Press Releases

Zingerman’s Rescues the American Economy, One Customer at Time (4/09)

New Training DVD Offers Effective, Real-Life Strategies
for Turning Complaining Customers into Customers for Life

Zingerman’s understands that most customers DON’T complain—they just take their business elsewhere (and tell everyone else about their bad experience). And with the marketplace more competitive than ever, most companies can’t afford to lose a single client. That’s why Zingerman’s is sharing systems for providing exceptional customer service in its highly anticipated second training DVD, “Zingerman’s 5 Steps to Effectively Handling a Complaint.” These are the tried-and-true tools as practiced throughout the organization praised by Saveur (“When it comes to service, few establishments can rival Zingerman’s,”) and Inc. magazine ([Zingerman’s is] “The Coolest Small Company in America”).

Zingerman’s unique business model measures success based on three bottom lines: food quality, service quality and financial results. “Having service as one of our bottom lines sends a meaningful message to everyone in our organization that we are committed to walking our  talk,” Zingerman’s co-founder Ari Weinzweig notes in his book Zingerman’s Guide to Giving Great Service: Treating Your Customers Like Royalty. He adds, “Our success and steady growth over the years are a testament to the fact that our customer service training and systems really do work.”

“Zingerman’s 5 Steps to Effectively Handling a Complaint”  features actual Zingerman’s employees in Ann Arbor, MI sharing their own experiences and describing a step-by-step service recipe guaranteed take the stress out of one of the most challenging encounters in customer service.

What Are Zingerman’s 5 Steps To Effectively Handling A Complaint?
1. Acknowledge
2. Sincerely apologize
3. Take action to make things right
4. Thank the guest
5. Document the complaint

This new disc is the companion to the  “Zingerman’s 3 Steps to Giving Great Service” training DVD.  Together the DVDs share core customer service concepts from ZingTrain’s bestselling “The Art of Giving Great Service” seminar  which teaches business leaders how to incorporate great service into every single element of their organizational activities.

Here’s what customers have to say about Zingerman’s training DVDs:
“As a small, seasonal business owner, I really appreciate your training DVDs. Last year, I showed it to my employees at the start of our busy season, and we saw an 18% increase in sales! Every time I hire new people, I show the ‘Zingerman’s 3 Steps to Giving Great Service’ training DVD, and ask all of my existing staff to watch again. It’s the best tool I’ve found to encourage great service.” Diane Riehm, Riehm Farms, Tiffin, OH

“Just wanted to let you know that we recently purchased the ‘5 Steps to Effectively Handling a Complaint’ video and have incorporated it immediately into our customer service training for our front line staff.  The feedback we received from them was that it was an excellent lesson and that they found it to be very useful.  We are starting to see noticeable improvements in service delivery and our internal recognition board has more thank you notes on it than ever.” Perry Spencer, University of Michigan Hospital Security

Order “Zingerman’s 5 Steps to Effectively Handling a Complaint” for the introductory price of $250, (retail price: $350) and receive free UPS Ground shipping AND a free sourcream coffeecake. Pair it with ZingTrain’s first training DVD, “Zingerman’s 3 Steps to Giving Great Service,” for the bundle price of $500 – a $700 value.  (The 3 Steps DVD is available individually for $350.)  Introductory pricing is available through July 31, 2009. For more info and clips visit

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ZingTrain shares the “Zingerman’s experience” with forward-thinking organizations from around the world. ZingTrain’s managing partners, Maggie Bayless and Stas’ Kazmierski, use their experience in training and organizational change to help clients understand and apply the real-life systems, tools and techniques used at Zingerman’s, helping clients make meaningful, bottom-line-enhancing changes in their own organizations. ZingTrain, shares Zingerman’s expertise in training, service, merchandising, specialty foods, open book finance and staff management with the public through seminars and customized workshops.

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The Zingerman’s Community of Businesses (ZCoB) is a family of seven businesses all located in the Ann Arbor area and reflects the novel strategy for business growth created by Zingerman’s Deli founders Paul Saginaw and Ari Weinzweig. Rather than replicating their deli through the franchise model, Paul and Ari instead chose to develop new, independent businesses, all rooted in our local community that work together as one organization.

Each business is operated by one or more managing partners who share ownership and put their particular expertise to work in the day to day running of their business. The idea for the ZCoB was laid out in Zingerman’s 2009 vision, written by Ari and Paul in 1994 and highlighted in Bo Burlingham’s 2003 article for Inc. Magazine, “The Coolest Small Company in America.” In 2006, the ZCoB managing partners began work on Zingerman’s 2020 vision. It was completed a year later and paints a picture of the ZCoB at the end of the next decade. Zingerman’s 2020 vision was featured in a New York Times article from June 2007, “The Corner Deli that Dared to Break Out of the Neighborhood.”