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How to Make Customers Happy

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How to Make Customers Happy

AP

Employees distribute the new iPad at Apple's flagshop store, in New York, Friday, March 16, 2012. Apple's latest iPad drew die-hard fans to stores in the U.S. and nine other countries Friday, many of whom lined up for hours to be among the first to buy one. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

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Do you want happy customers? Of course you do.

The rub, as it is always is, is cultivating a feedback loop from your business to your customers that creates perfect harmony. If it sounds touchy-feely or cultish, that's maybe because it slightly is -- as evidenced by the piece Jabez LeBret did in April on his visit to Zappos, which has more than a few takes on CEO Tony Hsieh's belief in happiness having an impact on a company's profits, sometimes forging a corporate culture that's great sounds a little hokey.

But so be it.

In a recent post over on Retail Customer Experience, it is posited that for you to have happy customers, you have to have happy employees.

So how do you do that? Well, there's a checklist, but it's not exactly like you can craft a recipe for foolproof happiness -- otherwise, wouldn't everyone be happy all the time? Here's the short of what they say: clarify what you stand for, hire only those who believe, make tough choices and create a culture around your beliefs.

A couple of points here. If you hire folks who are just looking for another paycheck, "you are not the only one suffering… your brand and your customer are the victims of these poor choices." The piece doesn't really address what you should do if you're strapped for cash and need to make another hire -- how to keep those still around happy when they're being overworked. That probably feeds somewhat into the other point on making tough choices, where Chick-fil-A is cited, and its unwillingness to be open on Sundays: "If you clarify what you stand for and something comes along and opposes that, you have to be willing to say 'No.'"

Read more over at Retail Customer Experience

David Wolinsky is a freelance writer and a lifelong Chicagoan. In addition to currently serving as an interviewer-writer for Adult Swim, he's also a columnist for EGM. He was the Chicago city editor for The Onion A.V. Club where he provided in-depth daily coverage of this city's bustling arts/entertainment scene for half a decade. When not playing video games for work he's thinking of dashing out to Chicago Diner, Pizano's, or Yummy Yummy. His first career aspirations were to be a game-show host.

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