3. Customers: The Focus of Service Management

3.1. Introduction

There is a keen awareness today among the successful manufacturing and service companies that customers are the most valuable assets a company has. Several years ago, this fact was expressed most convincingly by an executive who achieved one of the most amazing turnarounds in Europe, former CEO of Scandinavian Airlines System (SAS) Jan Carlzon:

Look at our balance sheet. On the asset side, you can still see so-and-so many aircraft worth so-and-so many billions. But it’s wrong; we are fooling ourselves. What we should put on the asset side is, last year SAS carried so-and-so many happy passengers. Because that is the only asset we’ve got—people who are happy with our service and ...

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