Seth Godin and Tom Peters got into a friendly shouting match yesterday under the bemused eye of moderator Susan Sobbott, president of AmEx OPEN and host of the AmEx OPEN Forum for small business.

The three were the mainstage attraction at the Inc. 5000 conference before lunch on Friday Sept. 19, 2008.

Susan posed some great questions about leadership, customer service, the loyalty of employees vs. customers, and controlling your brand.

The customer service question ("True or False? Technology has killed customer service") prompted the screaming. The Web makes for great customer service, Tom said, citing Amazon's recommendations feature and how easy it is to book a flight online.

It's not just about the technology, Seth said, citing the horrible experience of present day air travel. "Customer service is now for things that go wrong... your standards are way too low!"

"Where," Seth asked, "is the box where you check to pay more. I'll pay more and you'll be nice to me? Where is that"

Below Seth reprises an answer to a question from the audience: "Is social networking important for small business?"