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“Front line is bottom line”: Huete at ALTO

How to maximise the customer relationship and understand the concept of “clienting” – getting the most out of your customers – was the challenge tackled by Luis Huete, business expert and resident professor at IESE Business School in Spain, at the latest ALTO seminar organised in London, UK, last week.

Luis Huete, an expert on maximising the customer relationship, spoke to ALTO members in LondonLuis Huete, an expert on maximising the customer relationship, spoke to ALTO members in London

Companies need to make the service or product they are selling tangible

Members of ALTO (Association of Language Travel Organisations) are director-level staff working in international education; ALTO organises strategic business seminars for owner-operators and senior management which are pegged on to other events in the industry calendar.

Reka Lenart, Association Manager, told The PIE News that delegates were very happy with the latest event, in which Huete challenged attendees to discuss various concepts in relation to the study travel industry.

What sort of relationship existed between language schools and education agencies; a defensive or synergistic one? Which push and pull factors enticed their customers?

Huete delivered lots of insight in easily palatable examples and fostered cross-sector discussion about issues such as direct bookings. Keeping staff happy and allowing them autonomy in decisions leads to better customer service, he explained: “Front line is bottom line”.

Understanding clients’ motivations was also important; “proximity is power” was another message. And, in an industry that sells an outcome, such as education, Huete counselled that companies need to make the service or product they are selling tangible.

Huete has received three awards from the Actualidad Económica magazine for best 100 business ideas of the year. According to the Institute for International Research (IRR), three out of four executives consider him as “the best Spanish management guru”.

The next ALTO seminar takes place in Berlin in late October.

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