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The statistician W. Edwards Deming once said, “In God we trust; all others must bring data.”

When I begin a project, the first thing I do is gather data to assess the current state of service quality. I do so by interviewing stakeholders such as managers, hourly employees, and, when possible, actual customers.

I also pour through customer feedback on review websites like TripAdvisor, Priceline, and Yelp. And, when available, review proprietary data such as customer satisfaction survey results, customer verbatims, and mystery shop reports.

The purpose of this analysis is to gather data that will objectively point to advantages that are contributing to customer satisfaction as well as obstacles that are hindering satisfaction.

For the next 10 weeks on my blog, I’m going to highlight 10 different obstacles that have emerged from the data. Maybe you will have encountered one or more of these obstacles in your own business?

In addition to identifying obstacles, each post will contain one or more ways to mitigate these obstacles—with the goal of improving the experience of your customers.

Order Delight Your Customers: 7 Simple Ways to Raise Your Customer Service from Ordinary to Extraordinary by Steve Curtin or purchase from select retailers, including Barnes & Noble.
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