Learn What Keeps Your Customers Up at Night

Sometimes there’s just no substitute for good old-fashioned communication.

Just ask Adrienne Lumpkin. She’ll tell you customer relationships were key to the success of Alternate Access, the Raleigh (N.C.)-based computer telephony firm she and Kelly Lumpkin started at their dinner table one night in 1993. "Once you make a sale, it’s the beginning of a relationship, not the end," Adrienne explains.

And while cultivating relationships isn’t a top priority for all businesses, Adrienne knows that for a company like Alternate Access, which focuses on telephony customization, it’s essential. "Sometimes it’s hard to shut up and hear what your customers’ needs are," she says. "But I want to make sure that my customers tell me what they need, instead of telling my competitor."

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