Discovering the Soul of Service (Hardcover)

By Leonard L. Berry

Free Press, 9780684845111, 288pp.

Publication Date: February 12, 1999



This wise and inspiring book by Leonard Berry, moves far beyond his pioneering work in services marketing and service quality to explain how great service companies meet their toughest challenge: sustaining long-term success.

In a world where customers regard flawless products as a given, service is the key differentiator between competitors in any field.

From Berry's exacting study of fourteen mature, highly successful, labor-intensive companies comes an astonishing revelation: the single most important factor in building a lasting service business is not a matter of savvy business practice, but of humane values. In all fourteen award-winning companies -- Bergstrom Hotels, The Charles Schwab Corporation, Chick-fil-A, The Container Store, Custom Research Inc., Dana Commercial Credit, Dial-A-Mattress, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Midwest Express Airlines, Miller SQA, Special Expeditions, St. Paul Saints, USAA, and Ukrop's Super Markets -- values-driven leadership connects with strategic focus, executional excellence, control of destiny, trust-based relationships, generosity, investment in employee success, acting small, and brand cultivation to drive customer satisfaction, innovation, and growth. Dedicating a chapter to each of these nine drivers, this book is the most far-reaching and insightful vision ever presented of the principles and step-by-step actions that continuously bring success to life in a company.

Berry's comprehensive model reveals the soul that underlies the strategies and day-to-day operations of great service companies, guiding the thousands of daily decisions of individual employees. Clear, compelling, pathbreaking, Discovering the Soul of Service is essential reading for managers everywhere.

About the Author

Leonard L. Berry holds the JCPenney Chair of Retailing Studies, and is Professor of Marketing and Director of the Center for Retailing Studies, at Texas A&M University. A former national president of the American Marketing Association, he is author of On Great Service and coauthor of Marketing Services and Delivering Quality Service, published by The Free Press. Dr. Berry received the 1996 Career Contributions to Services Marketing Award from the American Marketing Association. He also has twice been recognized with the highest honors Texas A&M bestows on a faculty member: the Distinguished Achievement Award in Teaching (in 1990) and the Distinguished Achievement Award in Research (in 1996). He is a board member of CompUSA, Hastings Entertainment, Lowe's Companies, Inc., and the Council of Better Business Bureaus.

Praise For Discovering the Soul of Service

Tom Peters
author of The Circle of Innovation

Waiting for the "masterwork" on service? Wait no longer. Leonard Berry's Discovering the Soul of Service is it! A brilliant book, eminently compelling case studies from Charles Schwab to Midwest Express. It doesn't get better than this.

David Glass
President and Chief Executive Officer, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.

A blueprint that will work for anyone wanting to sustain successful service. A must for anyone interested in service businesses.

Garrett H. Jamison
President and Chief Executive Officer, Banc One Investment Management Group

A treasure for anyone truly serious about sustaining a service culture.

Robert L. Tillman
Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer, Lowe's Companies, Inc.

Captures the essence of what is required to sustain success in a labor-intensive service business. An outstanding book.

Jerry Richardson
Owner/Founder, Carolina Panthers

A world-class resource on leadership values and the human side of business.

Stanley Marcus
Chairman Emeritus, Neiman Marcus

Len Berry holds the black belt in customer service.