Satisfaction: How Every Great Company Listens to the Voice of the Customer
By Chris Denove and J.D. Power IV
ISBN: 1591841097
Hardcover, 288pp
Pub. Date: February 2006; $16.35 (from Amazon)
Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)

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Design and construction firm leaders can learn from the experts in rating customer satisfaction. J.D. Powers & Associates. The firm, which was purchased by parent The McGraw-Hill Companies in 2005is well known for its independent analysis of the automotive industry (where it got its start). Now, two executives from the firm, Chris Denove and J.D. Power IV, have written a book that applies to all industries, including construction.

“Satisfaction: How Every Great Company Listens to the Voice of the Customer” proves, the direct correlation between satisfied customers and increased profitability – across all industries, from home building to healthcare, no matter how big or small the company. The authors use the extensive J.D. Power  & Associates data to prove the point.

But the book doesn’t stop there. Not only does it highlight the strategic implications of customer satisfaction, but it also provides a roadmap for developing policies and processes that will maximize profits.

Here are some points to ponder:

  • “Advocates” boost returns and “assassins” kill the bottom line. The book illustrates how to turn a middle of the road satisfied customer OR a would-be rooftop sniper into an advocate.
  • Companies can improve results by creating a culture of customer satisfaction from the top that permeates all the way to down every customer touch point. The right message has to come from the top, and employees all the way down must be empowered to do the right thing by their customers.
  • Find ways to differentiate a business based on customer satisfaction that will unleash profits. Take for example Mike Diamond, a plumber in California who instituted a “Good Smell” campaign. To differentiate his plumbers from all the technically competent plumbers in the phone book, Diamond advertised that a plumber “will show up on time and smell good or your service call is free.” The results have been highly profitable.

The voice of the customer has never been louder. This book can help industry leaders in design and construction train that voice to sing.