Investing in customer service

Hey, big news. The fast-food megagiant McDonald’s–which in 2003 posted its first-ever quarterly loss in FORTY-SEVEN years!–has come back strong because they decided to put customer service first over profit margins on individual orders.

They took a hard look at themselves and realized that people were going elsewhere because they were disgusted with long waits in line–caused in large part by employees struggling to make change for cash purchases. Why? Because McDonald’s wouldn’t let you buy small amounts with a credit card. And because this massive corporation had the power to negotiate better rates with credit card companies, all bets are off for status quo on small-time e-commerce buys as well.

Just think. Very soon we’ll be able to use our credit/debit cards to spend just a buck to do something quick on the Internet. This will revolutionize the world as we know it because Americans thrive on mini-transactions. A recent study says we spent “$1.3 trillion last year on purchases that cost less than $5, and 99 percent of that was paid for with cash.”

The day of virtual money has arrived. Start thinking about how to take advantage of this in your business. What can you offer in small quantities that will invite your prospects to establish a relationship with your company? That’s where it starts–with the first purchase, no matter how small.

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