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Answers For The Workplace E-Memo

Middlemen Making a Comeback

A few years ago, the word on the street was middlemen were doomed. The Internet allowed people to bypass the middleman and buy directly from the manufacturer. But according to an article in the March edition of Business 2.0, this ďainít necessarily so.Ē

CDW, formerly known as Computer Discount Warehouse, is one company thriving as a middleman. What are they doing to make themselves successful?

a) Every customer service rep goes through rigorous, extensive training.
b) When an order comes in, it gets shipped that day.

c) They use digital cameras to photograph each order before itís shipped, thus ensuring a record for accuracy on their orders.

The overarching key to successful middlemen? Top quality, phenomenal customer service. CDW goes to great lengths to make small businesses feel like CDW understands them.

Personal example: Itís easy to arrange airfare over the Internet for our business travel here at Leadership Development, but lately weíve gone back to buying tickets through our travel agent. I donít mind paying a little more for the top-quality service we get in return. Our agent works hard for us.

When it all boils down, most people prefer to do business with someone they believe is looking out for their best interests. Successful middlemen are the ones who go the extra mile to do just that.
     

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