A few thoughts from
Jon Flora, President & CEO
I’m on vacation and writing this from a place called Gualala (pronounced Walala) on the California coast. It’s a wide spot on Highway 1 overlooking the blue Pacific Ocean with a decent hotel/restaurant managed by a skilled and welcoming young woman, named Neda. I highly recommend it.
As part of my vacation reading, I just finished reading Departures, a magazine for high end world travelers with articles and advertising that’s focused on beautiful people who spend a LOT on vacations. That’s certainly not me and I’m not sure why the mag is even sent to me. But this issue had an article about Hawaii’s food, beverages, and hotels (including some of our members) so I stuffed it in my briefcase and brought it with me.
The Executive Editor of the magazine, a chap named Jeffries Blackerby, wrote “The smallest thoughtful gesture takes on huge significance when you’ve entrusted much of your well-being to people you don’t really know.” Although his comment was in reference to excellent hotel service in exotic places where people named “Jeffries” travel, it made me think about all of us at NACM BCS.
We have hundreds of members who trust us to help them and their companies succeed. Unlike his quote, we know most of you pretty well. A couple of days ago, I was catching up with a longtime customer who said,
“You guys work really hard to take good care of us. We appreciate it.”
Those are very kind, unexpected and humbling words. While we’re likely not the same as a five-star hotel in Bhutan (starting at $1700 per night), we take good care of our members and customers. Just like Neda on the California coast.
When you call, we answer the phone. When you email, we respond in a reasonable amount of time. If you have a question, we have our Ask-an-Expert panel ready to go. And, we try to keep everything affordable – which may actually be the hardest task today.
Why do we do this? It’s certainly our culture but it goes deeper.
It’s Nancy, who has been our Customer Service Representative for more than 15 years. It’s Jo-Anne who has been our receptionist for 37 years. It’s Ricole who has served our Trade Groups and Education program for 15 years. Paul has led our Collections unit for 16 years. And Linda has been with us for 36 years in Data Collection. Then, there’s the Account Execs with combined service and knowledge from nearly 50 years between the three of them. And, the list goes on.
Our people take pride in serving you and in making sure you have the tools you need to do your job well. Our gratitude for you and your business is real and makes us want to work harder to continually separate ourselves from the pack – especially during tough times when your needs may be more serious. That’s what great service is all about.
Anyone can sell you a credit report, make a collections call, or pitch you on how they’re better. But not everyone will take the time to guide you through the process of figuring out exactly what you need to solve your challenges and be ready to lend a hand when there’s problem. We can and we do every day.
Our good friend and occasional conference speaker, David Brooke – The Gratitude Guy, likes to ask the question “Who can I serve today?” Our answer is: YOU. With pleasure and gratitude.
Thanks for giving us the chance to serve you and for being part of our association family. Go Seahawks!