What Great Service Leaders Know and Do: Creating Breakthroughs in Service Firms (Hardcover)
Entire service businesses have been built around the ideas of Heskett, Sasser, and Schlesinger, pioneers in the world of service. Now they test their ideas against the actual experiences of successful and unsuccessful practitioners, as well as against demands of the future, in a book service leaders around the world will use as a guide for years to come.
The authors cover every aspect of optimal service leadership: the best hiring, training, and workplace organization practices; the creation of operating strategies around areas such as facility design, capacity planning, queue management, and more; the use—and misuse—of technology in delivering top-level service; and practices that can transform loyal customers into “owners.”
Looking ahead, the authors describe the world of great service leaders in which “both/and” thinking replaces trade-offs. It’s a world in which new ideas will be tested against the sine qua non of the “service trifecta”—wins for employees, customers, and investors. And it’s a world in which the best leaders admit that they don’t have the answers and create organizations that learn, innovate, “sense and respond,” operate with fluid boundaries, and seek and achieve repeated strategic success.
Using examples of dozens of companies in a wide variety of industries, such as Apollo Hospitals, Châteauform, Starbucks, Amazon, Disney, Progressive Insurance, the Dallas Mavericks, Whole Foods, IKEA, and many others, the authors present a narrative of remarkable successes, unnecessary failures, and future promise.
About the Author
James L. Heskett is UPS Foundation Professor of Business Logistics, Emeritus, at Harvard Business School. Among other honors he was awarded the 2010 Distinguished Career Contribution Award in Services Management by the American Marketing Association.
W. Earl Sasser, Jr., is a Baker Foundation Professor at Harvard Business School and has been a member of the faculty there since 1969. Sasser developed the school’s first course on the management of service operations in 1972.
Leonard A. Schlesinger returned to Harvard Business School as a Baker Foundation Professor of Business Administration in July 2013 after concluding a five-year term as the twelfth president of Babson College.
“Heskett, Sasser, and Schlesinger have powerfully impacted our business vis-à-vis their body of work over the years. Drawing on their three lifetimes of academic and operating experience, this newest book, which demonstrates the methods leaders use to design and deliver great service, will continue in that tradition and our business will be even greater for it.”
—John Wren, President and CEO, Omnicom Group
“There is literally no one with better insight into how to run a service business than this trio of Harvard Business School professors, Sasser, Heskett, and Schlesinger. Small business owners of service operations should pay special attention as their tips and perspectives can go a long way to increasing business success and growth.”
—Karen G. Mills, former Administrator, US Small Business Administration
“Enthusiastic, empowered employees delivering memorable service to increasingly loyal guests is a self-reinforcing cycle of success for all of an organization’s constituents. The concepts put forth in this book are the basis of sustained competitive advantage and superior financial performance that survives episodic weakness in product quality or market growth. Indeed, they formed the basis of what took Caesars Entertainment from $14 a share and 14,000 employees to $90 a share and 90,000 employees in ten years.”
—Gary Loveman, Chairman, Caesars Entertainment and Caesars Entertainment Operating Company
“Breakthrough service has to be both designed and delivered. But how does it actually get done? Heskett, Sasser, and Schlesinger provide the answers that all of us are looking for.”
—Helena B. Foulkes, President, CVS/pharmacy, and Executive Vice President, CVS Health
“What Great Service Leaders Know and Do is a terrific how-to manual for every business leader.”
—Leslie H. Wexner, Chairman and CEO, L Brands (formerly Limited Brands)
“This comprehensive book proves that leadership is ultimately all about execution, based on sound thinking and knowledge of what needs to be done. It also reinforces the need for integrity between thought, word, and actions.”
—Suneeta Reddy, Managing Director, Apollo Hospitals Enterprise Limited, Chennai, India