Mike Hohnen roots his approach to helping service industry managers cope with the effects of the economic downturn in the academic concept of the Service-Profit Chain. Hohnen brings the concept from the ivory tower to the boardroom, where it can help businesses achieve bottom-line results.
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Mike Hohnen opens Best! No Need to Be Cheap If You Are . . . with the concept that abundance has been the name of the game for a number of years now. Whether you look at toothpaste, hotels, or tomatoes, the consumer has become used to a plethora of choices. This situation was exacerbated by the economic downturn of 2008, which markedly decreased demand, as consumers began to make choices more carefully.
The traditional approach to this situation, Hohnen explains, is a deadly combination of cost-cutting, pink slips, discounts, and aggressive advertising. But this approach is self-defeating. What is needed, says Hohnen, is the counter-intuitive approach described in detail in this book.
“In a world with too much of everything, your only chance of survival is to achieve a position of monopoly, even though it will be temporary. You must have something that nobody else has, or you must be able to deliver your product or service in a way that is superior to what anyone else is doing – unless, that is, you can find a way to deliver whatever you do in such an efficient way that it prevents anyone else from taking you on, cost-wise,” Hohnen explains in his first chapter.
Fundamentally, then, your choice is either to be best or to be cheapest, and best is not only much harder for your competition to copy but also generally a great deal more profitable.
Addressed to individual managers who work in all aspect of the service industry, this volume is aimed at helping them first, to understand how the industry has changed, and changed dramatically, over the past few years. With that basis, Hohnen explains why and describes how such managers can focus their efforts in order to stand out in the marketplace, while avoiding getting caught in the trap of unproductive and detrimental responses. Additionally, he explains how managers can get their people involved in the crucial task of turning customers into ambassadors, allowing word of mouth to work to their advantage.
Hohnen’s approach is rooted in the principles of the Service-Profit Chain described by Heskett, et al. in their book published by Harvard in the 1990’s and widely recognized as the foundational academic research on the subject. But the solid academic research behind the original work does not make it the most accessible or easiest to implement in practical terms. Hohnen, however, with his hands-on experience and clear writing style, now makes it doable.
Hohnen’s strategies for empowering managers include anecdotes from real companies, specific tools, and steps for implementation. The book features clearly-drawn figures and apt quotations to help the reader grasp key concepts.
Best! – No Need to Be Cheap If You Are . . . is also published in ebook format available from popular online retailers, including Amazon.com, Barnesandnoble.com, and Apple’s iBookstore.
Download the first chapter here