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The Ownership Quotient

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Organizations worldwide have used a groundbreaking tool—the service-profit chain—to improve business performance. In The Ownership Quotient, the authors reveal the next level of thinking about the service-profit chain based on recent research into exemplar companies.

Heskett, Sasser, and Wheeler extend the service-profit chain to include customer and employee "owners." Customer-owners are so satisfied with their experience that they relate their stories to others, persuade them to try a product, and provide constructive criticism and new product ideas. Employee-owners exhibit such enthusiasm for their organization that they infect customers with similar satisfaction, loyalty, and dedication.

The lifetime value of a customer-owner is equivalent to that of a hundred merely typical customers. That makes the value of employees who promote customer-ownership priceless.

Citing companies as diverse as Harrah's Entertainment, ING Direct, Build-a-Bear Workshop, and Wegmans Food Markets, this book shows you how to:

• Identify your customer-owners
• Delight them by consistently exceeding their expectations in ways they truly value
• Foster an ownership culture throughout your company
• Measure and grow your "ownership quotient" among customers and employees

Powerful and practical, The Ownership Quotient is your playbook for pushing performance to unprecedented levels.


First published November 11, 2008

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James L. Heskett

18 books4 followers

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Profile Image for Jim Tincher.
54 reviews2 followers
December 14, 2011
I really enjoyed reading about The Ownership Quotient. Leading businesses have realized the limitations of satisfaction. Measuring satisfaction does not link to improved business results except at the very low end. The question is: what do we replace it with?

The leading candidate is the Net Promoter Score, which has created great buzz. Other contenders include Emotional Engagement, and Ownership. All do better than satisfaction - which is best depends significantly on your business, and what you are trying to address.

Moving beyond the measurement, though, this book does an excellent job of outlining the steps necessary to increase your customers' and employees' sense of ownership in your business. Utilizing case studies from Harrah's, Apple, Rackspace and others, a philosophy of ownership is outlined that can definitely drive improved business outcomes.

Heskett and company do a great job of showing the limitations of Net Promoter's one question, capturing the essential emotional nature of ownership. True leaders understand that peak performance requires capturing the hearts of your customers and employees, and this book showcases many best-in-class examples. I particularly like the ING Direct example of how they specifically "fire" customers who do not fit their ideal mode - one of the hardest (yet most impactful) efforts a business can undertake in order to focus on the most engaged and profitable customers.

Driving your employees and customers' sense of ownership is critical, and this book makes a compelling case, including many great examples used by companies today.
620 reviews43 followers
January 15, 2009
Leading book on the service-profit chain

James L. Heskett, W. Earl Sasser and Joe Wheeler write with authority as pioneers in the concept of building the “service profit chain,” a “working environment in which carefully selected, highly capable, engaged employees interact with customers to create customer value far superior to that offered by the competition.” Companies worldwide have adopted their philosophy since its introduction almost 20 years ago. In this book, they expand on the concept, and provide new material plus case studies about companies that excel. These exemplars include ING Direct, Rolls Royce, IBM, Fairmont Hotels and Whole Foods, all of which demonstrate the ideas in this short, very readable, if somewhat repetitive, book. getAbstract recommends this manual to business owners and managers who want to build on their most important assets: their customers and employees.
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