Some companies set the low bar for customer service (e.g., airlines, cable t.v. providers). My former cable provider neither empowered its employees to troubleshoot nor allowed them to escalate a call. Only when I sent certified letters to the CEOs of both joint venture partners threatening not to sue them but to go to the media did I get an owed refund in my mailbox the next day.

I know good customer service doesn’t come cheap. But it’s a lot more cost-effective to retain customers than to lure in new ones who also won’t stick around long either.

In my next post, I’ll talk about how Verizon Wireless gets it right.