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The Changing Face of Today's Customer: Strategies for Attracting and Retaining a Diverse Customer and Employee Base In Your Local Market
The Changing Face of Today's Customer Strategies for Attracting and Retaining A Diverse Customer and Employee Base In Your Local Market Thinking Globally, Selling Locally: Are You Ready? What can we learn from a coffee house, an airline, a golf course and a ski resort? Plenty. Like many corporations in North America, Starbucks Corporation,...
The Changing Face of Today's Customer Strategies for Attracting and Retaining A Diverse Customer and Employee Base In Your Local Market Thinking Globally, Selling Locally: Are You Ready? What can we learn from a coffee house, an airline, a golf course and a ski resort? Plenty. Like many corporations in North America, Starbucks Corporation, Continental Airlines, The Pebble Beach Company and Northstar-at-Tahoe share a common challenge: They are all in mature markets and offer a commodity that is widely available from any number of competitors. However, unlike many of their competitors, each of these companies has demonstrated the uncanny ability to develop and maintain incredibly lucrative markets in areas that are often overlooked. Their secret? They are attentive to the needs of customers and employees who represent diverse cultural and linguistic populations. The Changing Face of Today's Customer will give you many examples of success, as well as failure, then guide you through a process to assess your own organization. Are you ready? Don't Let This Happen To You The ski season was about to start and the marketing department of a major California ski resort could hardly wait. During the Summer months of the off-season, they had saturated the Chinese-speaking community in the San Francisco Bay Area with advertisements promoting the resort. Market research had shown this to be a largely untapped market for winter sports and they set out to entice them to come enjoy the snow. All advertisements were written in perfect Chinese, appeared in local Chinese newspapers and magazines, and offered the following deal: Bring this advertisement to our rental department and receive a 2 for 1 discount on rental equipment for the day. The snow fell, the resort opened and the crowds began to pour in. The rental department was filled with customers, many of whom were Chinese with discount coupons in hand. It appeared the marketing campaign was a tremendous success. Unfortunately, there were a few problems. The resort had not staffed the rental shop with anyone who spoke Chinese. To make matters worse, most of the rental staff had no idea what the coupons were good for. The only non-Chinese portion of the advertisement said: 50% off!. 50% off what? Was each coupon good for one person or a whole family? Within minutes of the shop opening, employees were in a state of panic and their customers were up in arms. As a final blow, they ran out of their supply of smaller-sized boots, skis, poles and snowboards well before all of the customers had been helped. None of the employees could communicate in Chinese, so they had to rely upon some of their bi-lingual Chinese customers to interpret for them. The crowd of frustrated customers disappeared as quickly as it had appeared. The success of the marketing department had turned into a customer service nightmare for the operations division. And this could have been avoided/Unfortunately, this type of customer service nightmare is hauppening with greater frequency in a variety of industries The World is Changing, Are You? Customers from around the world are changing the way business is done at home. In the U.S. alone, the immigrant population is 15% of America s population that has already surpassed 300 million people. These numbers will only grow. Learn From the Best, Then Apply The Lessons! The Changing Face of Today's Customer examines a number of companies that have gone through the process of transforming a local service or product into one that is attractive to both local and international customer alike. The issues range from simply translating instruction brochures into other languages, to completely altering a product line or business philosophy.
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