From Customer Complaints to Customer Contentment

Ari Weinzweigzena Zumeta

The program focuses on Zingerman’s Community of Businesses and its philosophies and Customer Complaint Process. The businesses include the original business, Zingerman's Delicatessen, plus Zingerman’s Bakehouse, Creamery, Catering, Mail Order, ZingTrain, Coffee Company, Roadhouse Restaurant, Candy Manufactory and the newest business—Events at Cornman Farms. Zingerman’s produces and sells all sorts of full flavored, traditional foods in its home of Ann Arbor, Michigan to the tune of $50,000,000 a year in annual sales. Effectively managing conflict has allowed Zingerman’s to grow from 2 employees to 700 over 33 years. Like Apple Computers, Zingerman’s delights its customers with its food and its customer relations. It has also been lauded by President Obama and others for its employee support, including its fair base salary, hours and benefits. Zingerman’s philosophy of Servant Leadership, Energy Management, Going Direct and Handling Customer Complaints is at the core of its popularity and success.

Ari Weinzweig is CEO and co-founding partner of Zingerman's Community of Businesses. Ari was recognized as one of the “Who’s Who of Food & Beverage in America” by the 2006 James Beard Foundation and has awarded a Bon Appetit Lifetime Achievement Award among many recognitions. Ari is the author of a number of articles and books, including Zingerman’s Guide to Better Bacon (Zingerman’s Press), Zingerman’s Guide to Giving Great Service (Hyperion), Zingerman’s Guide to Good Eating (Houghton Mifflin), Zingerman’s Guide to Good Leading, Part 1: A Lapsed Anarchist’s Approach to Building a Great Business, and Zingerman's Guide to Good Leading, Part 2: A Lapsed Anarchist’s Approach to Being a Better Leader. His next book, Zingerman's Guide to Good Leading, Part 3; A Lapsed Anarchist's Approach to Managing Ourselves, was released in December of 2013.

Zena Zumeta, internationally known as both a mediator and trainer of mediators. She is president of the Mediation Training & Consultation Institute, Zena Zumeta Mediation Services, and The Collaborative Workplace in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Zena is a lawyer and a former president of the Academy of Family Mediators. She is the recipient of the the Michigan Lifetime Achievement in Mediation Award; the National Education Association/Saturn Corporation Award for Union-Management Collaboration; the John Haynes Distinguished Mediator Award; and the Kumba Award from the National Conference on Minorities in ADR.

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