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 – 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. 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. It’s then up to the performers to improvise from that starting point. It’s hard to convey the results of this without making it sound ridiculous – which it is – so I won’t attempt to. (Since it’s played for laughs the ridiculousness is all part of the equation anyway.) Continue reading “In praise of improvisation, comedy and Wallaby Lacrosse”
I’ve spent a large chunk of the holiday season reading the papers and they’re chock full of articles looking back at 2008 and looking forward to 2009. Depending on how grouchy I’m feeling it’s either a neat bit of recycling or plain lazy journalism. Whatever, this year I’m not going to be left out and so I’m proud to present the first annual Open Chord Awards for superior customer service.
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 – 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.
Sometimes I think it’s best to leave reviewing a good customer experience for a 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 – combined with a busy schedule recently – is my excuse for not posting an immediately positive reaction to the Novotel in Ipswich.
SMART objectives: anyone who’s been trained in best practice for personal or project planning knows about them. It’s a convenient shorthand that’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 Manger’s superior customer service but I’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 – 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. 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 Reza’s new play God of Carnage. It’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.
It seems that British Airways will continue to receive bad publicity over the disastrous opening days of Heathrow Terminal 5 so my own recent example of less-than-superior-service from the World’s Favourite Airline will hardly make much difference. But it does illustrate how difficult it can be to do the simplest things to say that you’re ‘sorry’ and to mean it.