I was delighted to see that Tony Cram has written another book - he has a knack for noticing important details, and his Smarter Pricing: How to capture more value in your market ("Financial Times" S.) book was brilliant. This book is separated into a Prologue, 8 Acts, and an Epilogue. Given that the book is about finishing touches, I immediately read the Epilogue before I looked at the rest of the book. And like the pro he is, he left me wanting even more, and keen to spread the word. It's a great and very practical book, all about not peaking too early, and about how to orchestrate the type of customer experience that evolves into a fruitful customer relationship. While he doesn't just dwell on the 'finish', he does emphasise its importance, particularly in influencing word-of-mouth referrals. He builds a strong case, using numerous practical examples to illustrate his argument, with frequent use of case studies and 'how to' lists to encourage the reader to have a go. As someone who is in the service business, I know how easy it is to 'check out' too early, forgetting that it is the remembered memories that create the lasting impact. Thank you for this timely reminder.
Customer Service has been the Cinderella of Marketing.In the eighties it was flavour of the month with Tom Peters and Jan Carlzon.Since then we have seen re-engineering and outsourcing and Customer Service has been viewed as a cost and not as a critical part of the value proposition. The Finishing Touch is very timely ,because many companies are now rediscovering Customer Service. What i like about the book is that it covers both the subject from both the Strategic and Tactical perspectives. The eight Acts take you through the whole process.It is very readable and practical and full of nuggets that can help make Customer Service a real differentiator for your business.
This book is something really special. It's a classic and surely one of the best books ever written on the subject of customer service. Writing in his familiar, lucid style Tony Cram puts over his central message by breaking it down into manageable ideas supported by a wealth of practical examples. The message is clear from the outset: high quality service is dependent on nurturing and developing customer relationships all along the line. The successful customer experience can be likened to an unfolding drama divided into a number of acts that culminate in "the finishing touch" - the grand finale which leaves the customer wanting more.
Dividing the book into acts rather than chapters is an ingenious idea. The author has clearly thought about how best to keep the reader fully engaged with the text at all times. This engagement not only serves to sustain interest but has the added benefit of lodging nuggets of advice firmly in the mind. Each act describes a different stage in the service cycle and each is full of cogent analysis and thoughtful insights. Drawing on his vast experience and depth of understanding Tony Cram offers a mix of long-term strategies and practical tips which can be applied across the service sector whatever the size of the organisation. For example, in Act 4 a wide range of strategies is suggested to mitigate negative feelings associated with queuing, and in Act 5 techniques are offered to make customers feel important, and therefore happier.
Every page of this book has something to be savoured and yet, because of the way it is written and structured, the reader is never overwhelmed with too much information. Everyone with an interest in customer service should buy the book, read it and act upon it. On the whole standards of customer service are improving but too many organisations still have a lot of work to do in this area. I can think of plenty of service providers whose businesses would benefit enormously if they followed just a few of the precepts in The Finishing Touch. Let's hope someone will sent them a copy so that they too can absorb the most essential precept of all - that establishing relationships with customers is not only good for the customer but is good for business. This is what Tony Cram is telling us so powerfully and persuasively. We should heed his message and take on board his advice.
Tony has done it again ! This book is for everyone who wants their business to deliver excellence in customer service. It is superbly structured taking the reader through the eight acts in a service encounter. Each chapter ends with examples of best practice divided between mass service, service shop and professional service. This is important as no other book to my knowledge recognize the difference between different types of service businesses and how this affect the actions taken in each step. Easy to read and pact with practical advice.