Outshining a star

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Every company has one — the customer service or sales person who outperforms the others, primarily because of an ability to form great working relationships with customers.

But what happens when that person leaves? How can you be sure your customers won’t leave, too?

According to the study “How to Lose Your Star Performer without Losing Customers Too,” by Neeli Bendapudi and Robert Leone of The Ohio State University’s Fisher College of Business, there are ways to ensure your customers’ focus remains on your company. The secret is to build company equity over employee equity. Here’s how.

* Don’t allow one key person to have the only contact with the customer. Use teams or rotate employees.

* Make the customer aware that your hiring/training process ensures high caliber personnel throughout the company.

* Publicize your company, employee achievements and awards.

* Emphasize the company culture and the steps you take to ensure quality customer service and interactions. How to reach: OSU Fisher College of Business, (614) 292-8511.