During any economic downturn, hiring goes down and consulting goes up. The advantages of hiring consultants during tough times includes having more flexibility to hire just the right person for the job, without needing to worry about providing benefits such as health insurance.
Chuck Sujansky, CEO of KEYGroup Consulting®, provides outsourced training and employee assessments. “With the advent of the internet, companies don’t have the training staff that they used to. You know, the old model was, you’d operate a one-day supervisory training program, and you’d have 30 managers come in and take it,” he said. “It was kind of one size fits all.”
KEYGroup offers custom-made training programs that employees can take right from their office computers, eliminating travel costs and minimizing the time they must take away from their jobs. This combination of minimum costs and custom services is very attractive to budget-cutting clients.
Sujansky’s team also helps clients with job candidate assessments. “We’ll do an analysis and take a look at their very, very top performers — the type of employee that they would love to clone over and over again for every hire that they make,” he said. “And we’ll develop a profile of those top performing employees. When the job candidate takes the assessment, the computer will score his or her results and give us a percent match.” This procedure helps clients to be sure that they are hiring the right people. By hiring top performers client companies increase productivity and reduce turnover costs. Both of which increase the bottom line.
For more information on KEYGroup go to www.KEYGroupConsulting.com
As printed in THE SUIT Magazine – May 2012
The advertising world is one that is fast-paced. Employees at advertising agencies are at times forced to work long hours in order to meet strict deadlines. Square 2 Marketing, a Philadelphia-based advertising and marketing agency, is highly effective in keeping up with this fast pace. The agency believes that it is of upmost importance to accommodate its clients in this quick process by making sure all of their needs are met. “Coaches” at Square 2 Marketing encourage their “players” to help slow down the process for clients by being attentive to the client’s concerns and desires which will in turn lead to a better customer experience. In addition, their employees are trained to help clients break out of their comfort zone by helping clients to think differently about their business. As a result, Square 2 Marketing is able to help its customers develop unique advertising campaigns in a timely manner. Clients of Square 2 Marketing find that the agency’s employees are very responsive and helpful in such a fast-paced environment. If your company is in a fast-paced environment, how are you making sure your company is responsive and attentive to its customers?
Ignore High-Quality Customer Service At Your Own Peril
Written by CEO of KEYGroup, Chuck Sujansky
CEO Julia Ritzenthaler of uniquevanities.com trains her customer service employees to listen to the client and try to provide several solutions that they individually believe take care of the situation. Methods that have worked for her company are to go back to the drawing board and work with the manufacturer of the product in order to try to provide the customer with a product that will meet their expectations or provide a possible discount for the customer. In the end, if the customer is not satisfied, her company is willing to take back the product and return the shipping costs to its customers. Her “open policy” allows her customer service representatives to openly work with the customer and provide them with several solutions in order to help satisfy the customer since every situation is unique. As a result, customers feel as though her company is dealing with their problem personally instead of having her employees follow a pre-planned, strict dialogue. While it is a priority to save costs for her business, Ms. Ritzenthaler believes that the entire customer experience must be no less than exceptional in order for her business to retain its strong image. How does your company balance its costs while keeping the customer satisfied?
The “WOW” Factor is what every business trys to achieve when impressing customers. Lately, many consumers have been very consciencious of the amount of money they spend because of our economic conditions. And many businesses are finding it difficult to survive. CEO Julia Ritzenthaler of uniquemirrorsonline.com has the “WOW” Factor and it helps her business not only survive, but grow. Her company’s “WOW” Factor is helping her customers feel comfortable when they buy from her companies. She handpicks every single product that she sells in order to insure that the product maintains excellent craftmanship, quality, and durablility. In addition, she impresses her customers with friendly customer service that includes a personal call-back the same day of purchase to let her customers know their order is confirmed. However, Ms. Ritzenthaler does not stop here. She has her customer service representatives send personalized e-mails to each customer about their order along with a personalized, hand written thank you note. A uniquemirrorsonline.com customer in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, said she was thrilled after receiving such gracious acts of kindness and was extremely pleased with the entire customer experience. What are you doing today to “WOW” your customers to shop with you again tomorrow?
Dr. Jan Ferri-Reed, President of KEYGroup wrote an article that is hot off of the press for Chief Learning Officer Magazine. Read it and enjoy! Release Stress and Build Resilience.
With thousands of home décor products available to consumers, it is difficult for many people to find what product is right for them and what will meet their expectations. Julia Ritzenthaler, CEO of uniquevanities.com, knows that her company will be the first that many consumers look to for home vanities by providing them with a state-of-the-art, interactive blog. The blog provides the consumer with up-to-date information and advice through videos and articles. Customers learn what products might be suitable in various rooms of their homes based on size, style, and other attributes of the product. Her blog is simple and direct and allows her customers to get the latest information on quality products. As a result, many consumers feel confident that they are making an educated purchasing decision. With a growing amount of consumers shopping online, it is wise for your company to set up a blog since it is one of the latest communication formats that many consumers are using. How is your company taking that extra step to help your customers become more informed?
Profit is appealing to every stakeholder of a for-profit firm. For CEO Julia Ritzenthaler of uniquemirrorsonline.com, she finds it more advantageous to give a portion of her profit to her customers in the form of lower prices. Modern consumers are very internet savvy, according to Ms. Ritzenthaler, and they are able to find the best prices for the best value easily. Since much of her business is focused online, Ms. Ritzenthaler is in a price war with other companies that sell similar products. Her comparably low prices have led to more repeat customers for her business which has also led to many new customers being referred to her company. A lot of this profit comes from low overhead costs and she has formed strong relationships with her manufacturers. What profit distribution methods work for your company so you are able to attract and retain customers?
Millennials, love giving back to their community. This is certainly true at Penn State University where students get involved with the Penn State Dance Marathon, the largest student run philanthropy in the world. The Penn State Dance Marathon, better known as THON, was created in 1973 with a small group of students to raise money for pediatric cancer. Over the years the success of the organization has grown enormously as students raised over $9.5 million for the Four Diamonds fund which aims to combat pediatric cancer.
So how do they do it? Students participate in yearlong fundraising events through fraternities, sororities, or other clubs and organizations. In 2011, a total of 361 student clubs or organizations sent their members on “canning trips”, and held other THON events such as spaghetti dinners, ice cream socials, and more. A canning trip occurs four times a year, where students stand out on street corners in one of their member’s hometown, and collect donations in metal cans.
All of their hard work is rewarded during THON weekend. Students pile into the Bryce Jordan Center to support the THON dancers, do not stand, sit or sleep for 46 continuous hours! The students hope that their efforts give kids a greater chance in fighting their cancers.
THON is an amazing event that captures the spirit of giving from the Penn State College students. It is also an opportunity for students who have nothing in common, work towards a common goal. These passionate Millennials work tirelessly and dedicate their entire school year to exceeding the THON totals from the previous year.
What can you do to give your workplace a common goal?
Stonyfield Farms, an organic dairy products producer, incorporates a company culture that is committed to health. Their mission statement reads, “We’re committed to healthy food, healthy people, healthy business and a healthy planet”. The actions the company takes to carry out this mission, are truly remarkable. To adhere to their core values, each year Stonyfield gives 10% of their profits to help protect and restore the earth. So far, they have contributed over $12 million of their profits to the Profits for Planet program, which allocates the money to nonprofit organizations who are committed to restoring the environment. And, their corporate social responsibility has not hindered their growth one bit. In the last 18 years, Stonyfield Farms has had an annual growth rate of over 24%.
Of course it is not only the corporate contributions that embody their commitment to health, but it is the dedication of their workforce as well. Through Stonyfield’s “Make a Difference” Program, employees are encouraged to participate in community service projects during the week. Stonyfield will pay the employees up to 16 hours of work each year to encourage their employees to get involved and volunteer. Also, Stonyfield cares about rewarding their most loyal and dedicated workers who have been with the company for at least five years. The company supports a sabbatical program where employees are able to take 8 weeks of paid time off. As a result of their revolutionary practices, 76% of Stonyfield employees feel that they have a great work/life balance. What is your organization doing to encourage your employees to give back?