Monday, November 14, 2016

Retirees in South Carolina spending like there’s no tomorrow!

Retirees are worth a whopping $29.6 billion annually for the state of South Carolina. This was just one finding of a recent study from the Smartstate Center of Tourism & Economic Development. The study, part-funded by the US Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration, found that South Carolina is becoming more and more attractive to retirees, with the baby boomer population leading relocation from the Northeast and Midwest to warmer regions of the South. The study points out that the retiree economy is also associated with 333,521 jobs and nearly $11 billion in labor income. But this could be much higher if the state were to actively pursue retirees as an economic development strategy – just a one percent increase in in-migration retirees would result in an annual additional economic impact of $20.1 million, which would be associated with 227 jobs and $7.3 million in labor income. Among numerous recommendations, the SmartState team suggests that an ongoing coordinated marketing campaign be initiated to strengthen the state’s brand as a retiree destination, a campaign that could stress the warm welcome the state offers, and the cost of living advantages over rival states like Florida. The full report can be found by clicking HERE.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Dr. Hudson adds some fizz to Pepsi’s service culture

As a thank you for delivering his seminar, Dr. Hudson was presented with this customized print by Pepsi

Simon Hudson was invited this week by Pepsi to divulge some of his secrets on achieving customer service excellence. He spoke to the company’s South Carolina Market Leadership Team about the importance of customer service for both the company and for employees, and offered some tips on how to exceed increasing customer expectations. Said Hudson: “It is nice to see Pepsi investing in its employees. So many companies just don’t understand the significance of customer service, even though we know through research that service excellence leads to higher profits and lower staff turnover.” Training is critical in achieving high levels of service, says Hudson. “Unfortunately, customer service training is often viewed as a cost rather than an investment. But customer service leaders like Publix, Disney, Chick fil A, Four Seasons Hotels, Apple and Nordstrom, all spend thousands of dollars on training each new employee in the art of customer service.”

In addition to running seminars on customer service, Dr. Hudson teaches an online summer course on customer service to our undergraduate students (HRTM 440) based on his popular book – Customer Service for Tourism & Hospitality, published by Goodfellow.