Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Plant Seeds of Loyalty — With Customer Service!!

I have been a member of the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) since 1993.  PCMA has a rich history of providing quality education to Michael McCurryits members, both at the chapter and national level.  As with most associations PCMA frequently calls upon their members to donate their time as speakers and moderators at their educational events.

This week I attended an educational course, offered by PCMA, called “The Skilled Moderator” Workshop.  The premise behind this class is to teach participants best practices and hone their skills as effective moderators for Panel discussions and other similar events.  One of my personal goals has been to receive some education in public speaking so this event was right up my alley.

Panel discussion

The class, led by Curt Peoples, was terrific.  It was well worth the full-day time commitment and I learned much from the experience. Curt has a very engaging style in his presentations and delivers them with pointed humor, which I always appreciate!   He will be speaking at the PCMA Annual Meeting taking place in Dallas, TX in January.  (See PCMA Website for details)  If you have an opportunity to attend his session (Facilitating a Culture of Collaboration) I highly recommend it!

What made this workshop so special is the entire day’s events were provided by PCMA to me (and the other attendees) at no charge!  From my vantage point this was a brilliant move by PCMA.  Here’s why:

  • As a PCMA member/customer I appreciate that this organization respects me enough to provide me with a professional development opportunity without expecting any financial investment in return.  This is an example of customer service at its finest!
  • PCMA’s one-day investment in those of us who attended this workshop has now generated a pool of trained members with the enhanced skillset to volunteer their assistance as Moderators at future PCMA educational events.  That is intelligent business!

Some times its the little things that make all the difference in the world.  I am already an active member of PCMA, but the good will they generated by including me in this workshop deepens my already strong loyalty towards this organization.  A special thank you goes out to John Potterton, VP Education for PCMA, as he extended the invitation from PCMA to me for this workshop.

In this highly competitive business environment we live in today, customer loyalty is the most important focus for any business to sustain its long term viability.  Organizations finding ways to deliver personalized service to their customers, such as quality education,  will receive the ultimate return on their investment… Loyalty and business referrals!

Are you finding ways to provide special touches and added value to your customers?  How are you generating loyalty towards your organization?  Tell us about it!

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Jeff Hurt December 9, 2009 at 8:46 am


I love it when an organization invests in its members and customers! PCMA gets it! Hat tips to its leaders for seeing an opportunity to help members grow professionally. Both PCMA and its members benefit from this type of partnership.

I have a similar relationship with my local Starbucks. This past August I entered the coffee shop one morning to get my daily coffee and the manager whisked me to the side. He asked me if they could take my picture for their customer appreciation wall. They had a professional photographer in the corner of the store ready to snap my photo if I agreed.

Now, I hate photos and I’m not the most photogenic! I’ve always hated having my picture made. But I acquiesced. 30 days later I saw my 8×10 mug shot on the wall along with about 40 other regulars. Wow, not only did my morning Starbucks team call me by name, have my drink ready but they went as far as announcing to everyone that entered their store that they had some favorite customers. I was humbled and flattered at the same time. And, I really don’t mind my photo on their wall right now.

Don’t you love it when organizations understand and use good customer service tactics! It makes you want to be a customer evangelist for sure!


Michael M McCurry CMP December 9, 2009 at 11:19 am

@Jeff Hurt,

Wow, I love your Starbucks story Jeff…. I agree with everything you said here…

I am so full of appreciation for PCMA right now, because of the extra effort they made to provide me with a special opportunity. It really does make you feel like an Evangelist!

Thanks for contributing Jeff,



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