MARCH 1989

Sometimes even your guaranteed service falls short. The job then, according to G.O.D. (Guaranteed Overnight Delivery) Inc. CEO Walter Riley, is to turn that minus into a plus. G.O.D. doesn't just offer a money-back guarantee -- it sends customers their refunds even before they ask for them.

The Kearny, N.J., overnight express-freight company sends the accounting department an invoice, but it sends the purchasing agent a report detailing the previous month's deliveries and dates missed (if any) and a refund check made out to purchasing. Why not deal just with accounting? "Because the people who pay the bills don't decide who to use," Riley says. "This kind of itemized report really impresses purchasers, who 99% of the time don't even know they should get money back. A record and check is relatively simple for us to generate but would be a hassle for them. And they look better upstairs."

The policy not only provides Riley's salespeople with more ammo, but it reminds purchasing agents that G.O.D. is an overnight delivery service -- unlike most other freight services. And it keeps company performance statistics rigorously up to date, enabling Riley to take the pulse of G.O.D at any given moment.