Hot Tip: Customer Service
For the best customer service possible, test your employees. Derek Gietzen, president and CEO of Genesis Communications International Inc., teaches "Telecom 101" to all of his 250 employees who speak with customers -- even senior managers. Eight videotaped lessons, which can be viewed on company time, explain the ins and outs of long-distance services -- from switching to processing to billing. All customer-service personnel must pass a final exam within their first 90 days of employment at the San Diego-based company. After the exam, Genesis rewards its honor students with degrees of varying cum laude status. Why bother? "If the employees don't understand what's going on, then they're not going to be able to help you understand why you're experiencing static," Gietzen says.