How do you get employees to go the extra mile for complaining customers?

One way is to base a part of their compensation on customer evaluations of their performance. Renex, a 15-year-oldmanufacturer of computer peripherals, in Woodbridge, Va., does just that with the employees in its customer-communicationscenter. An administrator contacts customers who have called in with problems and asks them about the performance of thecompany and its customer-service representatives. The administrator uses the answers to calculate scores for the employees whohandled the problem. Scores are averaged quarterly, producing ratings used to determine quarterly bonuses. Bonuses canaccount for as much as 25% of employees' overall compensation.

The system gives technical support staff the drive to keep doing their best for customers, say company execs. Renex also claimsthat its typical service rep winds up making about 10% more than the industry average.

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