Service America in the New Economy

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9780071377225: Service America in the New Economy

Service America was Dow-Jones Irwin's best selling book in history. Published in 1985, it has now sold more than two million copies worldwide in hardcover and paperback (Warner acquired the paperback rights, but their contract can be terminated within six months). As the definitive book on customer service--and the first major title in the field--it helped to define the category, spurring on dozens of imitators and creating an entirely new customer-service publishing category. Their seminal book became the blueprint that companies used to reform their service management strategies. In the original, Karl Albrecht and Ron Zemke predicted that delivering customer service value would become more and more important in the years ahead. Although no one could have predicted the new digital world, Karl Albrecht makes a powerful argument for why customer service is even more important in the new economy. He contends that customer service has suffered a major setback in the new e-commerce marketplace: "Web-based businesses, so far, at least, have probably set back the state of the art in delivering customer value by at least ten years. Even the best of them have simply transformed their businesses into virtual vending machines. The mindless use of digital technology to depopulate the customer interface will turn out to be one of the biggest mistakes many companies will ever make." As examples, Albrecht points to many industries and companies in which it seems virtually impossible to get a human being on the phone (e.g. phone company, airlines etc). Customers are becoming tired of inferior levels of service (e.g. United Airlines customers), and Albrecht predicts that the problem will only get worse as e-commerce becomes more commonplace.

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From the Back Cover:

The Long-Awaited Follow-Up to the Classic Customer Revolution Call-to-Arms

The first edition of Service America!, published in 1985, forced companies across the globe to rethink­­and reinvent­­their business strategies. Over a half-million copies and several translations later, it still stands as corporate America's single most important and influential customer relationship manifesto.

Service America in the New Economy revisits this classic guidebook, then updates it with new insights and methodologies for refining your organization's performance during the "moments of truth." Unsparing and direct, it reestablishes Karl Albrecht and Ron Zemke as the standard-bearers for a human-values focus in the radically new global marketplace.

Praise for the Bestselling First Edition of Service America:

"Their message is an important one for all companies."
­­J.W. Marriott, Jr.
President, Marriott Corporation

"An uncommonly sensible guide."
­­Kirkus

"Highly recommended to people engaged in the growing service sector of the American economy."
­­Library Journal

"A panoramic view of customer service in America."
­­HRD Review

Today's technological innovations­­introduced with the promise of streamlining and simplifying interactions between consumers and businesses­­instead threaten the very foundation of genuine service. Too many businesses are building an ever-widening digital moat of impersonal­­and impenetrable­­technology around themselves. At the same time, they have relegated proven principles of successful customer relations­­concepts like actual service, value creation, and simple human interaction­­to the dustbin, leaving customers increasingly frustrated and alarmingly disloyal.

The emperor has no clothes­­and it's high time someone in the crowd spoke up.

In Service America in the New Economy, service management icons Karl Albrecht and Ron Zemke do more than speak up. They reveal time-proven strategies for restoring customer value to the center stage of business. While retaining the core concepts from its paradigm-setting predecessor Service America!, their newest book offers new thinking and updated case examples, and adds an entirely new dimension of techniques for winning and keeping customers in the new, technologically-based global economy.

In keeping with the insights of Service America!, this updated and expanded treatment delivers digital-age strategies and solutions for controlling the Moment of Truth­­that all-important episode in which the customer comes into contact with the organization and gets an impression of its service. Leaving behind clichés and platitudes, Albrecht and Zemke tackle complex concepts and issues including:

  • The 10 Eternal Truths of Service­­Durable service management lessons that will outlive momentary­­but ultimately ineffectual­­fads, movements, and manias
  • Customer-Friendly Systems­­Ways to design facilities, policies, procedures, and communication processes for the convenience of the customer­­not the organization
  • Combining Tech with Touch­­Strategies for having real service people act­­in a human capacity­­to supply value in an otherwise technological interaction

A generation ago, customer service was treated more as a discretionary chore than a competitive requirement. Service America! exploded onto America's corporate scene and changed the rules forever. Now let Service America in the New Economy renew, revalidate, and extend the principles set forth in Service America!, and attune your organization for the true service revolution which is right around the corner.

About the Author:

Karl Albrecht is co-author of the original Service America and author of At America's Service. (Irwin, 1987). Albrecht is a world-renowned thinker, speaker and author on organizational and individual performance. He is chairman of Karl Albrecht International and has provided consulting services and seminars in Europe, the Middle East, and Australia, as well as throughout the U.S. Ron Zemke is co-author of the original Service America, and is also the key author in Amacom's successful Knock Your Socks Off Service series. Knock Your Socks off books have sold over one million copies worldwide.

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