Chapter TwoThe “I. C.A.R.E.” Principles

We've got to take care of these people. Honestly, Walt, we've got to expand Fantasyland. We've got to expand this park.

—Dick Nunis

To be very blunt, service across the United States stinks. As we identify in our research of more than 500 U.S.-based organizations, over 60 percent of service throughout the country is average or worse—both of which are unacceptable. The disparity between good and poor service shows a total disconnect and disrespect for who the customers are and the fact that these individuals pay our salaries. That is why our idea of Toxic service is such a powerful concept—because we finally have a descriptive and appropriate term to define it.

Our research considered the caliber of service at several of the largest organizations in the United States—and we found that most consumers are less than impressed with the Experiences they're having. These organizations may have their business models down to a science, but their customer service model is inconsistent at best, and nonexistent at worst. Smaller companies—or as we call them, the Family 500—are a bit better at pleasing their customers than the Fortune 500. According to a 2011 American Express survey, 80 percent of Americans agreed that smaller companies place a greater emphasis on customer ...

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