TULALIP — Attendees of the Greater Marysville Tulalip Chamber of Commerce Business Before Hours Nov. 20 got a taste of what the SuperHost Fundamentals course could offer them, not just to take advantage of traffic to the upcoming Olympics in Vancouver, but also to help grow and maintain their returning customer bases in the long run.
John Bonner and Juergen Kneifel of Everett Community College summarized some of the subjects covered by the SuperHost training, which was originally developed in Canada for Olympic-level events.
“Customer service is not about doing extraordinary things,” Bonner said. “It’s about doing ordinary things in extraordinary ways. If you make customers feel valued and anticipate their needs, you build the sort of customer loyalty that makes them say, ‘I’m coming back here.’”
Much of SuperHost is focused on successful communication, which Kneifel broke down into several key components.
“Good communication takes effort,” Kneifel said. “Communication works best when it’s two-way.”
Kneifel explained that gender and cultural differences can affect communication, as can vocal inflection, and touted face-to-face communication as the most efficient and effective. He elaborated on the interactive workshops that are included in SuperHost training, during which participants learn to listen for clues in tone and look for cues in body language and facial expressions. He noted that words themselves only make up seven percent of communication, with 38 percent coming from the tone of voice and 55 percent coming from the face and body, which is why he urged attendees to show engagement with their customers.
Kneifel touched upon the potential pitfalls of online communication, especially since it relies only upon words, and advised attendees to keep their communication clear, concise, concrete, correct and courteous.
Bonner added that the actual SuperHost training relies far less upon straight lectures, and that any business that sends 60 percent of its employees through SuperHost training qualifies as SuperHost certified. Chamber President and CEO Caldie Rogers pointed out that 100 scholarships are available to local businesses.
For more information on SuperHost scholarships, call Bill Wheadon at 360-659-7700. For more information on SuperHost itself, call Bonner at 425-267-0150.