cover image Customer Mania!: It's Never Too Late to Build a Customer-Focused Company

Customer Mania!: It's Never Too Late to Build a Customer-Focused Company

Ken Blanchard. Free Press, $21 (208pp) ISBN 978-0-7432-7028-1

Self-described ""Chief Spiritual Officer"" Blanchard strikes a familiar note of ebullient optimism in this follow up to his bestsellers The One-Minute Manager, Whale Done and Raving Fans! This time the business populist chronicles the efforts of Yum! brands to build a customer-focused corporate culture. As the corporate parent of Kentucky Fried Chicken, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, A&W and Long John Silver, Yum! operates in an industry where a 200% annual turnover rate is normal. So the company's own 40% annual turnover rate is exceptional, and its creation of a positive employee culture is no mean feat. Thus, Yum!'s survival in the fast food business--which relies heavily on the public's contact with its front line employees--provides useful lessons for any manager whose business depends upon customer satisfaction. Unfortunately, however, Blanchard's book fails to step back and address its subject objectively. Instead, the narrative reads like a spiritual revival meeting, making it difficult to separate the practical advances from the author's hype. Has all the feel-good hoopla created higher profits? Deflected competition? Raised share prices? Failures, negativity and cynicism don't find their way into this book. They are swiftly eliminated, just like people with the wrong attitude at Yum!