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Does It Really Pay to Focus on Exceptional Service?

Frankly it could be 100-400%. Below you will see the results after 13 years. Share with your leadership team. I will put the highest returns on top and the lowest on the bottom. This is from December 31, 2016:

Amazon   AMZN   Market Value…$23,996   They have speed, price, along with unparalleled customer service.  Jeff Bezos, CEO, is maybe the most successful CEO in the world.  He is 2nd wealthiest person in the world worth $67 billion.

Home Depot   HD  Market Value…$6,135   The owners built a company around great service. While the owners have retired management is still committed to great service.

Costco   COST  Market Value…$5,896   They are light years ahead of Sam’s owned by Walmart. Masters of price, quality, and service. Among firms in retail, they probably have the highest paid employees.     

TD Bank  TD   Market Value… $3,656   In 2007 they bought Commerce Bank. At that time Commerce was the leader among the 9 firms I selected as service leaders. This is no longer a bank, no longer a Service Leader. They have totally lost their focus on customer service.

Southwest Airlines   LUV Market Value…$3,237   The most customer driven airline in the US. Masters of price, speed and customer service. They have never lost their focus.


General Electric  GE   Market Value…$1,738  In 2015 they lost $13.6 billion. Jeffrey Immelt, CEO said it was their best year and rewarded management and the board with unprecedented personal compensation. Immelt is NO Jack Welch. My question is…are they well managed if they lost 13.6 billion and lost their focus on service??  In the US it seems there is a direct correlation with compensation and incompetence. The more        

                 Incompetent the more the CEO gets paid. 

Walmart Stores  WMT  Market Value…$1,627  Sam Walton built the largest retailer in the world focusing on price and Customer Service. Under Lee Scott in 2000, they lost their focus on service. The Walton family is the wealthiest family in the world. When worth hundreds of billions who cares if your wealth has increased only 61% over the years. This is still a lot of money.    This is an example of a firm who increased sales from $244.5 billion in 2003 to $482 billion in 2016.

JetBlue Airways  JBLU    Market Value…$1,614   This is an airline who built its business around the customer experience. On February 16, 2007, they kept passengers on the airline in a winter storm for over 11 hours. They did not understand service recovery. The following day they received about $500 million in negative publicity. Very few firms understand or practice service recovery. The CEO lost his job, the stock dropped in value by over 50% and 13% was sold to Lufthansa at fireside prices.

Dell    Dell   Market Value…$465      Michael Dell found a company in 1984 and built a business on price, speed, technology and customer service. Today he is worth $20 billion. When he retired in 2004 he appointed Kevin Rollins as CEO. The first thing Rollins eliminated was the focus on customer service.  What I did not know is once you lose your brand and focus on service it is very difficult to recover.     


Total Value =   $48,363                

There is nothing more powerful than building a brand around the Customer Experience. You must be relentless. The CEO can never take his or her eye off the Service Strategy. I tend to hear many people complain about the cost of delivering great service. The numbers above reflect the true cost of not focusing on a Service Strategy.


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