cover image Winning the Service Game

Winning the Service Game

Benjamin Schneider. Harvard Business School Press, $32.95 (320pp) ISBN 978-0-87584-570-8

Looking for competitive advantages, service businesses seek to provide ``seamless service'' to consumers, a goal often undermined by employee indifference and independence, reliance on outmoded industrial management policies and mindless bureaucracies, according to the authors. How can firms create effective service cultures and customer partnerships? Drawing on numerous case studies (the Disney parks, the Florida Marlins) and 53 guidelines, Schneider, professor of psychology at the Univ. of Maryland, and Bowen, associate professor of management at Arizona State, argue that companies must refocus their procedures to meet today's customer expectations, develop innovative organizational structures and train and motivate employees to forge ``an unbeatable combination across the organization's customer, boundary, and coordination tiers.'' A no-nonsense guide interspersed with tips for service firms. Illustrations. (Mar.)