Among the many well-known proverbs of Aesop's Fables, the age-old moral tales supposedly written by a Greek slave, is this: "He who tries to please everybody pleases nobody." This lesson is as relevant today as it was centuries ago—particularly in corporate customer service. Too many of today's companies make the mistake of trying to excel at all aspects of customer service, to be all things to all customers, and often end up being great at nothing. In this interview, Frances Frei, UPS Foundation Professor of Service Management at HBS and coauthor of Uncommon Service: How to Win by Putting Customers at the Core of Your Business, recommends a more limited focus on service that customers value most and identifies a four-part plan to achieve service excellence.
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