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News & Press: Events 2012

Customer Capitalism - Achieving breakthrough service

12 September 2012  
Posted by: Reka Lenart
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Please watch the event summary video here 

Luis Huete Keynote SpeakerGizelle Rezende, Mauro Biondi, Andrew Mangion and Michael XuerebStephan Roussounis and Susan Goldstein

Businesses should rethink their strategy every 7 years, and those that are members of ALTO may well be acting upon this advice after another successful seminar delivered by Luis Huete last week. 

Huete, a business expert and resident professor at IESE Business School in Spain, spent a day with ALTO members in London exploring successful business strategies that focus on keeping the customer at the epicentre of business decisions. "Proximity is power", counselled the award-winning speaker, who advised delegates that being good was not enough to stand out in a crowded marketplace. 

He explained that businesses should strive to achieve loyalty not satisfaction, seeking to excite or enamour their audience. To keep a business growing, passion, service and quality had to be maintained, which could call for a re-think in approach every 7 years. 

Keeping staff happy was also important. With the epithet, "Front line is bottom line", he explained how disenchanted staff quickly led to eroding customer satisfaction and declining profits. 

Topics such as price positioning (brands can consider separate divisions catering to clientele with different budgets) and product differentiation were addressed; one idea for successful differentiation was bundling products together to create packages that offer value at little extra cost. 

With a wide-ranging business insight, Huete encouraged group discussions and wider debates about industry issues such as direct bookings, the brand value of education agencies and comparisons made with the travel agency sector.

Systems were important, he said, in building consistent customer service. Huete also challenged delegates to consider the relationships their businesses had with other stakeholders; students, governments, agencies or schools, and to consider if they were defensive or synergistic. Those that prospered, he said, would be adept at building allegiance and links within their own industry eco-system. 

72 ALTO members attended the day-long seminar and 78% said Huete was excellent or very good with 72% choosing excellent or very good for take-home value. ALTO members will soon receive the link to the video recording of the whole seminar. Registration is now open to the next event: ALTO Day Berlin 2012, featuring "Pricing for Profit" by Marco Bertini Professor at London Business School, we hope to see you there!

Please watch our members' comments about the London seminar on vimeo:

Jan Capper, IALC
Stephan Roussounis, Stafford House
Anastassia Romanenko, Insight- Lingua
Rory Wilkinson, ISIS Education & Travel 

Tony Evans and Susan Goldstein       Nicola Hancox, Victoria Power and Celestine RowlandJohan Asplund, Stefan Engstrom, Patrick Thebing and Alberto Sarno