Think & Grow Rich – why an 83-year-old business concept is still relevant today

Think and Grow Rich is a long-held business philosophy and motivational book brought to the world by Napoleon Hill over 80 years ago.

Hill purportedly interviewed historical leaders of the corporate world such as Henry Ford, Andrew Carnegie and Thomas Edison to obtain insight to the secrets of their success and wealth.

Whilst some have questioned whether Hill actually talked to these giants of industry and invention, or merely attributed his ideas to them, the impact of his writings cannot be underestimated. Hill’s legacy as one of the inventors of the self-help genre is seen in the impact of his best-seller. Think and Grow Rich is a book that is regularly cited as a must-read and that has sold over 100 million copies since 1937.

Quality, Quantity and Spirit of Service was the gold standard of customer service for Hill. His view was that it was in the interest of businesses, small and large, to increase the value of customer service by following the concept.

James Alexander, one of BPA Quality’s Analysts, shares his insights on the ideas of Quality, Quantity and Spirit of Service and explores how this concept can still be relevant, and how it has influenced many other principles we use to deliver change and improvement.

Quality of Service is the fulfillment in achieving the highest quality of every detail of customer service, in the most effective and efficient way possible.

  • I’m sure that we’ve all experienced those moments when systems, processes and corporate policies appear to just ‘get in the way’ of providing truly excellent customer service. It doesn’t take much imagination to understand that employee morale might not be at its best and is likely to affect The Quality of Service.
  • A modern example of Quality of Service would be The Rolls Royce motor car company. Rolls Royce have always been synonymous with quality produced cars, but in the 1970’s they lost their way and a timely buyout by BMW was required to save the prestigious marque. By continuously updating and fusing modern processes with traditional crafts, they have created a superb and continuously evolving product.
  • Today we see the tenets of Quality of Service woven into terms and methods such as continuous improvement and operational excellence. We see it evidenced by those working to deliver upgraded systems, improved training, positive performance management, and empowering employees to help deliver improved customer service.
  • Best practice is to get the job done correctly in the first place, first time around and on first contact. Consider how much it costs any business to retain a Complaints Department compared to the costs of introducing new customers to the company or retaining existing, happy customers.

Quantity of Service is the desire and execution of giving the highest volumes of outstanding service possible, by means of constant practice or habitual working practices and the development of greater skills, combined with simple but effective feedback.

  • A classic example of a Quantity of Service change would be the Ford Motor Company. Because Ford’s business manufacturing had to evolve in order to supply the volume of cars to match demand, he introduced the moving assembly line with increased mechanisation and with it a 90% improvement in build time.
  • In Hill’s book, we see that the best way to build Quality of Service is creation of a vision and building habits. Habit is giving all the service of which the company and individual is capable of, all of the time. The purpose of this is increasing the amount of service as you develop greater skill through practice and repeated application of the habit.
  • Creating a vision is about understanding where you want your business to be and holding that vision. Understanding how your business attains that vision and ensuring that staff are fully able to get into the habit of giving Quantity of Service on a regular basis, will ensure that vision can be ultimately achieved.

Spirit of Service is developing a strong, harmonious and agreeable working environment, whereby everybody looks forward to coming to work and giving the customer more in value than they pay for.

  • To quote Hill “It is the conduct or The Spirit in which you deliver service which is the strong determining factor in connection with the price and the length of employment.” Hill stressed the point that the customer is king and emphasised that it is one of the major factors contributing to a permanent and successful marketing of products and services. He stressed further that Andrew Carnegie had stated that he would never retain any person, no matter how good they were at their job, if they didn’t possess a Spirit of Harmony and had an agreeable and pleasing personality.
  • In high performing Contact Centres, this Spirit can be seen in those who are Emotionally Intelligent, can empathise with customers, and are empowered to act for the customer to deliver the best possible customer service.
  • Mental health issues in the workplace are on the increase. In order to counter this challenge, harmony appears to be the best way forward. Positive steps to reach this can include creating a welcoming atmosphere, providing the sense of family in the work environment, creating strategies to improve workplace morale, encouraging respect and diversity for everybody and acknowledging and celebrating each other’s achievements, festivals and world views.

If you want to retain happy employees and customers then all employees, irrespective of seniority or job role, should be encouraged to build the habits of challenging negative issues and delight in providing the customer with a sense of receiving more in value than they are paying for.

Quality, Quantity and Spirit of Service offers a fantastic motivational tool to accomplish this within your company, introducing the ideals of this system to your organisation can result in a beautiful working environment, where people look forward to coming to work and have all the tools, skills and authority to deliver fantastic customer experience outcomes.

The team at BPA Quality has the experience, expertise and knowledge on how to deliver training, guidance, coaching and consultancy to ensure that every customer interaction is a fantastic customer experience. Contact us to find out how we can help you.

Are you ready to make all your customer experiences excellent? So are we.

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