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CUSTOMER SERVICE

Bargain Basement

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If you want to build customer loyalty, you have a key asset: You know your business better than your customers do. Teach them how to save money when they do business with you.

Norm Brodsky, CEO of CitiStorage, an archive-retrieval company, in Brooklyn, N.Y., does just that. When customers archive their records, they tend to lose track of them. The records often aren't of much use after several years have passed, and seldom do customers sort through old records to see what can be destroyed. Meanwhile, storage fees pile up as these customers continue amassing records.

CitiStorage saw a chance to help its customers by assigning a "destruction date" on every box a customer archives. When the date arrives, CitiStorage notifies the customer, who advises the company whether it should destroy the records. CitiStorage estimates that it has saved its customers as much as 40% of their storage costs.

Although Brodsky admits that sales are somewhat lower than they might otherwise be, this strategy reaps other rewards. Customers often stay with CitiStorage even when they might get a slightly cheaper rate somewhere else. Over the long run, that loyalty is worth much more to the business than the extra boxes.

Last updated: Jan 1, 1997




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