business retention

Challenges Create Opportunity, People Create Change - 4/20/21


There are so many great things that have been said over the years about overcoming challenges, pushing aside the roadblocks of life, dealing with difficulties.  And these are important points of discussion because challenges are all around us.  There are challenges with our personal health or in our personal Read more

The Passive Predicament - 4/13/21


The employee is speaking to you.  Do they have that look in the eyes like they’re hanging on your every word, like they’re processing, interpreting, and getting ready to quickly respond to your key points and questions?  Or do they have the look of somebody in the 2nd hour Read more

Regain Lost Motivation - 4/6/21


For many of us over the last 12 months, our home has also become our workplace.  Our work interaction has been 2-dimensional through the computer screen as opposed to the 3-dimensional experiences we’re used to with co-workers and customers. We are all motivated in our own unique ways.  Some are Read more

The Answer is Right, but the Service is Wrong - 3/30/21


Maggie was irate.  The gift she ordered needed to be received by the 20th of the month so she could give it to her cousin for his birthday.  It was the 19th, and Maggie couldn’t find any shipping update online, so she called the company.  The employee said “Oh!  Read more

Question Everything, but What’s the Question? - 3/23/21


The new leader joins the organization, and she decides she wants to question everything.  She wants employees to question everything.  Why have we always done it this way? Why do we continue to do it that way? Is this the best way to work? Sometimes it’s a great management Read more

The Resourceful Rep - 3/16/21


One of our clients is seeking to develop Customer Service Standards.  We’re working with them to identify those key expectations of staff that will enable the organization to deliver a consistent high-level customer experience.  One of the key attributes that this organization is seeking from its team members is Read more

Be Proactive like a Pro - 3/9/21


We constantly work with clients, encouraging them to become more proactive with customers.  Don’t just be reactive, waiting for the customer to ask questions or to complain.  Instead, go to the customer, anticipate their needs, suggest something to them. But many of us, frankly, don’t know how to be proactive.  Read more

Find One Unique Thing - 3/2/21


Many of us are not in a position to develop long-term relationships with our customers.  Our encounters are often one-time only with a customer - very brief and likely to be our only time chatting with this individual. And even though there may not be a long-term professional relationship developed, Read more

Should I Stay or Should I Go? - 2/23/21


Should I stay or should I go?  That’s not just a classic song by The Clash.  It’s also the question customers ask more and more, especially during difficult economic times. A recent study in the Charlotte Business Journal noted that 50% of North Carolina businesses are concerned with how to Read more

Optimism – A Force for Good in Customer Service - 2/16/21


Will 2021 be a better year than 2020?  I have absolutely no idea.  Maybe it would be nice to see into the future and know for certain, but I can’t and I don’t.  But as I wade further and further into this year, I can hope that the water Read more

When Mayors Get It Right

Posted on in Government Please leave a comment

The new mayor had taken office, and she had appeared on many different local television shows and radio shows. It seemed like every time she spoke, she spoke about the importance of retaining jobs. She spoke about the importance of keeping local businesses.

It was amazing to hear, and yet it was not amazing to hear. It was amazing to hear in the sense that very few politicians ever talk about retaining jobs. Sure, they are more than willing to promote the next new local headquarters or the company that is moving a facility to their jurisdiction. But rarely do politicians talk about the importance of retaining jobs and companies in the future.

The reason why it was not so surprising is that the local economy had lost some major employers recently, and there was an increasing sense of concern permeating the community about the loss of more jobs.

Just like with any private sector business attempting to retain clients, government entities need to have strategies focused on retaining their local businesses and local jobs. These strategies involve having an organizational structure setup that is continuously touching base with local businesses in key industries to ensure they are getting their needs met. This strategy includes ongoing research by directly contacting companies as well as more passive research where the municipalities are gathering information on local businesses about leadership changes, changes in company performance, facility changes, and industry trends. That strategy includes making sure that there are incentives in place to help with economic development for companies willing to expand and stay locally so that those incentives can fend off other jurisdictions offering relocation incentives.

It’s sad that it takes a bad economy to get politicians to talk about business retention, but if it does nothing else, it proves that every local job, every local business, and every industry impacted by local business is important.

Make sure that your jurisdiction has a sound strategy for business retention and expansion.

Interested in improving your company’s customer service?  See more information at: http://www.cssamerica.com/


Don’t Be Afraid to Ask the Tough Questions

Posted on in Business Advice, Government Please leave a comment

We have worked with several business retention and expansion organizations (BRE) that support local municipalities and economic development associations over the years.  These BRE groups are charged with trying to retain and grow local jobs.  In order to be successful, these organizations need to have some information in advance of what could happen to local jobs, of what could happen to local facilities, of what could happen to local employers.

So with our BRE clients, we suggest that they conduct surveys, if possible, on an annual basis. These surveys are either online, via the telephone, or via in-person interviews where local business leaders 1-on-1 are providing information. The information they provide to the BRE staff includes their thoughts on the local business climate, trends in their industry, and their current company’s financial performance. But one key set of questions that also needs to be included relates to business retention. In other words, if you are a business retention and expansion organization wanting to be proactive in retaining and growing local jobs, you need to have intelligence that enables you to look into the future.

Every survey, every tool, every instrument that is trying to garner intelligence for BRE organizations needs to make sure it is asking the basic and tough questions that it should:

  • How likely is the business to relocate in the next 12 months?
  • What leadership changes are expected over the next 1 to 2 years?
  • If facilities are leased, will those leases come due in the next 12 months?
  • Are you being recruited right now by other municipalities?
  • What change in the number of jobs are you expecting locally over the next 12 months?

If organizations truly want to live their core mission, they need to be willing to ask the tough questions.

Interested in improving your company’s customer service?  See more information at:  http://www.cssamerica.com/


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