DECEMBER 1990

"We'd lecture employees all day long about what needed to be improved, and they wouldn't get it," recalls Mark Taylor, CEO of AFS Window & Door Corp., a $10-million maker of wooden windows and doors based in Anaheim, Calif. Now Taylor has meetings every two months in which he serves pizza to his 70 employees and they watch videos of customers on construction sites pointing out problems with the windows. Since the sessions began, customer complaints have been cut by more than 60% and returns due to poor shipping and handling have become rare.

Salespeople, who double as camera-crew members, report that customers are flattered to have their complaints addressed so responsibly. "Employees immediately see how mistakes can cause problems and know what needs to be done," says Taylor.