The Satisfied Customer: Winners and Losers in the Battle for Buyer Preference
by Claes Fornell
In a world where consumers have access to an abundance of free information about purchase alternatives, business managers must adapt to a startling new reality. What businesses and investors must realize, says Fornell, is that customers know something Wall Street has yet to figure out. The Satisfied Customer makes the case that global market forces are all pointing towards one inevitable truth: the cost of poor service will soon be borne by the companies that serve it – not the customers that receive it.
The Satisfied Customer prepares managers and investors for a major shift in economic power that will change how capital moves, how corporate assets are managed, and ultimately, how business is done. This book describes how companies that underestimate the newly-empowered customer are punished by product and equity markets alike, and offers practical advice on how to prosper when buyers are kings and investment capital fuels their power.
The implications of the newly empowered customer turn much of conventional business practice on its head. The Satisfied Customer explains how superior financial returns can go hand-in-hand with reduced risk; why customer satisfaction should not be maximized, but customer complaints should; why exceeding customer expectations is a bad idea; why getting too close to customers should be avoided, how customer loyalty can sometimes be too costly, and why high productivity is not always a good thing.
According to the New York Times, Claes Fornell’s American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) is the definitive benchmark for how consumers feel about the products they buy. The Satisfied Customer draws from the ACSI database and CFI Group cases, including practical examples from Amazon.com, American Airlines, Apple, AT&T, Best Buy, Chrysler, Circuit City, Comcast, Costco, Charter Communications, Dell, Double Tree Club Hotel, eBay, Electrolux, Florida Marlins, Ford, Gateway, Google, Haier, H&R Block, Hyundai, KLM, Kmart, McDonald’s, Northwest Airlines, Microsoft, Southwest Airlines, Sprint Nextel, the Swedish Postal Service, Time Warner, Toyota, Trader Joe’s, Volvo, Whole Foods, and many others, to reveal the winners and losers in the battle for buyer preference.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Claes Fornell is the world’s leading authority on customer satisfaction measurement and Customer Asset Management. He is the mind behind the American Customer Satisfaction Index (www.theacsi.org) and many similar indices worldwide. The founder and chairman of CFI Group (www.cfigroup.com) and the Donald C. Cook Distinguished Professor (Emeritus) of Business Administration at the Stephen M. Ross School of Business, University of Michigan.