Tag Archives: customer service

What has happened to our Communication?

Wow, I’ve just watched a fascinating TED Talk with the Brio Group Team this morning that really makes you think about what has happened with the backward evolution of our human interaction, communication and lack of personal contact.

Sherry Turkle, author of ‘Alone Together’, explains how todays generation of teenagers have been brought up competing with mobile phones from an early age. She gives examples of that feeling when you get picked up at school and you have that connection with your parent with instant eye contact at first sight and you feel like you’re everything in the world to them. Now all too often kids are greeted by their parents on their mobiles.

Parents have taken multi-tasking to an extreme which is affecting the kids of today. Another example Sherry shares is how a mum is reading a bedtime book in one hand and in the other hand checking her mobile. So multi-tasking has lead to multi-lifing.

We’ve all become so accustomed to instant gratification that we’ve dumbed down our communication online to get quicker responses and in turn less thought is required from all parties.

Even I admit that I prefer emails to phone calls as I’ve become so quick with them at work and I find it effective to keep the paper trail if I need to refer back to it. But not using the phone is almost impossible for me as a Studio Manager / Design Account Manager, not only is that bad customer service but that strong relationship gets lost and watered down.

I have overtime worked out a method that best suits my heavy workload and that is batching my work in zones; so I can be my bubbly happy self on the phone and on the other end of the scale I can zone out and do the serious stuff that also keeps my clients happy like quoting, research and invoicing.

I found Sherry’s talk pretty deep but also very true! Watch this TED Talk and let me know your thoughts and share what you’ve taken from it.

Are you going to become aware of your behaviour and possible change it for the next generation?

Yours in Communication,
Amber van Sloten

What is Good Customer Service?

Good customer service is all about bringing customers back, about sending them away happy – happy enough to pass positive feedback about your business along to others. It is the livelihood of all businesses.

Good customer service must be provided to customers before, during and after a purchase or service. You can offer promotions and slash prices to bring in as many new customers as you want, but unless you can get some of those customers to come back, your business won’t be profitable for long.

I recently watched an episode of Undercover Boss Australia where I saw what I believe to be one of the best examples of good customer service. I enjoy watching this program, as I like to observe the different operational and management styles of the companies and executives featured. Each week a different high-flying executive leaves the comfort of their office to take up a highly pressured job at the forefront of their businesses. Completely immersed in their undercover role, these bosses must relinquish control, buckle down to follow orders, and prepare to hear some home truths about their head office strategies and plans and to also see how these strategies and plans are being implemented. Working alongside their employees, they see the effects their decisions have on others, where problems lie within their organisation, plus get the chance to discover the “unsung heroes”, who ultimately make their company a success.

The featured executive who went out to work in some of her brand’s franchises in disguise, was Pippa Hallas, CEO of Ella Baché Australia. Ella Baché was Pippa’s great aunt who originally founded the company in Paris in 1930.

One “unsung hero” featured in this episode was the manager of the Ella Baché Salon in Carindale, which is one of Ella Baché’s top performing salons in Australia. I was very impressed with the operational and management style of this lady, and it was easy to see how the salon achieved this status. Personal grooming and presentation of the therapists was of the utmost importance. The hygiene standards and cleanliness of the salon was second to none. Even the topic of conversation with the client was under scrutiny as Pippa soon discovered what was appropriate and what wasn’t, as the conversation lead to Pippa asking if all four of the clients grandparents were still alive. The manager suggested to always steer away from personal questions, as in this instance, you don’t know whether one of the grandparents may have just passed away the day before, and you don’t want to upset them as they have not come to the salon to get upset. The conversation should always be kept on a professional level, and should centre around the services or products. The overall salon etiquette and professionalism was of the highest standard and all procedures were followed “by the book”. Nothing was left to chance. The client was the main focus of attention from the moment they stepped into the salon to the moment they left. The client is never left unattended. They are personally greeted by the therapist in the waiting room on arrival, then, at the end of their appointment, they are accompanied by the therapist back to the reception area and introduced to the receptionist, who then takes over to check the client out.

You may watch this 11 minute segment of the episode via this Undercover Boss Australia link by selecting the yellow taxi one.

Have you observed an example of good customer service recently?

Yours in Good Customer Service
Angie Rapisarda

Communication in business

With so many businesses focusing their attention to an online environment through their websites, have you stopped to take stock of how communication takes place in your business?

Traditional methods of communication such as phone and fax are becoming outnumbered by online communication options such as Skype, Instant Messenger programs and most certainly, email.

I was thinking about communication in business today when reading over a recent study done in the U.S. which found that 24% of adults in the U.S. had used the internet to make phone calls. This has grown immensely over the last few years and it got me thinking about how many of those people had thought about integrating internet communications into their service offerings for clients. Here at Brio Group, we make use of programs like Skype to keep in contact with clients who are in different cities to us and also with each other if we are working from different locations.

Other communication avenues to consider are social media, where more often than not, clients and customers will feel comfortable to engage with your business. These could be questions or concerns as well as positive and negative feedback. All of these comments and ideas from your target audience are excellent ways of communicating your message and having a well rounded customer service effort.

Many large corporations are embracing the internet and using it to their advantage when servicing customers and clients.

How does your business communicate?

Yours in great communication,

The beauty of Brand Loyalty

Happy committed customers with repeat business should be everyone’s goal!

Some of your rewards from brand loyalty is a reduction in your marketing budget, word of mouth advocacy from your die hard fans, a growing support base as brand awareness has been created and your existing customers have been reassured.

You can strengthen brand loyalty by measuring and managing customer satisfaction. It can also be maintained by treating the customer right and staying in touch which is so easy these days with the advantage of the many social media touch points available to everyone.

At Brio Group we survey customers’ experience to work out our strengths and weaknesses. Most of our business to date has been from referrals which is feedback enough that someone was happy with us to recommend our services. We also like to stay close to you with regular updates on facebook and daily blog posts of knowledge.

Natio‘s brand loyalty technique of choice is to provide extras which is fine by me and my family. Not only do we love their reliable quality products but we just love the treats waiting for us every time we frequent their cosmetics counter. Natio sends out email blasts when they have a new product or offer and on the odd occasion when there isn’t a goodies bag they offer discounts. Win-win!

Why do you choose to buy the products you buy? They most likely give you happiness, no?!…

Yours in Brand Loyalty,
Amber van Sloten