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Harvard Business Review on Increasing Customer Loyalty by Harvard Business Review

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Stop Trying to Delight Your Customers

by Matthew Dixon, Karen Freeman, and Nicholas Toman

THE IDEA THAT COMPANIES must “delight” their customers has become so entrenched that managers rarely examine it. But ask yourself this: How often does someone patronize a company specifically because of its over-the-top service? You can probably think of a few examples, such as the traveler who makes a point of returning to a hotel that has a particularly attentive staff. But you probably can’t come up with many.

Now ask yourself: How often do consumers cut companies loose because of terrible service? All the time. They exact revenge on airlines that lose their bags, cable providers whose technicians keep them waiting, cellular companies whose reps put them ...

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