Anne Obarski: An Enthusiastic Customer-Service Professional

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Anne Obarski is an accomplished customer-service consultant based in St. Charles, MO. In addition to being the executive director of Merchandise Concepts, she is also a published author, adjunct professor, trainer, and retail consultant. President of the Pittsburgh chapter of the National Speaker's Association since 2000, she has considerable passion for speaking and profit-building customer-service strategies.

Obarski works with companies and organizations to provide consulting services in a range of customer-service areas. She provides tools that measure customer-service levels and strives to ensure repeat business from new and existing clients.

Obarski also works with front-line retail and sales employees so that they understand and provide high levels of customer service. She goes a long way to ensure that their levels of customer service are much higher than their nearest competitors'.

Her portfolio includes retail sales training, performance audits, behavioral audits, behavioral assessments, and other services. Obarski also presents keynote and breakout sessions for conferences, meetings, and corporate retreats.

Prior to launching her own company, Merchandise Concepts, she was a junior-sportswear buyer. As part of this assignment, she negotiated prices for merchandise, and it was then that her passion for customer relationships and service was born.

In 2005, Merchandising Concepts relocated from Pennsylvania to Missouri. With the growth of her company, Obarski also launched Retail Snoops, a national mystery shopper service. The service involves mystery shoppers who have investigated more than 2,000 stores nationwide to improve customer service for their clients.

Obarski's client list includes Acclamation Systems; Carolton Cards; Drake Kryterion International; Erie Business Institute, PA; Huntley Factory Shops, IL; JCPenney; Kansas City Factory Outlet Center; Laurel Highlands Visitors Bureau; Lords and Ladies, Inc.; Martin Brower; and others.

Some of her most requested speaking programs cover topics such as customers, retail business, business and personal success, and communication. According to Obarski, communication skills build business, and not utilizing them can ruin it. She believes that hiring people indiscriminatingly can cause customer-service disasters. Hiring core customer-service personnel instead can go a long way in improving profits and the bottom line.

Obarski said that is important to listen to the criticism of "a few cranky customers." She concluded that first impressions are immensely valuable, as unimpressed customers can go straight out the door.

Obarski has also coauthored Surprising Secrets of Mystery Shoppers and Real World Customer Service Strategies that Work! Her latest release is Conversations on Customer Service & Sales, which features prominent sales professional Brian Tracy.

In addition to her professional activities, Obarski is a dedicated mother and wife. She enjoys planting roses and occasionally visits nearby parks with her dog Zeke for recreation and quiet reflection.
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