Do your customers get answers to their problems the first time they call your company? If they have to call again, they're more likely to go away unhappy even if their problem is solved. Companies that empower 800-line employees to respond directly to customer's questions see increased customer satisfaction. The excerpt below shows how award-winning companies proactively approach solving problems for customers.

% of customers completely satisfied after . . .

One Two or more By industry segment phone call phone calls

Industrial sales 86% 42%

Packaged goods 77 40

Computers 68 28

Retail banking 66 35

Financial services 56 22

Auto repairs and services 50 18

Hotels 46 13

Source: "SOCAP 800 Number Study: A 1992 Profile of 800 Numbers for Customer Service," a survey of 460 companies, about 25% of them small to midsize businesses, by Technical Assistance Research Programs, based in Washington, D.C., for Society of Consumers Affairs Professionals in Business, in Alexandria, Va.

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