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5 Best Customer Service Ideas

Don't do business without them.

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This story appears in the March 1999 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

You know the stories: There's the legendary tale of a Nordstrom clerk who refunded the price of a customer's tires, even though Nordstrom doesn't sell tires. And who could forget the one about a Midwest Express employee who lent his own suit to a passenger whose luggage had been lost?

Reserved for world-class companies, these stories tell of the loyalty-boosting customer service most entrepreneurs would kill for. The problem? Most entrepreneurs don't have the foggiest idea how to provide this kind of service. In the words of Jay Goltz, 42, founder and president of Artists Frame Service in Chicago, and author of The Street Smart Entrepreneur (Addicus Books), "You read books, go to seminars, hear speakers talk about great customer service, but it doesn't always work."

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