Here's an interesting article from Jameco. This is more or less what I want to be doing.
We are not box shifters, we are hackers helping hackers. If we're not having a dialog with our customers, I think we've failed.
I think it's that approachability that will make one hacker tell his friend about us, and will make a hacker buy from us a second time. Repeat business is good business.
I have a friend who has an online store here in Australia (http://www.ultrakeet.com.au). He keeps it nice and quirky, a fun place to shop. He says he often sends an order to place X, then next week, he'll get four new orders in a cluster within 10km of X. That's because hackers are social creatures, inhabiting their own social networks, and if you give a hacker good service, he'll talk. Far more potent advertising than we could ever do.