31 August 2011
Engaged employees mean delighted customers
Dr Marcus Powe and Bruce McDonald speak about the importance of customer relations.
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RMIT University’s Entrepreneur in Residence Dr Marcus Powe recently teamed up with Bruce McDonald, Director, Advantage Point Business Advisors, to discuss the key to delighting customers.
Speaking to RMIT students, alumni and staff, Dr Powe and Mr McDonald illustrated the importance of excellence in customer relations and the central role that engaged employees play in that outcome.
“Customer satisfaction is so 1985,” Mr McDonald said.
“In my view, it is now all about delighting, and ideally thrilling customers.”
Dr Powe talked about the three things that businesses can compete on, namely service, process and product.
“Assuming a business is competitive on processes and products, their people are potentially the maker or breaker as far as the customer experience is concerned,” he said.
Referring to competition from online businesses, Mr McDonald explained how the biggest challenges retailers now face is to give customers outstanding service so that they will be prepared to pay a slight premium over online providers.
“If an organisation delights its customers and generates some excitement from the purchase experience, customers will reward them with the ultimate outcome – loyalty,” he said.
The audience spoke about their own experiences with good and poor service and the impact this had on their buying intentions.
Mr McDonald also pointed out that the leader sets the tone in an organisation.
“Nobody should be too important to assist customers. Leaders need to show staff how to delight them,” he said.
Mr McDonald spent most of his career with the Ford Motor Company in Australia and the USA. He held Vice-President positions in Marketing and Sales and the Customer Service Division.
Mr McDonald is also actively engaged with RMIT as a member of the Graduate School of Business and Law Program Advisory Committee, and as a mentor for the RMIT Business Plan Competition.
Dr Powe is a highly experienced business consultant and entrepreneur who advises business and government organisations in Australia and overseas.
In his role as RMIT’s Entrepreneur in Residence, Dr Powe advises students, staff and alumni on new venture creation and development and leads business planning and marketing workshops for RMIT Business Plan Competition participants.