On the 17 October, the first conference devoted to the secrets of customer service was held in Novosibirsk. There, more than a dozen speakers represented the ways the improved service can help to earn more money, strengthen market positions, upstage the competition, and make the customers satisfied without spending more than necessary.
The speakers included world-renowned experts in the area of service and work with the customer base. The key speaker was John Tschohl, an American specialist in the area of service culture who has been consulting for more than 40 years for world leading companies on service strategy implementation. In his hour-long speech, John told the listeners about modern trends in development of customer service. He revealed insights into the key aspects of building service strategy which today helps Western companies to become leaders even in the most competitive markets. As a successful example, John cited results of the service policy of Technodom, a Kazakh company which has managed to occupy, in a short time, 31% of the market owing to its loyalty programme.
Francesco Sansone, Europe’s leading specialist in consulting, Professor of Economics, and founder of Valore Consulting, a transcontinental company, was another special guest. He devoted his speech to the importance of applying flexible thinking in implementing customer service. Francecso is sure that innovations, knowledge, and flexible thinking make up the future strategic asset of the global economy. During more than 15 years, the team of Valore Consulting has been verifying this principle when working with such global brands as L’Oreal, SIA, Vodafone, Air France, Microsoft, CitiBank, Inteza, and many others.
For the conference to have more practical content, its organisers called together the best gurus in the area of service from the largest cities of Russia. Speeches of Andrey Alekseev from the Novosibirsk centre Mira, and Anton Semennikov, CEO of Zolotaya Seredina, were the most interesting in terms of description of the tools for productive service.
Andrey Alekseev heading Mira Healthy Recreation Centre, which is well known in Novosibirsk, recounted his service philosophy, and the way it affects the policy of his company management. In Andrey’s opinion, service is based on a sincere wish to help people, and on the love for their business. This is the only way employees of any company can efficiently interact with their customers or buyers. In his speech, he elaborated on the way he recruited employees through the ‘pain’ of customers, as well as on the way to create conditions for full self-realisation and efficiency of the Centre’s employees.
Anton Semennikov, the CEO of the company engaged in development, implementation, and support of loyalty programmes, devoted his speech to Smart Loyalty, an innovative solution of the team of Zolotaya Seredina specialists. Anton described the way many companies increased the profits during the crisis period by means of the Smart Loyalty tools. He especially focused on the specifics of working with important indicators for the efficiency of the loyalty programme:
- conversion (or which loyalty tools help a buyer to come back over and over again);
- purchase frequency (or the way of motivating people to make purchases more often);
- average receipt (or how to inspire a person to make a purchase to a larger amount); and
- margin (or how to make money from granting bonuses to buyers).
Anton demonstrated how important it is to make exact calculations of these indicators when developing and implementing a loyalty programme, and how much profit is lost by the companies not troubling themselves with analysis of the cost of privileges for buyers which they implemented.
In general, the Service Secrets conference became the first experience in creating a platform where professionals, entrepreneurs from various activity areas as well as owners of major international companies could exchange their experience, and describe most important aspects in the work with customers and buyers. The organisers did an excellent job with the selection of the speakers and topics. They covered many aspects of service.