What do the Mall of America, the Department of Homeland Security and INARF members have in common? Plenty, according to 2013 Annual Conference keynote speaker Petra Marquart, a customer service expert and author of the best-selling book The Power of Service: Keeping Customers for Life. An expert in customer service, Petra has worked with well-known corporations and government entities to develop comprehensive customer service training programs to keep customers satisfied.
Drawing from her own personal experiences as a consumer and the wealth of knowledge gained from working with top corporations, Petra offered conference attendees a glimpse into the customer experience - both positive and negative. By example, she described how a poor customer service encounter with a cellular carrier was turned around by one dedicated professional. Something as simple as a complaint call provided an opportunity for the service representative to truly listen to Petra's complaints, and allow her to feel acknowledged, affirmed, and important.
Using humorous anecdotes like this, Petra illustrated how agencies can embrace the power to perform through empowered and engaged staff interactions with customers. The principles of great customer service: service, quality, price, and time - sound deceptively simple but are easily overlooked in day to day activity.
Through thoughtful discussion and insighful handouts attendees learned how the daily grind leads to subpar customer service, and how a change of attitude can change customer interaction for the better. While customer service is usually thought of as a profit driver for big business, Petra encouraged agencies to see every interaction with a consumer or family member as an opportunity to serve, and to fully engage in the mission of serving people with disabilities.
INARF is pleased to provide Conference presentations and handouts to all Conference attendees; please visit the INARF website to view available materials. For more information about Petra Marquart, please visit her website.