Customer Service, Family Style
Everybody talks about the importance of service, but family companies may have an edge in providing it.
By Howard Muson
Stew Lenard, watch out. The Kowalskis of St. Paul, Minnesota, may steal your crown as the champion of customer service among the nation's grocery markets.
Jim Kowalski and his wife, Mary Anne, bought three groceries in St. Paul during the eighties and turned them into money machines by catering to the specific needs of customers in each store's neighborhood. The Kowalskis serve coffee and cookies to customers waiting in the checkout lines. They regularly invite customers to each store for discussions on how service can be improved that may last two or three hours. (One recent customer suggestion …
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