Achieving Breakthrough Service
Driving Performance and Profitability
Increasing competition and rising client demands have intensified the pressure on companies around the globe to provide exceptional service and create unprecedented customer value. To achieve this type of breakthrough value, businesses must understand the interrelated behavior and needs of their three key constituencies—clients, employees, and investors. Most companies that care about service focus exclusively on providing good customer service, not on satisfying employees and investors along the way. As a result, they often create unsustainable service strategies and overlook opportunities to increase top-line growth and profits. In Achieving Breakthrough Service, you will learn how to design and deliver exceptional service models that enable employees, owners, and customers to thrive simultaneously.
This leadership development program will provide the tools and ideas you need to drive satisfaction, commitment, and loyalty among both clients and employees—and to lead your organization to improved profitability and accelerated growth.
Immersed in a series of thought-provoking lectures, interactive case studies, and hands-on workshops, you will explore the strategic steps required to achieve service breakthroughs and deliver differentiated products and services. Along the way, you will acquire the skills to identify and overcome the persistent obstacles to performance, and create long-term value for customers, employees, and shareholders.
Specifically designed for senior managers of large established service firms or manufacturing firms with service-based strategies, this program is most useful to individuals with the authority to make decisions and initiate change across the organization. Executives with responsibility for marketing, operations, strategy, and human resources have had great success in this program. To foster teamwork and maximize the learning impact, admission preference is given to senior management teams composed of four to eight individuals. The curriculum is appropriate for managers in business-to-consumer and business-to-business organizations.
What You Can Expect
This leadership training program focuses on practical strategies for delivering breakthrough service to your customers, employees, and shareholders. From increasing loyalty and enhancing cross-selling efforts to reducing costs and measuring performance, you will gain the tools and skills to boost employee and client satisfaction levels—while also increasing profits and growth. As a result, you will return to your organization better prepared to:
- Help average employees deliver exceptional value
- Enhance loyalty through targeted customer retention efforts
- Deliver more value to existing clients
- Use customer insights and data to enhance research and development efforts
- Measure the value of investments in human capital
- Improve hiring and training initiatives throughout the organization
- Link employee incentives to employee performance enterprise-wide
- Explicitly and creatively fund investments in service excellence
- Reduce costs by investing exclusively in service levels that clients value
- Align service cultures with strategic choices
- Customize leadership decisions to specific performance goals
- Identify and resolve personal barriers that impact organizational performance
How Will My Organization Benefit?
Executive Education programs at Harvard Business School are a significant investment for both you and your organization. Going far beyond the basic transmission of skills and theories, each leadership development program provides applicable lessons in the classroom that can be implemented successfully within your organization. You will acquire a fresh perspective on global business from our groundbreaking curriculum, world-renowned faculty, and an accomplished group of elite peers from around the world.
"After years of traditional training, this was the best learning method I have ever experienced. The professors were passionate, the sessions were captivating, and the peer-group discussions were powerful. Through the case studies and lectures, I could see the direct link between service excellence and profit growth. My company sent a group of managers to share the same state-of-the-art concepts and tools, so implementing changes was much easier when we returned."
François Chevillotte [Director of Customer Experience], Computacenter France, France
Your Course of Study
To maximize the value of the time you invest on campus, this rigorous, content-rich curriculum will be covered in a condensed time frame. By examining leading-edge research, real-world case studies, and actionable ideas, you will gain greater insight into the strategic service vision, the economics of client relationships, and the link between customer satisfaction and customer behavior. You will acquire the tools to leverage information technology and process reengineering for competitive advantage, while exploring the role of leadership in change management.
Throughout the program, you will study various organizations that have successfully delivered differentiated products and services at the lowest possible costs. Topics will include how to:
- Align the "performance trinity" components—management and leadership, culture and values, and strategy and vision
- Enhance the value equation for employees, customers, and investors
- Identify and revisit the shared values at the heart of the organization's culture
- Develop a value-centered method for measuring and recognizing performance
- Hardwire the organization to achieve desired results
- Improve learning and innovation efforts through effective knowledge transfer
- Understand the importance of treating employees like customers, and customers like employees
- Assess the lifetime value of unique client segments—including antagonists, hostages, mercenaries, loyalists, and apostles—within the organization's portfolio of customers
To address your own company-specific challenges, you may choose to participate in an optional coaching session at the close of the program. Led by HBS faculty members, this session enables you to redefine your service vision as you begin applying the lessons from the program to maximize new opportunities within your organization.
"ABS gave me the confidence not to compromise on truths, which will provide me the competitive edge I was looking for. Business is about creating and keeping loyal customers—and the best loyalty program comes from delivering value to customers as a result of their last interaction with you. The program has changed me as an individual, and will certainly benefit my colleagues and the firm as a whole."
Pratap Nambiar [Regional Executive Partner, Global Markets], KPMG Asia Pacific Limited, Singapore
Who Is Right for the Program
Achieving Breakthrough Service is intended for a select group of senior managers in large established service firms or manufacturing firms with service-based strategies. To enhance learning through exposure to a wide array of perspectives and experiences, HBS uses a thoughtful admissions process that ensures the selection of highly qualified participants who represent diverse companies, industries, and countries. While individual leaders are invited to attend, teams of at least four senior executives will gain the most from this intensive offering.
During the program, your team will work with a faculty adviser to develop a customized service model for your organization. After completing the program, your team will have the opportunity to return to campus for a final presentation and a critique of your proposed model.
Past Participants Represented:
|2%||High Technology||4%||Middle East|
Participating Companies Have Included:
"I have never attended a more intense course on services and strategy. It gave me new approaches, a condensed amalgam of knowledge, and some new insights into behavior and customer satisfaction. I especially enjoyed the opportunity to meet people from different business niches and share best practices."
Marcelo Gabarra [Diretor de Engenharia e Produção], Rolls-Royce Brasil Gas Turbine Services, Brazil
Meet the Program Faculty
Like all Harvard Business School Executive Education programs, Achieving Breakthrough Service is developed and taught by a core faculty of HBS professors. Our faculty members are widely recognized as skilled educators, groundbreaking researchers, and award-winning authors.
Through publishing, consulting, and teaching, they leverage their business expertise and field-based research to create new knowledge and enduring concepts that shape the practice of management. The result is a teaching team that exposes participants to multiple perspectives, challenging their thinking and encouraging new practices that result in superior business leadership. For more detailed biographies, click on each faculty name.
Dennis W. Campbell, Associate Professor of Business Administration. Member of the Accounting and Management Unit; and faculty cochair of "Achieving Breakthrough Service."
Frances X. Frei, UPS Foundation Professor of Service Management. Member of the Technology and Operations Management Unit.
Das Narayandas, James J. Hill Professor of Business Administration. Senior Associate Dean, Executive Education and Publishing; and member of the Marketing Unit.
Ananth Raman, UPS Foundation Professor of Business Logistics. Member of the Technology and Operations Management Unit.
W. Earl Sasser, Baker Foundation Professor. Member of the Entrepreneurial Management Unit; faculty chair of "Leadership Best Practices," and "Leadership for Senior Executives"; and faculty cochair of "Achieving Breakthrough Service."
"The faculty provided an intellectual view of business service models in varying degrees of execution that was easy for me to assimilate with my leadership style. As I engaged with other senior executives on common challenges, I learned from their varied experience as well. Since returning, I have applied all my learning and have simply underscored the direction in which I am leading my organization."
Bridget Moscatello [Vice President, Customer Operations], Empire Today, U.S.
Because a diverse participant mix is an important part of every HBS Executive Education program, we look for candidates who reflect a broad range of industries, functions, countries, and backgrounds to enrich the learning experience.
Fees, Payments, and Cancellations
The program fee covers tuition, books, case materials, accommodations, and most meals.
No payment is necessary until you have been accepted into an HBS Executive Education program. After admission notification, we will send you an invoice via email; payment is due within 30 days of the invoice date. If admission is within 30 days prior to the start of the program, payment is due upon receipt of the invoice. Payment is required prior to the program start date. We accept payment by company check, bank wire transfer, or credit card (American Express, MasterCard, Visa). Details are included on the program invoice.
If you need to cancel or defer participation, you must submit your request in writing more than 30 days before the start of the program to receive a full refund. Due to program demand and the volume of preprogram preparation, cancellations or deferrals received 14 to 30 days prior to the start of the program are subject to a fee of one-half of the program fee. Requests received within 14 days are subject to full payment.
Although there are no formal educational requirements, admission is a selective process based on professional achievement and organizational responsibility. We look for professionals who have demonstrated business talent and leadership potential.
HBS Executive Education programs enrich both participants and their sponsoring organizations, and require full commitment from each party. While participants devote time and intellect to the learning experience, sponsoring organizations agree to relieve individuals of their work responsibilities during the program.
We deliberately design our programs to encourage individual growth and to foster productive interaction among participants. For that reason, proficiency in written and spoken English is essential. If English is your second language, or if you have less than one year's experience working in an English-speaking environment, HBS requires a brief statement documenting proficiency in English-language skills, both conversational and written. This may include a list of the English-language certification programs that you have completed; the degrees you have earned at English-speaking colleges and universities; or the results of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) exam. The Admissions Committee also may request a telephone interview.
This program is appropriate for individuals as well as teams of executives from the same organization. When colleagues attend a program together, the organization benefits from their shared knowledge and common vision. This, in turn, enables participants to enhance their ability to pursue business goals as a team, effect critical transformations, and transfer knowledge. HBS client service specialists are available to advise on optimal team composition. The application for each team member must be received before the team's materials are reviewed by the Admissions Committee.
Program participants must be nominated and sponsored by their current employer. HBS must receive your application and all required documents in order to prepare the application for review by the Admissions Committee.
If you submit your application online, we will promptly acknowledge receipt of your submission via email. In the unlikely event that an email acknowledgment is not received, please contact the Admissions Committee by email: firstname.lastname@example.org, phone: +1-617-495-6226, or fax: +1-617-496-1731.
If you choose to submit a printed application, be sure to type or print legibly and sign your application. Send the application to the address or fax number listed on the form. Mailed or faxed applications are processed and acknowledged promptly upon receipt via email.
Complete Your Application
Please answer all questions thoroughly—the Admissions Committee will consider only completed applications. After reviewing your application and making the necessary edits or corrections, print or copy the application for your records.
The application for each team member must be received before the team's materials are reviewed by the Admissions Committee.
Meet the Deadlines
We request applications at least four weeks in advance of the program start date. Early application does not guarantee admission. Programs often fill to capacity, so early application is recommended.
Notification of Acceptance
We acknowledge receipt of all applications and maintain all application information in strict confidentiality.
To optimize the learning experience and maximize the exchange of ideas, the Admissions Committee selects a class that balances each participant's experience, the scope of his or her current responsibilities, and the type of organization.
The Admissions Committee begins reviewing applications four months before the start date, and qualified candidates are admitted on a rolling, space-available basis. Once the review process has begun, applicants are notified within three weeks via email regarding Admissions Committee decisions. If your application is received within three weeks of the program's start date, the Admissions Committee will notify you of their decision as soon as possible.
For further assistance, contact our client service specialists at: 1-800-427-5577 (outside the U.S., dial +1-617-495-6555).