Bob Tasca is, quite simply, the world's most effective practitioner of customer satisfaction. His accomplishments are astounding. His small Ford dealership is consistently among the world's best in sales volume, and industry executives from all over often visit in order to learn from his operation. Though he sells a generic product, Tasca has at times achieved the unheard-of feat of capturing 24 percent of his metro market, and he regularly sees 65 percent of his customers return triple the loyalty rate of his competitors.
In You Will Be Satisfied, he reveals how anyone, whether shoe salesman, software company middle manager or bookstore owner, can drive customer loyalty to dizzying heights. In the book's short, punchy chapters, real-life anecdotes and bulleted lessons, readers will find the knowledge and tools they need to send their sales soaring.
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About the Author
Bob Tasca has been in the automobile business for more than 50 years, achieving fame as a record-setting retailer and as an internationally known designer of high-performance cars (he is a member of the Drag Racing Hall of Fame). He also is active in community of Johnston, Rhode Island, helping to spearhead the revitalization of area schools.
Read an Excerpt
The many years of my auto industry involvement, I've heard legend after legend about the individual car dealers who've left their mark on the local market they've served. Some imprints were positive, some negative; but each legend was based in some individual's style or mode of operation. The majority of the nation's car dealers no longer possesses the stuff of legendary appeal. The dealers are becoming nameless corporate business suits. The illustrious car dealers, like the heroes of the Old West, are fast dying out as the world around them changes dramatically and forever. In the 1950s, when Bob Tasca started running a car dealership, he joined nearly fifty thousand entrepreneurs in the United States doing the same thing. Since then, while the industry's unit sales volume has approximately doubledfrom 7.5 million to 15 million new vehicles sold annuallythe number of entrepreneurs has declined to less than fifteen thousand.
As the entrepreneurial car dealer ranks thin, I try to meet and spend time with as many of those disappearing legends as I can, to learn what makes them tick. Bob Tasca was one of those fabled industry entrepreneurs whom I never seemed to encounter in my many travels, until one day about ten years ago after our company was retained by the Ford Motor Company to conduct a series of focus groups composed of a cross section of its dealership body. Ford wanted to get some in-depth feedback on how its dealers felt about its new policies (which had been instituted to make the auto giant more sensitive to its end customers, the car buyers, and to its intermediaries, the dealerships). In one of those focus groups, therehe was, seemingly bigger than life. Sometimes you really have to work hard in a focus group to get participant responses; you really have to dig. In this session, Bob simply took over and spent the next three hours telling all of us what "the Bible according to Bob" said about customer care. It was really quite a stunning performance. As focus-group research, it was a blowout, but as an educational experience it was superb.
As I read Bob's book today, I can't help thinking back to that initial meeting, which Bob totally dominated. I'm hard-pressed to think of a single car dealer practitioner who eats, sleeps, and breathes his business philosophy as convincingly as Bob Tasca. His personal beliefs have been the key to his successto what he has accomplished in the past forty years at his Ford and Lincoln-Mercury dealerships in southern New England, perhaps one of the toughest auto markets in the United States.
I couldn't agree more with Bob's views on running a business, as I heard them ten years ago and as I read them nowespecially a business as difficult as automotive retailing. He's made a lot of money and kept his customers happyand that's really saying something in the auto business. I'm certain there are other fields where he could have done even better.
In You Will Be Satisfied, Bob outlines his principles for success in an anecdotal and entertaining manner, with a serious message communicated behind the enjoyable stories. The book is an important primer for young or old who want to be successful business people in a tougher and tougher competitive environment.
When Bob gives his reasons for writing the book, he lets us in on such secrets as: "Knowing my business principles is, in a sense, the easier part of the problem; practicing what I preach is the tougher part." He goes on to say, "Once you've got the business agenda right, then it's all execution." He explains that success has to come from within younot from getting lucky out there. Once you set your agenda, it's how you treat your employees and, in turn, how your employees treat your customers that determine your success. If you can satisfy the customer, then success and money follownot the other way around.
J. D. Power III President J.D. Power and Associates December 1995
hanks to my familypast, present, and future. Most immediately, to my grandson Carl who cared enough about his school to inspire me to help keep it open and to a remarkable school principal who cared enough to make it happen.
My seven-year-old grandson Carl came home from school one day and said to me with tears in his eyes, "Poppy, they're going to close my school."
I said to him, "Carl, do you really care about your school?"
He said, "Poppy, I love my school."
"Well then," I said, "it won't close."
I went to see the pastor, and I said, "If I can make the school an assetrather than a liabilityto the parish, will you keep it open?" He agreed.
Subsequently, I discovered that the school had many liabilities and an enrollment that had dropped from a high of more than 500 to only about 250; the reality looked pretty grim. But I also learned that the school had one asset that shone like a newly minted silver dollar: Sister Mary Carol Gentile, the new principal. I knew at once that she had the rare gift of entrepreneurship; she'd be a huge business success if she weren't working for the Lord. He got her first.