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Breaking the Cycle of Failure in Services

Most managers recognize that good service is a direct result of having effective, productive people in customer contact positions. You need winners at the front lines, not just warm bodies. But most service companies perpetuate a cycle of failure by tolerating high turnover and expecting employee dissatisfaction. Schlesinger and Heskett explore the reasons that so many managers have trouble breaking this cycle. They spotlight a number of companies that are developing winning customer service teams, including one that pays twice the industry average to its front-line employees while its sales and profits have soared. Instead of submitting to the cycle of failure, they argue, managers should take advantage of ways to break it, and get their organizations onto the cycle of success.

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