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February 6, 2006

News & Opinion: Are your customers humming along to the Rolling Stones?

By: 800-CEO-READ @ 3:41 PM – Filed under: Management & Workplace Culture

Do your customers sound like Mick Jagger at Superbowl halftime singing "I Can't Get No Satisfaction"? I've still got that song playing in my head from last night.
Alright, they may not actually be singing that. There is a new book out on customer satisfaction called Satisfaction -- and as far as I know, there are no references to Mick Jagger in it.
You may be more familiar with the book than you'd guess. The author, James D. Power IV is from the J.D. Power and Associates -- the company that measures customer service.
Here's what James says about customer service in a recent interview with Inc. magazine:
You know you have a customer service problem if...
"You're spending more money to acquire new customers compared with competitors or compared with internal standards. Employee turnover is another indication."

If you have a problem....
"Consumers aren't expecting perfection, but they want problems to be dealt with in a forthright way."
He gives an example of Lexus. When they were first starting, there were a few "minor problems with its cars". So "they rushed a letter of apology to every customer, then had the dealerships pick up the vehicles and bring them in for repairs."
James said that Lexus' actions helped to improve customer satisfaction ratings and "it had a positive impact on brand image."