Randi Busse, Founder and President, Workforce Development Group, Inc.
When I met Randi Busse she was the guest speaker at a Long Island Center for Business and Professional Women’s event at the Fox Hollow Inn. She made a powerful presentation that struck a chord with virtually every person in the room, be it a business owner, an employee, entrepreneur or non profit. When she was finished speaking, the room was buzzing with people already forming a plan of action to take their business to the next level by replacing mediocrity with excellence. She got us charged up and ready to make a difference.
As the founder and president of Workforce Development Group, Inc. (WDG), Randi teaches people the needed skills to provide outstanding customer service. Randi recognizes the fact that customer service is the lifeblood of any successful business. As an owner you can offer great prices and promotions to attract customers, but unless you can keep your customers coming back, your doors won’t be open for long.
“My passion is people development,” says Randi, who spent 15 years working at Verizon as a call-center trainer and coach where she managed teams of inbound call center representatives.
After working at such a large corporation, Randi wanted to try her own business model and training expertise on a smaller scale and really get to know her trainees. Going into business for herself was a big step, but Randi said, “I knew I had so much to offer.”
It’s Randi’s mission to make sure that employees have an owner mentality instead of acting like, as Randi puts it, renters. She makes you stop and ask yourself if you’re giving your employees all of the tools they need to make your business a success. Ironically, Randi says, when many of us hire someone, we show them where their desk is and how to work the copier, but neglect to instruct them on how we want them to answer the telephone and greet customers.
Randi teaches employees that they can act like an owner. By working closely with her trainees, she helps them to create the type of service they would like to receive, empowering them with a solution they can offer clients, one that they themselves created and developed. “It’s giving employees the power to become leaders,” says Randi.
Randi believes that if you give every member of your staff enough information and the power to make small customer-pleasing decisions you will grow your business. “You have to change their attitude from a renter to an owner. Employees want to be empowered and 90 percent of the time they will make the right decision,” she says.
Working primarily with service-oriented companies, she says, “I get people to tap into strengths they didn’t know they had. It’s so easy to be nice to customers. Some owners have gotten away from why they’ve gone into business in the first place. You have to earn your business every day.”
Randi cites the Ritz Carlton hotel chain as an example of how employees can be empowered to act like owners. The hotel chain has a stipend of $2,100 available to employees that they can use at their discretion to make sure every guest is satisfied with their stay. “Success is making a difference in the way businesses are treating their customers,” says Randi.
It’s been two years since Randi’s taken charge of her own destiny. “I have met the most amazing people. All the seeds that I planted by networking are starting to pay off.” In fact, after Randi finished her presentation to us, the Fox Hollow Inn hired her on the spot, “I have never made a cold call. I am not a sales person, I’m an educator.”
Randi feels that good customer service is just common sense. “People get caught up in their tasks and they lose their conversation with the public,” she says. “Make your employees sound like owners. It changes the culture of your organization.”
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