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Improving service quality has finally become a top priority of management today, yet according to service quality expert Leonard Berry only a handful of companies have managed to determine exactly what to improve and how to improve it. For the past two years, Berry studied dozens of companies of all sizes renowned for their capacity to deliver what they promise and more. From his on-site observation of the strategies and practices of such companies as Mary Kay Cosmetics, Tattered Cover Book Store, Longo Toyota & Lexus, Lakeland Regional Medical Center, and Hard Rock Cafe, Berry has constructed a dynamic new framework for improving service.
This framework provides a roadmap for implementation found nowhere else in the service quality literature. In every chapter Berry draws on his twelve years of research in service quality to explain each part of the framework in detail. He provides rich insights and inspiring examples of great service -- including numerous examples unique to this book as well as the classic success stories of USAA, Taco Bell, and many more. Berry shows that a company must (1) develop service leadership skills and values -- a concept substantially different from developing general leadership; (2) build a service quality information system; and (3) create a comprehensive service strategy based on the four principles of great service: reliability, surprise, recovery, and fairness. He demonstrates how these four principles, when adopted by the leadership and infused into the systems of a service company, are the building blocks of the framework and form the anchor for implementation.
Berry shows how the "artistry" of great service can be systematically created from this foundation through a company's organizational structure, technology, and often under utilized human resources assets. He challenges service managers to set their service quality aspirations higher, and his innovative, practical ideas will help them achieve those higher standards. Linking service excellence to value creation, Berry provides solid financial reasons for the necessity of great service. Here, at last, is the book for which managers in every service industry have waited: Leonard Berry's "operating manual" for turning plans for great service into action.