and Differentiate or Die: Survival In Our Era of Killer Competition
“First rate! An engaging and practical book full of useful concepts and tools by one of the foremost experts on consumer satisfaction. Be a winner in the battle for customers and read this book.” —Bernd Schmitt, author of Customer Experience Management and Big Think Strategy
“Claes Fornell reminds us if we want to achieve long-term growth and success, companies must invest in their customers. The challenge is knowing how to make smart investments and what measurable outcomes are essential to create satisfied customers. Professor Fornell is providing an important resource for all of us who rely on customer satisfaction to drive the growth of our brands and businesses.” —David Brandon, chairman and CEO, Domino’s Pizza, Inc.
“The concepts and strategies discussed in this book will greatly help business leaders align their organizations in a way that provides tangible results in value creation, customer retention and improved brand position. Fornell’s insights bridge from the boardroom and investors all the way to the frontline serviceworker.” —Jon Ward, Managing Director, Lazard Freres & Co., LLC
“For more than 100 years, AT&T has adhered to the philosophy that delivering an unparalleled customer experience is the key to the long-term reputation and financial health of a company. Mr. Fornell’s passion for this same principle makes him one of the business world’s leading customer service champions.” —Ralph de la Vega, President and Chief Executive Officer, AT&T Mobility
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