Having been happily married for many years I don’t really remember my last relationship break-up – and it’s probably fair to say that any notions I have are informed by films, plays or books (or the Archers come to think of it). However I had a reminder of what it might have been like following a recent break-up with O2. Paraphrasing somewhat, it went a bit like this: Continue reading “Don’t leave me this way: switching mobile networks”
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.) Continue reading “In praise of improvisation, comedy and Wallaby Lacrosse”
Iâ€™ve spent a large chunk of the holiday season reading the papers and theyâ€™re chock full of articles looking back at 2008 and looking forward to 2009. Depending on how grouchy Iâ€™m feeling itâ€™s either a neat bit of recycling or plain lazy journalism. Whatever, this year Iâ€™m not going to be left out and so Iâ€™m proud present the first annual Open Chord Awards for superior customer service.
Continue reading “Better late than never â€“ the 2008 Open Chord awards!”
I was going to write a post on customer service in a recession but then I got distracted by a great article on improvised theatre posted on Innovation Tools. It made me realise that my original impulse â€“ to post a piece on the recently-ended London Jazz Festival was the best one to go for as both the article and my experiences at the festival were inspirational and, yes, they do provide useful lessons for customer service.
Just back from a great evening of stimulating conversation about the pros and cons of e-mail at a Knowledge Cafe organised by knowledge consultant David Gurteen. Luis Suarez of IBM kicked off the evening by proposing that e-mail was a very poor tool for collaboration and there were more productive ways of communicating. Luis has not used e-mail for around 8 months now and seems all the happier for it. Through talking to a range of interesting people – the Cafe is structured Continue reading “Could you stop using e-mail?”
Sometimes I think itâ€™s best to leave reviewing a good customer experience forÂ few weeks to see if it stays with you for a period of time. The test of a superior service is that when you think back to the experience you get the same positive emotional reaction that you got the first time. So that â€“ combined with a busy schedule recently â€“ is my excuse for not posting an immediately positive reaction to the Novotel in Ipswich.
SMART objectives â€“ anyone whoâ€™s been trained in best practice for personal or project planning knows about them. Itâ€™s a convenient shorthand thatâ€™s found its way into common usage but is it any use? Sometimes I find a little redefinition is in order.
I have already praised Pret A Mangerâ€™s superior customer service but Iâ€™m happy to do so again as a little incident in my local branch demonstrated their overall philosophy and how they can wow customers where it matters â€“ on the front line.
Driving down the A1 from a holiday in Yorkshire the other week we were in need of a coffee so pulled in at Grantham North service area.Â Years of UK driving have lowered my expectations of service stations considerably but Sunday afternoon at Grantham North set the bar even lower. However, this is a superior service post so read on…
Recently I spent an evening at the theatre seeing Yazmina Rezaâ€™s new play God of Carnage. Itâ€™s got an excellent cast (perhaps the only time you can see DI Rebus, Voldemort and Debbie Archer in the same bill) and only detains you for about 95 minutes. Its central, rather bleak premise sparked thoughts about the conditions under which superior service flourishes.