Today, competition is fierce, and customers have more options than ever -- a tough combination for smaller companies trying to gain market share. Read the articles below for tactics and case studies for improving customer-service for profit and gain.

Customer Service Techniques

...Or Your Money Back
Nothing entices a client like the promise of a payout if things go wrong.
This Call May Be Monitored
Some companies are enlisting professional snoops to improve customer satisfaction.
Street Smarts: Learning From JetBlue
One day flying JetBlue, I found myself being served by David Neeleman, the airline`s founder. When was the last time you met your customers and asked how you could better serve them?
The Best You Have to Offer
CEO Norm Brodsky argues that pride is the most powerful force in your business. Here's a look at how business owners stimulated pride -- and a companywide obsession in customer service, in the process.
Setting and Measuring Service Standards
The customer-service-improvement strategy of retailer Revco Drug Stores is in essence three behaviors the company thought everyone could deliver.
God is in the Detailing
The owner of Aladdin's Auto Service Center services not only auto bodies but also human spirits.
Case Study: The Best Little Grocery Store In America
Green Hills Farms, a small family grocery in upstate New York, has big companies around the country clamoring to know the secrets behind its powerful customer-loyalty program.
Case Study: Common Threads
Joe Fulmer, CEO of Stitching Post, deliberately transformed his store into the kind of place where customers socialize with one another.

Web Strategies

May I Help You?
New live-chat software helps Web merchants convert browsers into buyers.

Five Key Ways to Improve Your Customers' Experience

Leave a positive impression on your Internet customers by following these guidelines:

  • Post all necessary information
  • Personalize your site
  • Perform usability tests
  • Add a human touch
  • Ask for feedback


A Second Act for CRM
Customer relationship management software is back -- and worth another look. Really.
Add Value to Customer Relationships
An organization is truly customer driven when it properly manages information, makes that information available to the right people, and trains its staff to use that to build relationship value.
In CRM, Size Matters and Smaller Is Better
A small hotel's use of the Web combined with personal interaction is a perfect example of how you can accomplish the objectives of CRM more effectively and less expensively than big business can.

Implementing Superior Customer Service

What's Next: Service With a Smile. Really.
How technology ruined customer service--and how three start-ups plan to rescue it.
Eight Keys to Creating a Customer-Service Culture
In this excerpt from Customer Service -- the Key to Your Competitive Edge, author Peggy Morrow provides guidelines and examples to assist you in creating a customer-service culture.
Customer-Service Tips from an Expert
Martha Rogers, a specialist in customer-service management and an Inc Web Awards 2000 judge, gives pointers on how small businesses can reach the level of customer service practiced by large companies.
Recovering From Service Mistakes
How good are you at transforming a dissatisfied customer into a satisfied one -- even when you messed up? Customer-service consultants Peggy Morrow & Associates offer tips for a turnaround and gives an example of service recovery in action.

Direct Mail

Make Someone Happy -- Your Customer
Making customers happy is the key to keeping them, says Lillian Vernon, the founder of one of the country's premier direct-mail businesses. Vernon's success has proved that the building blocks of customer happiness are selecting the right products, being honest with customers, and welcoming communications between the company and its customers. She offers five suggestions for integrating those into your salesmanship.