During the steady march from a manufacturing to a service economy, businesses that succeeded learned a key lesson. Competing in an era where customers no longer tolerated poor quality required the proactive involvement of people able to take personal responsibility for the creation, sales, and delivery of quality products. Businesses, large and small, learned this lesson well, contributing to a different standard for world-class products and professional services. Unfortunately, many organizations failed to address their next challenge in the same successful manner. A major revelation emerged in the early 90’s—the way a business treated their customer paid dividends. Sadly, while customer service levels in various industries saw slight improvements, levels of customer loyalty, service satisfaction, and customer experiences today are average at best. The challenge is clear: a good product and/or professional service and competitive pricing have now become the ante just to get into the game. Winning and losing are now a function of the human factors that set the tone for the customer.
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