Have you ever read about a restaurant, lingered over the pictures and devoured each word until the craving became so strong that you had to go and experience it yourself?
Well I did!
However, it was not just a cook book or a magazine article that really got me hooked it was a book that was published by the owner. It was his vision for his business, his staff and the management practices totally focused on customer service that really interested me.
With the philosophy and wisdom of the restaurant owner ringing in my ears, who incidentally owns approximately 20 restaurants of various food styles I boarded a plane for New York.
Now before you ask, yes I was going to New York anyway for a conference (and shopping!). However, I wanted to experience first hand this man’s wonderful team of customer service practitioners & value adding demi-gods for myself.
The first impression was on the telephone when I rang to confirm my booking. My exuberant voice was met with a tone...
Over the last decade I have spent a lot of time flying from here to there for business or leisure, but mostly business so a lot of the time it’s by myself and I have found it is most rewarding because you get to meet the most amazing people. Many a conversation has been started over sharing a salt shaker at breakfast to end up having dinner or a coffee to hear about their business or the company they work for. Being an entrepreneur I have made some wonderful connections through just having a conversation, no hard sales pitch, genuine from the heart chat.
It’s surprising no matter where you are from in the world the same issues with clients, staff and suppliers happens to everyone and it’s always to have a good laugh or to perhaps to learn a new way to handle a situation the next time by sharing your experiences.
Of course you always have to consider your safety , however, be adventurous don’t sit at the table scrolling through Facebook or emails, look...
Mantra: The team is the reflection of the mindset of the leader.
For many of us there will come a time when we branch out and begin hiring a team. Within that team leaders are required to guide, manage and lead those in their team to provide the excellent customer service or the product or service that is expected by the customer and required by you.
Step by Step Wins
So how do you develop leaders?
It is about promoting ability, not tenure. It is looking for that person in your organisation who has that glint in their eye. Who is fully engaged and soaking up learning like a sponge. It is about developing these potential leaders by giving them a spot on your team and the opportunity to grow into bigger and better roles. The young leaders of today want to be challenged with opportunities for growth within the business and industry.
The smart business owners will tell their managers “I will give you as much opportunity to learn as you want. You just soak it up, but I also...
” ‘We invite you to experience our world class facility and five star service!’
How often do we see these words in marketing campaigns, websites and brochures of hotels and resorts? Photos of the sun going down over the ocean, bubbling brooks, white fluffy towels, sun lounges and a chilled glass with bubbles rising to the top. It’s so real you can smell the salt in the air and the cool liquid quenching your thirst, writes Michelle Pascoe.”
First published in Canstar Blue, August 2016.
“So often a business’s focus is on customer service—that which is afforded to customers. However, just as important is ‘internal customer service’; service afforded to each team member from their peers and management. Is there a link between engaged customers and engaged team members through service?”
First published in The CEO Magazine, May 2016.
Mantra: The team is the reflection of the mindset of the leader.
For many entrepreneurs it is a solo start up with a great idea and a passion to create a service or develop a product that will earn them an income and will assist or change the lives of those who use it. For others it maybe a partnership between two friends or life partners, however, at some stage when the business begins to grow and evolve there comes a time whereby you have to consider employing staff or out sourcing certain projects and tasks.
Recruiting staff unfortunately is done on the fly with new businesses as it can happen quickly, especially when you make a pitch and it is successful and all of a sudden you have to produce 100’s of a product or provide a service to multiple areas all at a similar time.
It would be lovely to think we all had the luxury to plan for growth incrementally through our journey of business, but I know as a business owner for 22 years it doesn’t matter...
Who are your competitors and where are they? These are two questions you should ask yourself when identifying your competition. Unlike an athletics carnival, you are not standing alongside your competitors waiting for the starters gun, rather, your competitors could be anywhere; online, worldwide or locally. No matter what your business or where it is based, we all have competitors.
Direct competitors are much easier to identify, however, there are also indirect competitors; the businesses that your customers may spend their money with instead of you.
For instance, there is a certain amount of money that people will spend on entertainment. However, entertainment can be divided into various categories, of which your business may only be one—e.g. movie, dinner, or a live show. What makes a customer spend their hard earned money at your restaurant instead of on a movie with a Choc Top?
Knowing who your competitors are...
“What sort of etiquette should be observed when we leave our jobs?"
It’s something that few of us consider, but with Australian school leavers set to change jobs an average of 17 times throughout their lives, the art of the workplace exit is likely to grow in importance.”
Interview first broadcast on ABC Radio National, November 2015.
“Today’s customers differ quite markedly from customers in years gone by, the most obvious difference being their expectations. They are exposed to a broader range of products and services from a variety of businesses, both brick and mortar and online, making them far more savvy and subsequently more demanding. Despite this cultural shift, one thing remains the quintessential component for any customer, the experience.”
First published in The CEO Magazine, December 2015.