If you have been following this series closely you’ll be equipped to build great relationships with your customers and be able to motivate your co-workers with a few killer one-liners and some well thought-out communications. There’s just one thing that needs to be added to spice up the workplace: circus skills. Yes, this is my big take-away from the Fringe: the business world would benefit enormously from regular injections of acrobatics, tightrope-walking and attempts at the seemingly-impossible.
I’m going to tell you a story… no, I’m going to start with a confession – I don’t go to that many comedy shows so what I’m going to say is based almost entirely on the few shows I saw at the Fringe. But, as we consultants say, two data points make a trend and anything more than that is cast-iron proof. Oh, and I’m also going to attempt some humour… what’s that? People heading for the door? And I’ve only just started…
A colleague once passed on the received wisdom that when a business starts to use sporting metaphors it’s a sure sign that it’s in trouble. Be that as it may, this post offers some lessons from the London 2012 Olympics for delivering superior service and a terrific customer experience. This means changing the rules for the Service Smackdown – which, since I made them up and they are basically unfair, I’m at liberty to do – as I’m not able to compare London 2012 with anything even vaguely similar – the scale and uniqueness of the undertaking makes that impossible. Consider this to be more of an exhibition bout then since, on the basis of my direct experiences so far it’s at least podiumed* on customer service.
In my attempts at bringing humour into my work, I – and I think I’m probably not the only one – have occasionally used the phrase ‘through the medium of interpretive dance’ as a shorthand for ‘out-there, wacky stuff in the business place’. Despite my love of aforesaid wackiness I’ve never actually been to a meeting or workshop where any form of dance was featured – until last night when I attended the excellent Knowledge Cafe run by Alida Acosta and accompanying tango dancers.
This is the first – in a series of completely unfair, no-holds-barred customer service evaluations of two similar providers based on recent experiences. First into the ring, Ocado, the pioneer online supermarket synonymous with Waitrose’s high-end brands. And leaping over the ropes, here comes – uh – Waitrose, the high-end online supermarket. Confused? This post won’t help – but might illustrate how to get some basics right in this highly competitive area. Seconds out, round one.Read More »Can supermarkets deliver? Ocado vs Waitrose – Service Smackdown
You can’t talk about customer service for long without queues coming to mind. There’s been a lot of coverage recently about queues in relation to the UK’s border controls fiasco at Heathrow Airport and the rather grumbling response to all this has rather missed the point – queuing is not always a bad thing and, moreover, it’s an opportunity to demonstrate great customer service.
I’m writing this whilst watching Spain play Portugal in the World Cup and, as I usually root for the underdog, I’m supporting Portugal. Having had a great experience in Portuguese-style piri-piri outfit Nando’s last night I’m even more inclined to favour them. The secret? Over-compensation.
I didn’t set out to theme this year’s blogs around films but as all consultants know, two data points make a trend, so maybe I’ll continue to do so (although I’m planning to see The Wolfman soon so that could be tricky). After finding a service message in The Road it’s much easier for me to find one in the latest George Clooney vehicle Up In The Air. But it’s one that challenged my own ideas of superior service.
I make no apologies for a second post on the joys of improvisation â€“ this time inspired by seeing the Comedy Store Players (featuring Paul Merton) in an evening of hilarious improvised comedy at my local theatre last weekend.Â For readers unfamiliar with the improv approach, the audience supplies the source material by suggesting film or theatre styles, character names, locations, jobs and so on. Itâ€™s then up to the performers to improvise from that starting point. Itâ€™s hard to convey the results of this without making it sound ridiculous â€“ which it is â€“ so I wonâ€™t attempt to. (Since itâ€™s played for laughs the ridiculousness is all part of the equation anyway.)Read More »In praise of improvisation, comedy and Wallaby Lacrosse