Sunday, April 11, 2010

Putting the Customer First, Part II

What does your business do to make customers love it?

In February, I wrote a column for the Financial Post on how companies need to put their customer first – and then asked readers to write in to tell me how they do that.

My column in last week's Post discusses some of the responses I received. Good news: customer service is alive and well in Canada. From dot-coms to retailers to service and software companies, enlightened entrepreneurs are proving that the best way to succeed is to help your customers win first.

In Oakville, Ont., T-Shirtmonster Inc. combines online technology with client-first focus. In addition to selling customized T-shirts to sports teams and community groups, the company enables consumers and organizations to open virtual storefronts to sell their own branded apparel.

"We are the only company in Canada that prints and fulfills T-shirt orders in-house, on demand, and provides free store-hosting and online sales reports clients can view 24/7," says Roland Mackintosh, president and co-founder of the company.

The Breast Cancer Society of Canada opened a store on to sell shirts to supporters across the country for its annual fundraising event, "Dress Down Day." The society "loved the fact they didn't have to take on inventory or worry about order fulfillment or customer service," Mackintosh says. Supporters can even personalize their shirts. One design, for instance, simply says, "I wear pink for my ---," and invites you to complete the message by adding a name or photo.

Making things fun and easy for customers offers powerful payback, Mackintosh says: "If we hadn't impressed BCSC, we would have missed a major opportunity for their supporters to become regular customers of our own."

You can read the full story here.

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