Recently I got to read “Once a customer, always a customer: how to deliver customer service that creates customers for life” (revised third edition), a book by Chris DAFFY.
Small book description from Amazon:
Using simple language, real-life examples, graphs and checklists, this book explains how to view your organization and customers in a new light and deliver the exceptional customer service you need in order to differentiate your business from those of your competitors. In this revised edition – which includes a new chapter on e-service – Chris Daffy provides practical advice and examples from Europe, the US and elsewhere on service strategies and techniques to make you famous for your service.
The author has a personal web site.
Now, the review. There are two things which I look whenever I read a book:
a. What the book says;
b. How the book says what it says.
So, what’s there so nice about this book?
A. What the book says:
a. The things I read most on the book were common sense; You can get the same feeling whenever you read some instructions on, let’s say, how to open a door; You already know the process, you do it in your own way, but it’s still comforting to read; Still, you can get new information just from things like this – imagine reading on how to open the door with your elbow; Anyone can do this, but it gets you thinking; The book does a similar thing – it tells you thing you already knew, but you still learn from this;
b. Besides the general truths, known by everyone, the book also gives you some twists; Since you get those twists without ever expecting it, they’re even more pleasant to read; Example: “the need for customer obsession”; You would expect from a book like this to tell you about customer care; But obsession? The author first explains this into a small sentence: “The only way to embed customer service into the culture of a business is through management-led obsession.”; Another twist: “Customers are the business”; (the word are is actually in italics)
c. The thing you’ll get most in your mind are nice structures – Patterns of behavior; “How should I act whenever I meet this situation?”; The book won’t give you a direct answer to any question, but by presenting some basic structures to think about, you’ll take better decisions.
B. How the book says what it says:
a. Case studies – I love this; Not only does the book give you a general affirmation, it presents a real example for this;
b. Bullet lists – This makes text so much easy to read;
c. Three types of text formatting: specific fonts for titles, while for the normal text there are bold, italic and normal text;
d. Logical argumentation – The author likes to play with you; He first tells you something, and then continues to make an argumentation based on that; You have to like this;
e. Essential things put on a list – Synthetic, all the information in one place;
f. Recap – The chapter ends? Why not do a recap? Great idea;
g. Questionnaires and check-lists – This is the closest one could ever get to the atmosphere in a seminar or workshop; You do-it-yourself – check boxes, fill-in data, test results;
h. Graphs – Whenever needed, you’ll find them there;
i. Style – The author is funny and polite; You’ll relax by reading his book.
What conclusions to draw from here? You can read the book as a politeness code – it’s all about behavior and interactions between humans. Sure, it’s a business model, but the applications are there for you to learn and apply. The things the book says to you are not really shockingly new, but they will create you a framework in which to apply real-life situations. And the style of the book, the way in which it is written, allowed even me (I get very easily distracted from the text itself of a reading) to read the book easily.
A recommended book by me. Make a gift to you and get it.