The event will also include awards such as GCA Garden Centre of the Year and GCA Destination Garden Centre of the Year, as well as associates night when suppliers present their latest products to retailers.
The Garden Centre Association Conference will run on 23 and 24 January 2012 at Crowne Plaza Hotel Heythrop Park, nr Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire.
GCA president elect and Garden Centre Group regional manager Peter Burks said:
"We will have extensive discussions around customer service as I feel that as most of what we sell people don’t have to have, and it is also available from thousands of retail outlets, our greatest differentiator is the level and style of service we offer to our customers. Our industry is already renowned for this but we can always do more".
Mario Dolcezza – Diciamo - Customer feedback how to get it and how to use it. Businesses nearly always look at surveys as a way of getting feedback. There’s no doubt that surveys can provide great stats about your business performance, but they’re not very engaging for your customer. This is because they are very much about what you want to know, rather than what your customer wants to tell you.
Clare Rayner – Retail Acumen - Reveals how mentoring retail business owners can help deliver maximum reward for minimum investment; achieving growth through developing strategies to increase profit, customer base, revenue streams and channels to market .
Scott Seaborn - Head of Mobile Technologies at Ogilvy Group UK - Few people know as much about the potential of mobile, he was one of its pioneers. Not only does Scott understand the possibilities and limitations of the technology, he also understands how it meshes with great creative ideas to provide truly engaging and useful applications.
Andrew McMillan – Principal Consultant at Charteris PLC - Back by popular demand Andrew returns to our conference to carry on where he left off. He spent over 20 years with John Lewis Partnership, the last eight responsible for leading customer service across the department store division. He explains that customer service quality should reflect internal culture; you can't just teach it and stick it onto an unhappy organisation.
Michael Heppell - Described as ‘the cure to an average life’, ‘one of the top three speakers in the world’ and his style ‘like shot-gunning a bucket of espresso!’ Through his events and coaching Michael has worked with everyone from convicted criminals to business leaders; from the long term unemployed to TV personalities. In fact he works with anyone who has the desire to set brilliance as their benchmark, anyone who wants to take massive action, anyone who’s ready to make a change.
More speakers will be announced later.