Delivering Knock Your Socks Off Service
Author: Performance Research Associates
Pub Date: October 2011
Print Edition: $18.95
Print ISBN: 9780814417553
Page Count: 224
Format: Paper or Softback
Edition: Fifth Edition
e-Book ISBN: 9780814417560
Buy the book:
What You Do Is Critically Important
“It’s not enough to merely satisfy the customer;
customers must be ‘delighted’— surprised by
having their needs not just met, but exceeded.”
—A. Blanton Godfrey
Serving customers. The two words cover so much. Answering
questions. Solving problems. Untangling corporate logjams. Fixing
what’s broken and finding what’s lost. Soothing the irate and
reassuring the timid. And time after time, performing the business
equivalent of pulling a rabbit out of a hat.
Not too long ago, working in customer service was just
about as thankless a job as a person could find. Sales? That
was a job with a future. Marketing? Now there was a title with
some prestige. Digital marketing? Wow, the wave of the future.
Advertising? What mystique! Web page design—really cool!
But customer service? Backwater. A burden. A career path to
nowhere. Fellow employees looked down their noses at
“those people who deal with whining customers.” And customers—
well, they mostly seemed to see customer service as
a title for not very bright people who woke up most mornings,
looked in the mirror, grinned wide, and said to their reflections,
“This is going to be a fun day. I’m going to go down there
and annoy the first 217 people I talk to.” And then did just
that. Not exactly positive images.
In the late 1990s, about the time of the dot.com debacle,
professional business watchers began to re-learn something important.
They discovered that organizations that had dedicated
themselves to working hard at giving their customers superior
service were producing better financial results. These organizations
grew faster and were more profitable than the organizations
that were still working as hard as they could to give their
customers as little as possible, whether online, over the phone,
or face-to-face. Now, in the second decade of the new millennium,
it’s not just about focusing on customers, it’s about creating
loyal ones. That’s where the real money is.
In short, companies that emphasize total customer service
make more money and keep customers longer than companies
Researchers also started to notice that highly successful
service organizations had lower marketing costs, fewer upset
and complaining customers, and more repeat business—
customers were “voting with their feet” and beating a path
back to the doors of the companies that served them well.
What’s more, good service had internal rewards: Employee
turnover and absenteeism were lower and morale and job
satisfaction higher in these same organizations. Companies
that asked employees to make customers happy had happier
Almost overnight, being customer-focused, understanding
and meeting customer needs, and coddling customers with
Tender Loving Care became a critical organizational goal. And
received spotlight attention. Books were written. Banners hung.
And speeches made—all trumpeting the importance of customer
service. A revolution in the way customer service was
viewed and valued began—and continues to this day.
In the two decades since the start of the latest service
revolution, we’ve all learned a lot about what it takes to create
and sustain a service advantage. As the world grows ever
smaller, we’ve learned that good service requires a new sensitivity
to the cultural differences and varied service expectations
of customers we serve around the globe. As Baby
Boomers, Generation Xers, and Millennials continue to collide
in the workplace, we’ve learned that each generation has distinct
service preferences that we need to account for in how we
plan or deliver service. And for all we’ve learned, for all that
has been written and said, the most important part of creating
a “service advantage” is still... you.
What you do is important. What you do is work—hard
work. Answering questions. Solving problems. Untangling
corporate logjams. Fixing what’s broken and finding what’s
lost. Soothing the irate and reassuring the timid. Matching
people you do business with with just the right products and
services, and helping them enjoy and get the most out of those
Twenty years ago, Ron and Kristin penned the original
Delivering Knock Your Socks Off Service to share with you
what we had learned about quality customer care during fifteen
years of watching and working with thousands of customer-
oriented customer service professionals. People just like
you who provide great service over and over and over again;
true Knock Your Socks Off Service pros who make their customers’
lives and jobs simpler instead of more difficult, more
interesting and less boring—and who have a heck of a good
time doing it, too.
In the ensuing two decades we have had the opportunity
to work with thousands of customer service professionals
worldwide. And we have learned even more about the fine art
of delivering world class customer care. We have taken those
lessons in hand and to heart, and we present here for your consideration
the Delivering Knock Your Socks Off Service: 20th
Anniversary Edition. You’ll notice something new in the back
matter of this edition: We have included a cross reference feature
that ties back to our book, 101 Activities for Knock Your
Socks Off Service. The recommended activities are tied to
specific chapters of this book as an additional resource.
Whether you are new to customer service or an old pro, we
think there is something here for you. What you do is more important
to your organization than ever before. If this book helps
you to do it even a little bit better, your thanks should go not
to us, but to the thousands of pros who served as our teachers
and mentors. And if you find the journey through these pages
not only helpful but enjoyable, then we’ll have met our customer
Performance Research Associates
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