March 9, 2010, 12:00 AM

Customer criticism can be constructive, CableOrganizer says’s Paul Holstein, chief operating officer, will talk at the Internet Retailer Conference about how to use customer feedback to guide change and boost the bottom line.

Zak Stambor

Managing Editor

Lead Photo

Paul Holstein, Chief Operating Officer,

No retailer likes to be criticized by customers, but it happens., a web-only retailer of cable, wire and products to manage electrical equipment, made it a point to examine all the feedback it received from customers. In doing so, it has learned some valuable lessons, as chief operating officer Paul Holstein has learned. He will detail those lessons at the Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition 2010 in a session entitled How to borrow your customers’ ideas and look like a genius.

Holstein will describe how CableOrganizer dug into product reviews, a suggestion box that appears on every page, blogs, surveys, usability studies and other sources to better understand its customers. Even the unhappy customers were helpful, maybe even the most helpful, Holstein says.

“There are no better business coaches than dissatisfied customers,” he says. “Using their feedback and suggestions as the basis for change not only broadens your viewpoint and increases expertise, but boosts your bottom line as well.”

Why the editors asked Paul Holstein to speak:

Paul Holstein, who co-founded in 2002, was one of the highest rated speakers at IRCE 2009. has a well thought out program of listening to its customers as a way of indentifying improvements to its site. Holstein has integrated web analytics and multivariate testing as key elements of his company`s strategic planning and daily business operations.

Full details about the conference and registration information are available at


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