Best Face Forward: Why Companies Must Improve Their Service Interfaces With Customers

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9780875848679: Best Face Forward: Why Companies Must Improve Their Service Interfaces With Customers
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In Best Face Forward, Jeffrey F. Rayport and Bernard J. Jaworski argue that as this "front-office automation" revolution unfolds, competitive advantage will increasingly depend on deploying the right mix of interfaces with customers - human, automated, and hybrids of both - to surpass current levels of performance and service. Based on extensive research inside both start-up and established businesses, Best Face Forward proposes guiding principles and a practical auditing tool for determining how humans and machines can best collaborate in mediating critical customer interactions. Far from dehumanizing the workforce, the authors show how this revolution will create a "people-rich" workplace - one that combines the unique capabilities of humans and machines to create a better world for all of us.

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From the Inside Flap:

"Rayport and Jaworski’s book is an invaluable guide to understanding the nature of the massive technological transformation underway It provides the tools to navigate the opportunities and avoid the risks."

--Michael E. Porter, Bishop William Lawrence University Professor, Harvard University

"Rayport and Jaworski vividly capture the unfolding dynamic reconfiguration of the service interface between customers and providers. Their book provides executives with valuable and unique guidance in balancing the irreplaceable aspects of human beings and the functionality of emerging technologies."

--Gary W. Loveman, CEO, Harrah’s Entertainment

"Increasing service productivity through front-office reengineering is the challenge of the decade. Rayport and Jaworski's guide to this frontier is precise, pragmatic, and highly readable. Get it before your competitors do."

--Michael Hammer, coauthor of Reengineering the Corporation

"This book is absolutely essential reading. Its ideas are provocative and actionable, deeply thought out and clearly expressed, and as much fun to read as they are important to consider."

--Gerald Zaltman, author, How Customers Think and Joseph C. Wilson Professor of Business Administration, Emeritus, Harvard Business School

"Are you wondering whether information technology matters? Of course IT does. Rayport and Jaworski make the case anew and in spades with their revelations on front-office reengineering and its impacts on service productivity."

--Bob Metcalfe, Ethernet inventor and founder, 3Com Corp.

"Deploying people and new technology in the service of customers without reading this book is like going on a trip to a new destination without a road map."

--James L. Heskett, Baker Foundation Professor, Graduate School of Business Administration, Harvard University

"This book is a milestone and required reading for everyone dealing with the service sector—not only for marketers but, above all, for senior managers of service-driven organizations."

--Peter Lorange, President and Nestlé Professor of Strategy, IMD

"How do you put people and technology together seamlessly to drive down costs and improve the quality of services? Best Face Forward is a guide not only to leading the new service economies to greater productivity and greater growth, but also to seeing what our future will be."

--Peter Schwartz, Cofounder and Chairman, Global Business Network

About the Author:

Jeffrey F. Rayport is Chairman and Founder of Marketspace LLC, a subsidiary of Monitor Group. Bernard J. Jaworski is Vice-Chairman of Marketspace LLC and heads its Monitor Executive Development business unit.

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