Centre-ing Customer Satisfaction
US$7 (Free to Members)
A workbook of 52 chapters devoted to every aspect of delivering customer satisfaction, with numerous stories and anecdotes, and reader exercises following each chapter.
Here is what people in the know have said:
“Of more than six hundred customer service-oriented books in print, Graham Williams has produced one that is truly Darwinian in scope and depth. His Centre-ing puts a critical perspective on our technology-driven efforts to satisfy customers and focuses instead on building a balanced scorecard approach to achieving outstanding customer relationship management. Williams’ exhaustive research into contemporary customer service practices has produced a deep and insightful guide to creating and maintaining an environment in which both employees and customers alike may thrive. Using the ‘centre-ing’ model (strategic, operational, emotional) as a basis for the book, he elaborates on each in highly readable detail, building a business framework that is enabled, rather than driven, by technology. This book is ground-breaking and authoritative and should be read by anyone who is serious about customer satisfaction”. –
Michael Cusack, Partner:On Line Customer Care Inc. USA.
“’The fact is that the consistent delivery of excellent and ever-increasing service remains a rarity’. So says Graham Williams in the preface of his new book, and truer words were never spoken. We live in a time when the tools are available for delivering more and better service, and yet, there are gaps and misfires everywhere. Williams is a consultant based in South Africa who has spent the better part of two decades exploring the relationship between companies and their customers. Indeed, it’s a measure of how global this industry has become that some of the sharpest and most original thinking about call centers – like Williams’ – is now coming from outside the US.
Williams’ book is a guide to refashioning a company’s relationship with its customers. It’s is not going to tell you how to buy a switch or tune your workforce management software. Instead, it guides you through the more sophisticated and less intuitive challenges you’ll face when trying to figure out what your customers want and how you can best satisfy them.
For example, Part One is given over to the Strategic Challenges. How do you integrate the quest for “centred” customer service into an overall business philosophy? What does it mean for customers to actually be satisfied? What values are involved, on both sides of the equation? These may seem abstract, but it’s become apparent to us in recent years that before you spend the company treasury on systems and tools, you need to have a clear-eyed vision of what you want, and why you want it, and how you plan on getting it.
From there, Williams moves on to the details: the Operational Challenges faced when you try to put that philosophy and vision into action. Here he deals with measurements and benchmarks, and most important, with the issue of how to build skills and competencies among the people who deliver service. He's got a point of view that's very healthy among call centre thinkers - a human-oriented approach that acknowledges that people and their skills are inherently more important to the service delivery process than the tech surrounding them; that ultimately good tools help improve skilled people, but good tools will not necessarily provide a boost to poorly trained and uninterested people.
This leads to a third major section of the book, which deals with the Emotional Challenges of the customer/ company relationship. Describing these chapters, Williams says ‘they are about people and people’s values, about combining the mechanistic with the humanistic. Ultimately it’s the emotional factors that determine success or failure…….Business today desperately needs compassion, civility and the release of people-power’.
Williams has crafted a sharp, detailed, richly interesting work that should be read by any call center professional, but especially by those who are caught in the trap between the need to improve service levels and the opposite need to reduce costs. After some time spent remembering the core ideas behind centering customer satisfaction, those two poles will seem much less meaningful.”
– Keith Dawson, Call Center News Service, USA
"Written in a practical, easy to use and understand manner, this collection of articles provides teaching material not available elsewhere. It equips the reader with insightful perspectives which are a major contribution to the field of marketing" –
Felicity Fitzgerald, Course Director for the Chartered Institute of Marketing Diploma, South Bank University, London
“A remarkable book on How-to improve customer satisfaction and retention. Graham Williams bares all his inside knowledge from 15 years of working as a Customer Service Consultant. The full Monty. No Hype and plenty of Gold Nuggets are to be found in the 250 pages of this Manual to improve your organisation.
As a Dane living in Australia my only regret after my first initial reading of this book is that Graham Williams is a whole continent away. I would really like to work with him.. However with his book he has given me Insights that will help improve my work helping organisations deliver service which exceeds customer expectation.” –
Niels Kjellerup, Editor & Publisher, The Call Centre Managers Forum, Australia
"These down to earth, practical based observations and comments are exactly what the busy manager needs to read and think about. They have become a regular feature of my fortnightly senior staff meetings, and I believe they should be brought to the benefit of many more managers struggling with customer service issues (internal and external)" -
Rodney Phillips, Director, Baxter Theatre, Cape Town
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