Celebrating Transitions: Skill Sets for the New Economy


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Building Hope Through Developing an Innovative Workforce

Celebrating Transitions: Skill Sets for the New Economy

Kay Lynn Tettleton, Ed.D, LSU AgCenter and Cynthia Pilcher, Ed.D., LSU Ag. Center
In order to help workers enhance skills for transitioning into other jobs within a business or obtain employment in another business, LSU AgCenter Community Rural Development agents provide workshops to help individuals assume leadership roles and secure employment in times of transition.

10:45 - 12:15 - Monday July 27th 2009

Published in: Technology, Business
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Celebrating Transitions: Skill Sets for the New Economy

  1. 1. Celebrating Transitions: Skill Sets for the New Economy Dr. Cynthia Pilcher Dr. Kay Lynn Tettleton LSU AgCenter
  2. 2. Goals for employees & employers in transition • Develop skills for coping with changing economic environment • Increase awareness of economic reality • Understand trends in retail trade • Explore technology as a business tool • See business from a customer’s perspective • Find ways to improve efficiency • Manage stresses at home and on the job
  3. 3. What is the Real Economic Reality? • Agri-tourism and Agri-tainment • Geographic differences • Global economy • E-commerce • Strip malls and shopping centers • Major malls • Gasoline prices • Misconception about competition • National name-recognition companies • Small businesses & entrepreneurs • Niche marketing & diverse merchandise • Service, service, service
  4. 4. Coming or Going?
  5. 5. Businesses and communities may need: • Customer relations skills • Marketing savvy • Entrepreneurial know-how • Knowledge of regional history
  6. 6. Staying in Business • Research shows that service is more important than price to 66% of consumers. • 40% of consumers say service is poor, which reflects a need for improved customer relations. • Businesses spend 6 times as much time and money on potential customers as they do on repeat sales, even though established business makes long-term profits possible.
  7. 7. The Bottom Line. . . • Business creates revenue • Revenue supports infrastructure • Infrastructure attracts more business • Attitude of cooperation and collaboration brings success to the business community • Quality of life for families improves • Business retention, expansion, & entrepreneurship contribute to rural economies
  8. 8. Current Trends in Retail Trade: • Customers desire the authenticity of experiences and service found in small businesses. • With trends towards e-commerce, customer service skills become even more crucial for brick and mortar businesses.
  9. 9. Six Characteristics of Businesses That Work . . . • 1-Look & act like a business • 2-Maintain attractive appearance • 3-Include local advertisement • 4-Keep in touch with customers • 5-Sponsor local events of interest • 6-Include some type of link to technology
  10. 10. Employee Influence on Business: • Makes the first impression • Seizes the opportunity to inform the visitor • Shares the community amenities • Promotes other businesses • Develops community leadership • Attracts visitors to return for business or pleasure
  11. 11. A customer : • is the most important person in our business. • does not depend on us- we depend on them. • does not interrupt our work, but is the purpose of it. • is a person with feelings, emotions, likes and dislikes. • is not someone with whom to argue or match wits. • will bring us specific wants; it is our job to fulfill them. • is deserving of the most courteous and attentive service we can provide. • is the life blood of our business.
  12. 12. Customer Relations: • Definition – the art and practice of attracting and retaining customers through successful human relations • Purpose: to increase shopping at home and retain local businesses • Impact: potential to increase tax base, improve community communications, and promote tourism and income from outside sources
  13. 13. What? When? Where? How? • Know your community • Remembering names • Communication • Handling complaints • Ethics • Marketing
  14. 14. Loyal Customers • Over 65% of people who leave a business do so because they encounter poor service or perceive an attitude of indifference.
  15. 15. Customer Relations Workshop: • Understanding tourism • L.A.S.T. method of customer service (Listen, Apologize, Solve, Thank) Source: The Difficult Guest, Media Partners Corp. • Team building • Communication skills • Community asset mapping
  16. 16. Feeling almost “trapped”? • Information overload • Different sources of information • Different perspectives • Different cultures • Different expectations • Different opinions • Different personality types • Different types of conflict
  17. 17. Time Savers. . . Make Lists Turn off phones Organize Begin today Say “no” Plan
  18. 18. It’s up to you. • Become informed about the economy. • Take an objective look at your business. • Use trends in trade and marketing. • Explore e-business and technology resources. • Think like a customer and adjust practices. • Get organized. • Seek ways to cope constructively with stress.
  19. 19. Dr. Cynthia Pilcher Area Agent Community Rural Development LSU AgCenter Dr. Kay Tettleton Area Agent Community Rural Development LSU AgCenter