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What ‘extreme customer service’ means

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in Leaders & Managers

James Andrews is a stealth force in sports, making (or saving) teams billions by mending their players, including 62 Hall of Famers.

Aside from his skills as an orthopedic surgeon, Andrews has made his own fortune by pressing an extreme form of customer service. A few illustrations:

He understands the high stakes involved, sending an SUV to pick up superstars at the airport and whisking them through a back entrance of his clinic to a private room.

He measures everything and meticulously tailors therapy based on strength, fatigue and flexibility.

He understands his customers because he was one of them, growing up in a small Louisiana town where he played several sports.

His folksy greeting to both high school players and major leaguers is always:
“Hey, big man.”

He gives players the Jerry McGuire treatment,
talking to their team doctors, personal physicians, agents, families, general managers and coaches. At least one agent has him on speed dial.

He can neatly sum up what he does in a way everybody can understand:
“I’ve always liked fixing people. I want to get these athletes back to doing what they did before.”

He always has room at the inn. When he first practiced in Georgia, Andrews made house calls in his own house. Later, coaches all over Alabama brought injured players to him after hours. If they needed emergency surgery, they stayed at Andrews’ home. Bo Jackson became his quail-hunting partner.

Bottom line:
Your customers probably don’t expect you to put them up for a few nights. But are you doing all you can for them?

— Adapted from “The Most Valuable Player in Sports is … this Doctor,” Chuck Salter, Fast Company.

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