Shoppers view and take photographs of humanoid robot "Chihira" at the information reception desk of Mitsukoshi department store in Tokyo. Chris McGrath/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Chris McGrath/Getty Images

Anthony Matthews collects letters from dissatisfied customers — including himself — at his website, Dear Customer Relations. He's crowd-funding a book based on the site. Courtesy of Anthony Matthews hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of Anthony Matthews

The call center of Zappos.com gets high marks from consumers for strong customer service. Shashi Bellamkonda/Flickr hide caption

itoggle caption Shashi Bellamkonda/Flickr

A Nordstrom salesperson shows a customer an online selection of shoes on an in-store iPad. Like some other retailers, Nordstrom is using mobile devices to make on-the-spot sales and check companywide product inventory instantly. Courtesy of Nordstrom hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of Nordstrom