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The Daily Ardmoreite
  • Customer relations the Thunder way

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  • Pete Winemiller took the Southern Oklahoma Leaders Luncheon into rarified air Thursday with one of the largest crowds in the history of the event. The senior vice president, guest relations for the Oklahoma City Thunder clicked with the crowd at the Ardmore Convention Center.
    In turn, Winemiller challenged those in attendance to make a concerted effort to improve their customer service based on the Click method:
    • Communicate courteously
    • Listen to learn
    • Initiate immediately
    • Create connections
    • Know your stuff
    Winemiller is a nationally recognized executive with the Thunder, which have won multiple awards for their guest relations in becoming a world-recognized organization. He provided principles for developing an outstanding base of customer relations during his presentation.
    The first principle was to think big and act small. As an example, Winemiller alluded to the product on the court. He said in his 19 years in the NBA, most games are won when the team is successful in doing the small things well. He also paid tribute to the state of Oklahoma and its role in making the Thunder a success.
    Winemiller detailed the ways an impression and memories are made, noting that it takes two to 12 seconds to make a first impression, and said there are 20,000 individual moments each day people experience.
    “People don’t remember days, they remember moments,” he said.
    Winemiller also discussed the business relations with the community telling the crowd everyone is in the people business, with both customers and employees. He discussed the reasons why companies lose customers with 68 percent citing an attitude of indifference on the part of a company employee.
    Rather than an attitude of indifference, Winemiller said there needs to be a attitude of invitation which involves several actions which include:
    • Eye contact
    • Listening
    • Thanks, proactive
    • It’s about we, not me
    • Information
    Speaking from his profession’s standpoint, Winemiller said his department “can’t control the play on the floor, but we can control how we treat our guests.”
    He also recalled a statement from poet Maya Angelou which struck home. “People will forget what you did, people will forget what you said, but they won’t forget the way you made them feel.”
    “I do think we are in the people business, but the business we are really in is the feeling business,” Winemiller said.
    In performing at a higher level in working with people, Winemiller said it’s not doing one thing 100 percent better, it’s doing 100 things one percent better.
    Page 2 of 2 - The next Southern Oklahoma Leadership Luncheon is slated for June 12 at the Southern Oklahoma Technology Center.
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