LevWowf 95-4-36


Creating a Customer Focus Revolution in Your Business


Paul Levesque

Irwin Professional Publishing, 1995, 170 pp.


This book is essentially instructions for how to do Customer Focus brainstorming in your operation.  It's worth a try.  Just reading it, my mind shifted somewhat toward the customer.


There is a "snappy summary" at the end of each chapter, something we should do with any new publications.


Rising expectations.  Everybody's expecting more and better and becoming more dissatisfied (and assertive) when it's not forthcoming.  4

We won't willingly undertake change until the pain of not doing so becomes great enough to exceed the pain we anticipate from the change itself.  That's often too late.  5

When increasing the level of profit becomes the primary objective, profits usually suffer.  11

To make your enterprise successful, your primary business objective must become to produce happy customers.  12

Your success is measured by how happy your customers are (the quality of your product) and by the extent to which their numbers are growing (the quantity of your product).  12

Customers expect us to strive very hard to make them happy every step of the way.  Each aspect of the experience that disappoints the customer detracts from the basic value of doing business with us. 

From the customer's point of view, we're actually selling the whole experience of doing business with us.  17

Once we've done whatever needs to be done to satisfy our customers, we frequently need only add some very small touches to transform satisfaction into delight.  19

Customer-focused businesses treat their workers like champions, not like children or criminals.  42

Only about 1 in every 25 unhappy customers actually complain.  44

It's as if he or she were saying, "I know something you don't know.  I know there's something you're doing that's ticking me off.  I'm prepared to tell you about it; in fact, I may even have some recommendations to make regarding how the situation can be improved.  And best of all, I'm prepared to give you all this useful data completely free of charge."  45

A customer with a complaint should be treated like royalty.  45

The way we listen to complaints is critical.  Above all else, under no circumstances, ever, should we dispute the customer's account of what happened, even if we know for certain there are glaring inaccuracies in his or her report.  We are not there to defend ourselves--we are there to learn.  45

Unhappy customers typically share their horror stories with 10 other people.  Satisfied customers are inclined to tell five others about their happy experience.  48

Instead of advertising, let's get our customers telling for us--for free.  Use advertising money to give employs the training and incentives to blow customers' socks off with a level of attention and care that exceeds all expectations.  49

Time is more precious than money.  50

The business that does business more quickly will do more business.   50

Make your business the quicker alternative.  51


The great triumphs of the ages have all been the product of simple people inspired by visionary leaders to achieve heroic objectives.  53

Vision answers the question:  "How will we know when we've accomplished the missions?"  It describes what we'll see that will tell us it's time to celebrate our success.  55

JFK's mission may have been to regain supremacy in aerospace technology over the Russiansa very worthwhile objective.  His vision, however, was a man on the moon before the end of the decade.  55

The visionary leader gives people a precious gift--the opportunity to participate in a triumph.  56


Chapters 5-12 describe the "Customer Focus Process"

The Customer Focus Process can transform the production of happy customers from an occasional accident to a formalized part of the way business is conducted.  85

       A facilitator lists the categories and staff write their ideas on

       post-it notes which the facilitator places in columns on a flip chart.

Key Question #1.  What different categories of customers do we do business with?  91

Key question #2.  What kinds of unique expectations do customers [by category] have when they do business with us?  96  (avoid listing innovative ideas yet)

List the steps in the transaction sequence.  A transaction sequence is a series of approx. 10 steps that summarize what the customer typically experiences in a particular type of transaction.  106

Key Question #3.  What are the various steps our customers typically go through as part of this particular type of transaction? 107

The customer Focus Principles:

       1.  Exceed the customer's expectations every step of the way.

       2.  Make the customer feel important.

       3. Tailor the experience to fit the customer.

Key Question 4:  What could be done in each step to exceed our customers' expectations?  115

Key Question #5.  What could be done in each step to make the customer feel important?  122

Even if no action commitments are made at the end of the session, the participants have nevertheless been through an extremely valuable educational experience which sets the stage for future customer-focus activities. 

Make a CFP Action Log divided into five columns: Action, Person, Target Completion Date, Actual Completion Date, and Notes.  143

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