Get Your Act Together

Remember the last time you received particularly poor service, perhaps at a restaurant, automotive shop, or airline counter? For many, such ordeals create our most lasting recollections of a company—and often our best cocktail-hour stories. We forget consistently dependable service while remembering the occasional mishap. Companies that falter on the service front discover the hard way that the easiest way to turn a service into an experience is to provide poor service, thus creating a memorable encounter of the most unpleasant kind.

The surest way to provide poor service is to walk every client through the same rote, impersonal routine, never varying, no matter who the individual client is or what he really needs. Customers ...

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