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Business Week's Customer Service Champions...

I recently read an article in Business Week about "champions" in customer service. I always enjoy these articles because they provide great insights into customer service innovators and leaders. I also think that you can pick up cool ideas from these organizations. (Click here to read a listing of Business Week’s top 50 customer service champions.)

One particular item in the list of champions caught my attention. It was about True Value Hardware (number 25 on the list). The article said, "Because half of its customers are women, this hardware retailer is remodeling many of its stores to be more female-friendly. Among the changes: moving gardening items to the front of the store and offering a wider selection of paint and bath fixtures. Average transaction size has increased by double digits in the remodeled stores." This reminded me of what Tom Peters has said over and over again - that women are the competitive advantage for businesses in the new millennium.

Tom has been speaking about this for over a decade and, unfortunately, most business leaders have largely ignored his message. Of course, there does seem to be a few exceptions - and True Value is one of them. When you look at Tom’s writings, you’ll see this message comes up a lot. Tom will often mention a note he received in 2000 from Shelley Rae Norbeck. In the note, she said, "I make 1/3rd more money than my husband does. I have as much financial 'pull' in the relationship as he does. I’d say this is also true of most of my women friends. Someone should wake up, smell the coffee and kiss our asses long enough to sell us something! We have money to spend and nobody wants it!" Tom can be particularly funny when he speaks about this often ignored marketing opportunity!

We’ve also had the opportunity to visit (and film profiles) of several other "champions" that were mentioned in the Business Week article. For example, USAA (#1 on the list), Whole Foods Market (#33 ), and Southwest Airlines (#17) are all featured in our program The Excellence Files. It is interesting because these companies have remained leaders for over a decade. Their secret? In a word, it is people. All these companies invest a great deal of time and energy hiring great people. They constantly develop, motivate and train their employees. The result? Outstanding Customer Service! If you’d like to see our profile of USAA, click here.

Posted under Customer Service, Tom Peters by Stewart on Feb 27, 2008 | Comments: 0 | Post a comment»

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