In today’s (commercial) world, everyone seems to be focused on one thing and one thing only: money. Many companies forget that without customers, they would not be where they are right now and yet, some companies still believe they can treat their customers the way they want.
Normally, this kind of post would turn into a rant, but I think it is important to point out those companies that actually care about their customers and will do (just about) everything to keep you coming back:
First up is QH Networks. I came across them while looking for some professional help on getting a new Operating System installed on my server. Since I value my data and like to be kept in the loop, I bombarded one of their employees with a myriad of questions during the whole project. I had special requirements and special circumstances, yet they did not give up on me and move on to the next, probably more profitable client. By doing so, they earned my respect and I will most certainly come back when I am in need of their services again.
Next stop is Proporta.com. I initially came across them in 2003, while looking for some accessories for my Pocket PC and while I am not ordering from them every other week, they are always the first site that I check. The reason for that is simple: their employees are very responsive and in the rare case that your order cannot be shipped out the same day, they will try to, and actually do, their level best to keep you happy as a customer. It is not so much the reparations they are willing to make but their concern for you as a customer. Granted, said concern is probably based on the fact that they want to keep you as a customer, but still, they care, while others do not. And besides that, Proporta.com includes a selection of English Breakfast Tea with every order, a small gesture, yes, but one I like a lot.
Both of these companies work harder to keep you as a customer than most other companies you will ever come across. It may be related to their respective area of operations, which are more niche than your ordinary brick and mortar store or it may be related to the fact that their employees actually give a damn. Either way, it works out very nicely for the consumer.