How do you motivate employees to give great customer service? Try taking the lead of Tom Vitacco, CEO of PrintMasters Inc., a franchised chain of more than 100 West Coast print shops. He uses customer correspondence to recognize workers who go the extra mile.

When a customer writes in praising an employee's ser-vice, Vitacco or another officer presents an employee with a framed certificate. Though giving out 5 to 10 such prizes a month is inexpensive for the company, the award makes its point. "It passes on a simple message," says Vitacco, "that we care about the employees and what they do. The equipment is the same in most print shops. What makes you different in this business is how you treat your customer."