When daily customer interactions can number in the hundreds, try a focused approach to quality control.
Team One Plastics, in Albion, Mich., involves employee teams with customer contacts. "We often work with a dozen key people at a customer site of 100 or more employees. When problems occur, their 12 can talk to our 12," says cofounder Craig Carrel. "How we all interact is part of the give-and-take of building a relationship."
Classy Chassis, a car wash chain based in Biloxi, Miss., balances its need for speed with "exit people" who check quality before customers drive off. And customers of special detailing services--such as hand waxing--are asked to rate performance. "We see 300 to 400 cars a day, so we focus on 10 to 25 at each of our sites," says owner Tom Wall. Customers who fill out a survey get 50% off their next wash. Demand for detailing work, a profit maker, has grown considerably.