Author: John Tschohl
Publisher:  Best Sellers Publishing – 111 pages (published in 2005)
Book Review by: Sonu Chandiram

In the Acknowledgments section of this book, John Tschohl thanks two people (besides his family members who are mentioned in all the books reviewed here):  Hazel Brown, his administrative assistant who retired after working 29 years with him at the Service  Quality Institute, and Vicki Stavig, his publicist and writing assistant.

I mention this because I believe it is extremely important to say ‘thank you’ privately and publicly, who help you in any setting.

In today’s highly competitive business marketplace, it is becoming more and more difficult to acquire and retain customers. In other words, to have customers who stay with you, instead of abandoning your company and going to your competitors for the products and services you provide. How does your company build that critical quality of loyalty in your customers?

This book is about that important quality that companies seek in their customers, and the steps necessary to attaining that goal are discussed in this handy book with these chapters:

  1. What is Service Recovery?
  2. From Hell to Heaven
  3. Service Strategy
  4. Word-of-Mouth Advertising
  5. Training Is Critical
  6. Empowerment
  7. Kiss Restrictive Policies Goodbye
  8. Moving Heaven and Earth
  9. Is the Customer Always Right?
  10. Service Recovery Examples
  11. Service Recovery Policies and Procedures
  12. Worksheet for Your Firm

One of the most important chapters I found in this book was No.7 – Kiss Restrictive Policies Goodbye.

Large companies typically have policies relating to customers, and some of those policies have been put in place by top management because they believe that either customers will take advantage of lenient policies, or that their employees will be lenient with the customers, costing the company a lot of money that will eat into its profits.

I believe policies should be fair and balanced, and should protect both the company and its customers, preventing loss of money or time, both of which are important in today’s fast-paced world.

But it is important for top management to realize that acquiring and retaining customers is a costly part of any business operation, and overly strict policies can hurt them, if not immediately, then over the longer term.

John Tschohl makes this point by writing in this chapter: “Bureaucrats love policies and procedures because it eliminates the need to think, to make decisions. The larger the organization, the more it focuses on policies and procedures. What those bureaucrats fail to realize is that replacing a customer who is on the receiving end of a ridiculous policy that prevents him from being satisfied with your service is much more expensive than providing the type of service that would keep him from defecting.”