Christoff J. Weihman is your heart-centered, service-oriented, positive energy-exuding entrepreneur. He is a Five Star Customer Experience Expert. He is the Founder and President of www.5StarCustomerExperience.com, the Creator and Producer of the Ultimate Speaker Competition, and a Speaker Empowerment Coach.
Would you please tell our Sheen readers more about yourself?
I have always been a person of service. When I was 19 years old, I went overseas to serve with a volunteer mission organization. I spent ten plus years in the Pacific and Asia, most of my time in the Philippines. I learned to read, write and speak 2 of the major languages in the Philippines. After the Philippines, I moved to Los Angeles to pursue acting, but God had other plans for me. I always found myself returning to the hospitality industry. When I worked for famed Celebrity Chef Wolfgang Puck, the light clicked on. I developed a passion for 5 Star Service & Hospitality/Customer Service. I wrote my first book, Getting to WOW! Everybody WINS with 5 Star Service, which launched my Customer Service & Hospitality Training and Consulting Company.
Would you please tell us from your perspective what makes a great story?
The key to a great story, whether we read in a book, watch on screen, or hear someone sharing from the stage, is to connect with the audience emotionally. If I hear a story, but it doesn’t ‘get’ me emotionally, then it doesn’t make an impact. When telling a story, make me laugh, cry, angry, or have some feeling reaction. When I coach speakers and train companies and their teams on Five Star Customer Experience, I stress that you are taking your customers, or in the case of speakers-your audience, on an emotional journey. It is an experience. If there is no emotion involved, then it was just something that happened that leaves no lasting impression, no impact.
On the other hand, when we are in tune with our customers or our audience and start with the end in mind, we can weave a story or create an authentic Customer Experience that leaves them saying, “WOW!” “That was something special, remarkable.” As humans, we can experience a wide range of emotions from sadness and heartache to happiness, joy and elation, and everything in between. Our daily life is filled with stories and the opportunity to impact another person’s life. Hopefully, the impact we are choosing to make is spreading joy, happiness, peace, and love.
What inspired you to come up with The Ultimate Speaker Competition and why did you choose that particular name?
I have been a speaker for several years now. My primary business is empowering a company’s leaders and team members to deliver 5 Star Service/5 Star Experience for their clientele. I have a straightforward philosophy. I believe every customer deserves to receive 5 Star Service. If that is so, then it follows that each person in the company, regardless of their role, has the responsibility to help deliver that 5 Star Service. Every person in a company is either directly relating to the customer or in a support position wherein their colleagues are their internal customers.
To me, striving for Excellence is always a core value. I’m talking about continual improvement-doing the best, and becoming the best we can be to serve our customers well. What does that have to do with speaking? Everything!
As a speaker, our audience is our customer. If we are called to speak, have a message to share, and have a mission to positively impact the World, we should also have Excellence as a core value. I created the Ultimate Speaker Competition with a vision of “Empowering Speakers to share their Greatness.” Our event is a speaker workshop and a competition. And it is evolving to something even more significant than the name states.
While it is indeed a competition with specific categories of speakers; Inspirers, Storytellers, Experts, and yes, we have a panel of judges, awards, and prizes, the two-day event is focused on growth, speaker development, and collaboration. So, yes, it is the Ultimate Speaker Competition, but the outcome is truly a ‘Speaker Collaboration.’
How has the Pandemic impacted your career life as an entrepreneur?
During these past 18 months, unrelated to COVID, I had my own personal health issues that were quite scary for a while. For about 4 or 5 months of 2020, I was out of commission in terms of working. When I did get back into the swing of things, I, like many others, shifted my speaking, my coaching, and training nearly 100% online. The period when I was not working allowed me to work on myself, enroll in training and courses, and create new content.
This time has inspired me to focus even more on empowering others. The World is longing for hope, encouragement, and something positive. I know that there are more things that we have in common than things that make us different. I believe everybody wants to be loved, appreciated, and know that they have value.
I believe that all entrepreneurs genuinely desire to be successful and make a positive impact in the World.
I say, “Our Highest Calling is to use our Gifts in Service to Others. The World is Waiting for You to heed the Call.”
Please tell us what is your secret to success?
Great question. I attribute my success to many factors. First, I have faith in God, and I believe that He has blessed me with certain gifts that I’m meant to share with the World. If I focus on what I’m great at and not dabble in or get distracted by other things that are not ‘my thing,’ then I know I’m on the right track—next, perseverance. I have a never-give-up attitude. I’m on a journey. Yes, I’ve experienced a level of success, but I’m just getting started. Finally, and not to say it is the least important, all of these three inter-support the other, and that is the love, support, and faith that my wife, Michelle, has in me. She is my rock, my strength. One of my mentors, the great Les Brown, says, “Live full. Die empty.” That is one of my mantras.
One of the things that I admire about your experience is customer service. Please tell us why is that important to you?
As I mentioned earlier, I am the person of service. I believe that we should always do our best to provide a 5-star experience for our customers. It’s not about perfection. Rather, it’s about having Excellence as a core value. To paraphrase Maya Angelou, the end of one of her famous quotes says, ‘People most remember how you make them feel.” Therefore, I always aspire to impart a positive feeling to those I serve.
How was your experience in Orlando, and what’s next for the amazing Christoff?
Our experience in Orlando was mainly focused on our Ultimate Speaker Competition which took place at the fabulous Florida Hotel.
The staff there were so accommodating, friendly, and personable. Our event was the best one we’ve done yet, and of course, a fantastic result was that we were blessed to meet and connect with the always awesome Jenelle Harris. Hence this opportunity to connect with your Sheen readers.
Our event Ultimate Speaker Competition continues to gain momentum. Our event Ultimate Speaker Competition continues to gain momentum. Our next two will occur October 26-27 in Colorado Springs and December 5-6 in Las Vegas.
Where can we find you?
Featured Image by Matthew Schenck