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How to be better … at Customer Care …at Delegation and Coaching


‘How to be Better at Customer Care’. Timothy R V Foster. Kogan Page, 1999. Paperback, 168 pages, £8.99. ISBN 0 7494 2945 3.
‘How to be Better at Delegation and Coaching’. Tony Atherton. Kogan Page, 1999. Paperback, 160 pages, £8.99. ISBN 0 7494 2944 5.

These two books are aimed at managers to encourage them to improve their skills in these areas, but I am sure that training practitioners would find them invaluable as reference sources of material for their training and development programmes. They are written in similar styles, although the different authorships result in some significant differences of format – but both are very readable, impactive, clear and packed full of information, guidance and advice.

Customer Care, in nine chapters, covers: why customer care is important; how to be better at customer service; how to be better at delivering quality; how to be better at customer relations; how to improve your business processes; how to be better at communications; how to be better at employee relations; how to improve your image; and looking into the future. Each chapter is divided into short, impactive sections: for example the one on customer service includes sections on – be easy to find; don’t be closed when you should be open; answer the telephone fast; handle queues/seating conveniently; etc. The text is fast moving, laced with anecdotes both serious and humorous, case studies, checklists and, substantially, boxed (for greater impact that works) guidelines and tips. Typical of the anecdotal tips is the comment that ‘It’s OK to be out of stock of Christmas trees on 26 December, but not on 22 December’! – simple but true, and a symbolic message that should be taken to heart by many customer suppliers.

Delegation is written in a similarly clear and impactive style, albeit in a more traditional style. The ten chapters cover: the importance of delegation and coaching; win-win-win; delegation; a process for delegation; people and learning; motivation; coaching styles; coaching – a process; techniques; and twelve rules of thumb. Again there are innumerable checklists, bullet lists, descriptive diagrams, and, most of all, impactive boxes containing tips, advice, and mini-case studies. The full range of the two topics is covered and will make an invaluable self-learning and reference book.

Both these books are highly recommended and should be on every manager’s desk bookshelf.

Leslie Rae
July 1999


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