If you want to improve customer service at your business, try watching reruns on television, chatting up an eight-year-old or visiting a fancy hotel.

Business savvy can crop up in the most unexpected places, according to Alan Gregerman, author of Surrounded By Geniuses: Unlocking Brilliance In Yourself, Your Colleagues And Your Organization.

For example, plopping down in front of a few Seinfeld reruns can be more valuable than spending millions of dollars on market research, Gregerman said. Popular television shows are well-loved because they hit a chord. The characters’ joys and frustrations can often reflect your customers’ preferences, he said.


Your local Girl Scout troop offers a lesson in connecting with clients, Gregerman said. The cookie sale combines the nostalgia of a well-loved brand, an appealing salesperson and a quality product, he said.

Finally, almost any business can learn a thing or two from concierges at the world’s finest hotels. They greet each request with a promise to make it their first priority, then rely on established networks to deliver on that promise, Gregerman said. A contact at the city’s hottest restaurant can mean the difference between a disappointed guest and a last-minute reservation.