Ch12 Article 1 - Managing Theory Practice Companies Strive...

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Page 1 of 2 2009 Factiva, Inc. All rights reserved. Managing Training Help Firms Improve Their Satisfaction Rates While Cutting Costs By Michael Sanserino and Cari Tuna 838 words 27 July 2009 The Wall Street Journal J B4 English Companies are trying harder to please customers amid the recession -- and it appears to be working. The American Customer Satisfaction Index, a widely followed survey conducted by the University of Michigan, is at a record high. Other surveys also report gains in customer satisfaction. The results are unexpected, because customer satisfaction typically declines in a recession as companies cut costs, says Bruce Temkin, a vice president for Forrester Research Inc. In this downturn, though, he and other analysts say companies are protecting spending that affects customers. Sprint Nextel Corp., which often receives poor marks from customers, began a service-improvement plan at the end of 2007. Among other changes, call-center operators now are rewarded for solving problems on a customer's first call, rather than for keeping calls short. The result: The average Sprint subscriber called customer service four times last year, down from eight in 2007, says Chief Service Officer Bob Johnson. Sprint's ACSI score rose 12.5% in the first quarter, compared
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Ch12 Article 1 - Managing Theory Practice Companies Strive...

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