Customer Service Techniques

Accountability. Credibility. Authenticity. These are the old hallmarks of effective customer service. In a world of rapidly-evolving technology, the hallmarks desperately need an update. Here's a collection of articles showing how the best in the business keep their customers happy and, more importantly, coming back for more.

Bank of (Middle) America
Kerry Killinger and his colleagues at Washington Mutual Inc. don`t model themselves after Citigroup or Bank of America. Instead, they look for inspiration to Wal-Mart, Target, and Southwest Airlines -- giant companies that somehow manage to keep costs low and service high and meet the needs of the middle class. Linda Tischler
Would You Like a Mortgage With Your Mocha?
Who says banking has to be dull? Not the executives at ING Direct, who are banking on powerful technology and clever marketing to make a radical change in an industry that needs it. The result: In less than three years, they`ve attracted more than a million customers and $10 billion in assets. Scott Kirsner
Customer Service: Commerce Bank
Commerce Bank is one of America`s best-performing financial institutions, with a stock that grew more than 2,000% in 10 years. It is also America`s most convenient bank, with a fanatical commitment to "wowing" its customers. Chuck Salter
Fast Growth, Great Service
In a period of diminished hopes and slower growth, Convergys is a change of pace -- a company that`s growing fast without sacrificing service. And it better not: service is its business. Charles Fishman
Leader - Feargal Quinn
Ireland`s "Pope of Customer Service" dominates his market -- and continues to beat bigger rivals -- with a leadership philosophy that is at once folksy and radical. Behind all his success is one big question: How do we convince our customers to come back? Polly LaBarre
Customer Service: Commerce Bank
Commerce Bank is one of America`s best-performing financial institutions, with a stock that grew more than 2,000% in 10 years. It is also America`s most convenient bank, with a fanatical commitment to "wowing" its customers. Chuck Salter
How to Lap the Competition
The companies that break away from the pack in the next economy will focus almost obsessively on customer service, says author Charles L. Fred. Deliver on your promises, and consumers will reward you handsomely. Here`s how. Anni Layne Rodgers
Pay as You Go
Mobil launched Speedpass to help customers guzzle gas faster. Now, 5 million users later, the tiny device has become a huge asset -- a classic case of a network effect. Keith H. Hammonds
360-Degree Customer Care
Thomas M. Siebel shares his principles for meeting the complex demands of customers who want to interact seamlessly with companies across various platforms. Learn to wow your customers on every front. George Anders
Customer Service: EMC Corp.
"When a customer believes in you ... they`ll stick with you almost no matter what." -- Mike Ruettgers, EMC Corp. Paul C. Judge