Friday, 6 February 2009

Newsletter Issue 161, February 2009

Sam Young Newsletter

Issue 161, February 2009

Hi guys,

Check out some of Kenn Butler's customer service expertise in Doing the Little Things that Delight below.

Take a look at what is the coming new way to Organise Your Event with Wigadoo, once it goes global. 

Don't forget, if you want to be taken off my mailing list, click here to send me a reply e-mail and I will remove your name.

Doing the Little Things that Delight

Kenn Butler puts out a newsletter on topics that inspire him, and others, each week. Kenn has kindly agreed to allow me to reprint part of a recent article on customer service and hospitality, which I thought you would all find as useful as I did.

Over the holiday period my wife and I took the opportunity to experience our region’s eateries. In one place – the Slip Inn in Havelock – we had ordered meals from a pleasant waitress & I recalled something I had not done.

The expression on my face must have indicated that I was thinking about something, because when Monique walked past looked at me & enquired if everything was alright, I said it was & asked her if they had the yellow pages handy. I added who I was looking for & in a flash she was back handing me the book open at the relevant page. Impressed at this attention to detail, I commenced looking & the next thing I knew was that she was back offering me a pad & pen. 'I thought you may find this useful Kenn', she said with a smile.

Later, after we had finished our meal I approached the young waitress, congratulating her on the excellent customer service. I asked where she had learnt to pay attention to what was going on around her & to use ones' initiative in doing the little things that delighted customers. 'It is common sense, isn't it?' she replied. I told her that I thought such concern for the customer might be common sense to her (& I), but it was certainly not common practice. "I was taught to keep my eyes open & then do what made sense to me. So that is what I do, I look around & if I see something that requires attention, I do what I think is the best thing to do in that situation", she said.

Imagine if your team was on the lookout for the little things they could do that would delight their customers! What difference would it make to the experience your customers had? And, most importantly, how can we get our people to care enough to be observant & to use their initiative?

Here are six steps from Dr Ian Brooks for engaging the hearts & minds of your teams, so your customers walk away saying, Wow! That experience was different!"

  1. Set the expectation. When you hire staff, when you do performance reviews, in fact whenever you are chatting to someone, tell them that you expect to look for the small ways they can assist the customer, & to deliver that assistance before the customer asks for it. This also applies to internal customers. By delighting their colleagues, they will build team spirit, increase morale & make it easier for people to delight their customers.
  2. Set an example. If your staff watched you during the day, what would they conclude was most important? Do they see & hear you talk about doing the minimum necessary or about going the extra mile? Are your conversations driven by can-do, will-do thinking or are you giving reasons why things cannot be done? Your people will take their lead from you. Which signals are you sending?
  3. Remove the fear. One of the biggest obstacles to staff using their initiative is the fear they will get in trouble. Reassurance that as long as they stay within the boundaries of Policy, they will not be criticized for doing what makes sense to them at the time. When people do occasionally do something that you think is wrong, use it as an opportunity to teach them something about how to look after customers.
  4. Praise. If you want your staff to use their initiative you will need to make a point of catching them doing it right. Watch your people to find opportunities to praise them for doing those little things that delight. If you cannot find many, they are not using their initiative or you are not observant enough.
  5. Hold staff accountable. Especially for delivering delighters. Make it clear that simply doing their job is not enough. Delighted customers are the result of doing the unexpected. This is what you are paying them to do.
  6. Explain the need. Nothing motivates more than self-interest. Generally 100% of the money used to pay staff wages comes from the customer. Focus your people on looking after their customers by regularly asking these three questions: - Who do they work for? - Who pays the wages? - Who is the boss around here? The answer to all three questions is, of course, THE CUSTOMER.

Research shows that when New Zealanders have a great experience they not only tell nine others, more than 50% recommend the business or service that delighted them. Getting your people to do the little things that delight customers will enhance both your reputation & that of the organization.

In these times of recession, superb customer service will be the difference between those that do well & the rest. 

Thanks for that Kenn - good reminders for all of us!

Organise Your Event with Wigadoo

Planning outings with friends is always tricky, what with scheduling challenges and the politics of splitting costs. A new, UK-based site called Wigadoo, however, aims to make the logistical end easier so friends can get together more often.

Users of Wigadoo can begin the process by browsing the site's Find Ideas section for possible outings, with inspiration from examples, information on deals and promotions, and a directory of UK activities. "London theatre trip" and "Surfing in Wales" are among the examples provided on the site. With one or a few ideas in mind, they can then start a vote to see when their friends are free and what they want to do.

To accomplish that, they first fill in a simple form with the questions to be voted on; Wigadoo then creates a vote page and emails a link to everyone involved. The page tracks everyone's responses, eliminating the hundreds of e-mails it would take otherwise.

After the voting process—or instead, if there's already a set idea—users can propose a plan, including costs and the deadline for committing. Again, Wigadoo sets up a page and emails links to everyone invited, asking them to commit to attending and pledge with a debit or credit card. Wigadoo not only lets each invitee see who has pledged so far, it even has a feature called "I'm In If You're In," allowing them to secretly sign up to go if, and only if, a friend that they name does.

Once enough people have committed to coming—and only then—Wigadoo collects the pledged funds and puts them into an online event account. That account, in turn, comes with a Wigadoo Virtual Prepaid MasterCard that can be used to book or pay for everything for the group, either online or by phone.

Organizing through Wigadoo is free for the organizer, but participants pay a small fee when they pledge: GBP 1.50 if they use a debit card or if the amount being collected is less than GBP 50, or—if they use credit to make a pledge over that amount—3 percent of the amount being collected.

Still in beta, Wigadoo is backed by a number of high-profile angel investors, it says, most of them internet entrepreneurs from the travel and leisure space. It currently serves just the UK, but plans to expand beyond that when its beta period ends. One to partner with or emulate in other parts of the world!




Finding Your Files to Backup, Step 1

In order to do an effective backup, you need to first be able to locate those important files hidden on your PC. One of the difficulties of backing up your data is finding exactly where your email, your web browser settings and other important info is stored.

In an ideal world, these files would all be situated in your My Documents folder ('Documents' in Vista). Backing up would then be easy: simply copy that folder to your chosen storage device and you would be done!

Except you aren't, because life is not that easy with PCs.

Make sure you're seeing all there is to see:

First, ensure that when you look for your vital files, you can actually see them. Some of them are system files that are hidden from view in Windows' default setup. To make these files visible in XP:

  1. Open Windows Explorer and click Tools (to see the Tools in Vista, press the Alt key)
  2. Select Folder Options
  3. Select View
  4. Tick "Show hidden files and folders" and untick "Hide extensions for known file types and Hide protected operating system files".
  5. Click OK to apply the settings.

Now you're ready to locate your mystery files, which we will do next time.


TLAs for SMEs

Here are this newsletter's TLAs for you:

  • LTE, Long Term Evolution. The big new thing - 4G wireless broadband technology developed by the Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP), an industry trade group. The next evolution from GSM, which is the currently dominant mobile standard, consisting of more than 80% of the world's cellular phone users.

Please feel free to email me with any TLAs that you want to get the bottom (meaning!) of.

Tips, Short+Hot Keys

Over the next few newsletters, we are going to look at all you can do with Alt and letters... and the last ones; Y & Z.

  • Word "Repeat Find" Alt & Ctrl & Y
  • Word "Go back to previous location while working" Alt & Ctrl & Z
  • IE "Display a list of zoom percentages. " Alt & Z
  • Outlook "Zoom" Alt & Z

Hot Linx

                                Catch you again soon!! E-mail your suggestions to me here

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