Chamber hosts ‘explode profits’ seminar

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 18, 2009

Good customer service is likely something most local business owners strive to achieve on a daily basis.

But, BestBIZ CEO John Cotton told those gathered at the Pike County Chamber of Commerce Wednesday, that wasn’t quite enough.

Customer advocacy was the heart of Cotton’s message to the 36 people gathered at the “Explode Profits — Create Customer Advocates” Seminar.

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“Their decisions to do business with you is based a lot not on product or price. It’s on value,” Cotton said. “None of us own the cheapest car, the cheapest residence. We’re frugal, but when it gets down to value, you do business with who you know and trust.”

That’s why customer advocacy is something Cotton said would keep businesses alive.

Satisfied customers, Cotton said, are good to have. But, they usually don’t speak one way or another about a business.

Customer advocates, on the other hand, “scream your name from the rooftops.”

“They are worth a zillion dollars,” Cotton said. “There’s a huge gap between the value of a satisfied customer and the advocate of a store.”

Pike County Chamber of Commerce President Jenniffer Barner said the chamber holds seminars like this once every quarter for its chamber members. Members of the Leadership Pike class were also in attendance for the event.

“In the uncertain times we are in with the economy we thought the message that John brought would be helpful,” Barner said. “He is right about customer service, and it is good to be reminded about those free or inexpensive ways to keep your business doing well.”

Barner said she heard positive feedback from those in attendance.

“We have had great feedback from attendees. Four of the companies who attended will be going further with BestBIZ and going deeper into some of the other things he has to offer,” Barner said.

Ashlee Henderson, project manager with Troy Cable, said even though her business strives to serve its customers well always, she learned a lot from the experience.

“It’s one of the best seminars the chamber has hosted as far as benefiting us at Troy Cable,” Henderson said. “We’d love to have more customer advocates. We are a service-oriented company, and we just learned tips on how to do better.”

Karen Herring, marketing team leader for Troy Regional Medical Center, agreed the seminar was useful.

“The BestBIZ customer service lunch and learn sponsored by the Pike County Chamber was very interesting and motivating. My name was drawn for a free Baseline Evaluation from BestBIZ for Troy Regional Medical Center,” Herring said. “I look forward to working with John on this project early in the new year. It is great to have an organization like the Pike County Chamber of Commerce offering these opportunities to their members. We appreciate all they do for Pike County.”