In the United States, 1968 was a turbulent year socially and politically, but it was also the year that a seed was planted. A man with a vision started a company that focused on giving customers a voice. This quiet revolution set off what we take for granted today: corporations that adapt their operations based on conducting surveys, soliciting customer preferences, and listening to what customers think about the services and products they experience every day, all around the world.
Dave Power started with the auto industry because it was ripe. Until then, Detroit's Big Three automakers had listened only to their inside marketing teams about what customers wanted, and what they heard was a defense of the status quo. But through a respectful persistence and command of the consumer market research data he independently collected, Power changed the minds of one auto executive after another. Eventually, the belief that consumer satisfaction was key to success spread across all industries and around the world, making J.D. Power and Associates the premier measuring stick of consumer satisfaction.
But it was Dave Power's close work with the auto industry that started it all. Power played a role in nearly every advance, setback, triumph, and scandal the auto industry underwent, providing him with an unrivaled vantage point from which to view the industry's strengths and shortcomings. His operation grew from surveys tallied by hand at the family dinner table to millions of the now-iconic dollar-bill-affixed surveys distributed each year. Power soon carried the mantle of "the Voice of the Customer," a role that has brought him the enmity as well as the appreciation of Corporate America.
Rich with historical perspective provided by first-hand accounts of the auto industry—including the rise and fall of Detroit, the entrance of the Japanese auto industry, a primer on the franchise dealership system, how listening to the customer turned the auto industry upside-down, and how J.D. Power and Associates revolutionized the way all companies listened to the consumer—this book offers the compiled lessons of a lifelong career at a time when the message is finally ready to be received.
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"How did Dave Power the man become
J.D. Power the brand? It's all here. . . . The companies that heeded what Power's data revealed were winners. So are millions of consumers, in America and elsewhere, who enjoy quality cars thanks to Dave Power's pioneering work."
Automotive author and managing editor of Reuters