Archive for the ‘Customer Care’ Category

What do you bring to work? – the Gospel according to The Boss

February 18, 2017

Bruce Springsteen - Born to Run

I always tell the fantastic team that work with me and Dee at Fuzion Communications, that they don’t work for an entity, they actually work for themselves.

Fuzion isn’t the place where they work, it is them, it is us.

Together we turn up, we ply our trade and we give of ourselves and the result of this is Fuzion.

The place where we work is what we collectively make of it, and it is up to us together, to make it a special place that we can all enjoy.

When we get this right and we enjoy doing great work together for our clients we call it Win Happy.

When anyone new starts I explain our simple work philosophy to them and I am sure they think I am a total crackpot because sadly it doesn’t normally operate like this in the workplace.

I am in the middle of a fantastic book and the following powerful excerpt really resonated with me as it describes our philosophy better than I ever can:

There is love and respect in the centre of everything that we do together.

It’s not just business, it’s personal.

When you come to work with me, I had to be assured that you’d bring your heart

Heart sealed the deal.

We are more than an idea, an aesthetic. We are a philosophy, a collective, with a professional code of honour.

It is based on the principle that we bring our best, everything we have, to remind you of everything you have, your best.

That it’s a privilege to exchange smiles, soul and heart directly with the people in front of you.

That it’s an honour and great fun to join in concert with those whom you’ve invested so much of yourself in and they in you, your fans, the stars above, this moment, and apply your trade humbly (or not so!) as a piece of a long, spirited chain you’re thankful to be a small link in.  

Bruce Springsteen

Excerpt from his book ‘Born to Run’

#WinHappy

Greg Canty 

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion Communications, a full service agencu that offers Marketing, PR and Graphic Design services from our offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

 

I’m not telling you where it is..

February 5, 2017

Fireside

You can feel everything heating up again..

We spend at least half our working week doing business in Dublin and our home has been a particular hotel, which was located close to the office.

It became a home from home of sorts for years with most of the staff recognising us as we trooped in with our bags week after week. They looked after us really well and we left them lots of business. We had our corporate rate and our bonus nights and they had a regular customer, often at times of the year when Dublin was quiet.

The first sign of things changing was an email last year notifying us that our corporate rate wouldn’t apply on peak weeks. Okay, but wasn’t that the whole point of a corporate rate – a good average rate in exchange for lots of regular business?

The second big sign, which came along a few months later was an email informing us that the corporate rates in 2017 were increasing by 40%. Thank you… it seems that the whole loyalty thing doesn’t quite cut the mustard when things get busier!

So we went shopping for an alternative.

We did find a place, a little further out that gave us a good corporate rate and they assured us that they had a complimentary shuttle service to alleviate the slightly inconvenient location.

On the first day using the new hotel I enquired about the shuttle service – unfortunately the driver was on leave this week so there would be no shuttle service. Okay – Mr Shuttle driver could not be relied on!

I headed on foot to the office and just as I was nearly there I passed a gorgeous little place, an old Georgian house with a sign outside declaring it to be a “hotel”.

I marched up the steps of this beautiful property and pushed the door open to be greeted by a really nice, friendly guy. I asked about rates and asked to see a typical room.

I was so impressed with the package he offered me and the gorgeous rooms and homely atmosphere that I immediately booked us in for a number of weeks ahead. The guy I was dealing with was the owner – the place had been in his family for decades and somehow you knew it had.

Our first stay didn’t disappoint – “Would you like a tea or a coffee?” was just one part of the warm welcome, the room was homely and impeccable and our breakfast was delicious and made to order.

I’m guessing the friendly woman, Agnes who served us was part of the family that owned this special place.

We walked to work, just a few minutes away and there was an extra skip in my step because in all the years that we have been staying overnight in Dublin I have never felt so at home.

So, unfortunately I’m not going to tell you where it is!!

I’ll resist tweeting about it because selfishly I want to keep this place a secret so that there is always a room there for us.

Dublin is booming ..

Greg Canty 

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion Communications who offer Marketing, PR and Graphic Design services from our offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

Microsoft, LinkedIn and the Personal Touch?

December 8, 2016

Microsoft buys LinkedIn

Today I received a really nice personalised email from Mike.

Mike is an important guy in LinkedIn (I’m guessing) and clearly he and his communications team felt it would be appropriate to reach out ‘personally’ to communicate some messages about some rather important news.

The problem is I don’t know Mike, I’ve never had correspondence from him and in truth he is attempting to communicate to an audience (me and God knows how many others) who are cynical and probably won’t connect with his message because we know it is a giant company who just don’t communicate like that to customers.

I totally get why the email was sent and all of the logic behind the “personal” touch BUT when you do this you must be tuned into your audience and what they are thinking so that your message will connect instead of having the opposite effect.

I’m not sure if you think like me about these things but I’ll try to share my thoughts (I’ll put these in brackets) to highlight what happens when you get the communication wrong..

Mikes email:

Dear Greg, (do I know you?)

Today, Microsoft completed its acquisition of LinkedIn.

This is a major milestone for the technology industry and for our two companies (good for you!), and I wanted to reach out to you, (that’s lovely!) a valued customer of LinkedIn, (quite honestly I’ve never quite felt like that) to reaffirm our commitment to you and your business. (Yeah right..)

As we said in June, when Microsoft announced its intent to acquire LinkedIn, LinkedIn’s vision — to create economic opportunity for every member of the global workforce (what workshop came up with his one – are you taking the p#ss?) — is not changing (I can now sleep at night).

Additionally, LinkedIn will retain its distinct brand, culture and autonomy as a company (how long will this last?).

Finally, we remain committed to innovating with our partners to ensure LinkedIn’s products work with the tools and systems you use every day, from Applicant Tracking Systems, to Customer Relationship Management platforms, to Learning Management Systems, and more. (I’m breaking out the champagne!)

With the completion of this acquisition, you can continue to expect the great products and service to which you’re accustomed from LinkedIn. (if you say so yourself!)

You can find more details about today’s news here. If you have any questions at all, please don’t hesitate to reach out to your account team or a representative here at LinkedIn. (Seeing as you emailed me Mike maybe I could email you directly? …nah, I know it doesn’t work like that)

We sincerely appreciate our partnership (hmmm- when did that happen?) with you and look forward to the successes we will share in the future. (this makes no sense whatsoever – even more champagne?)

Thanks,
Mike (from one first name to another)
Mike Gamson
Senior Vice President, Global Solutions (I bet you have a nice car!!)

Communication Breakdown..

I apologise for the sarcasm and maybe its just my mood today but was that email a whole pile of self serving me, me me rubbish?

You have to wonder if there is any point when communicating trying to pretend you have a relationship that you clearly don’t have and then smother this with cliche, marketing jargon that has been spat out of meaningless workshops where there wasn’t a genuine ‘customer’ in sight.

The purchase price was supposed to be in the region of $26 Billion – what happened with the communications plan?

Maybe just keep it easy? – issue a simple press release that says the sale has gone through

Greg Canty 

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion who offer Strategic Communications, Marketing, PR, Graphic Design services from our offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

 

 

Attracting the first customers 

October 6, 2016

Marina at Vilamoura

The shoulder season must be a big challenge for those working in the hospitality industry as there are customers out there but not quite as many as in high season.

We walked along the marina in Vilamoura, which is a beautiful town on the the Algarve in Portugal and most of the restaurants had their “sales people” out front trying to encourage you to choose their place as your restaurant for this night. We didn’t feel like Chinese or Indian so it was easy to walk by these restaurants but when it came to the rest how do you quickly judge them?

Does a place look well, are the prices right, is there a special offer to attract you, is there something different about the place, do customers there look like they are enjoying themselves, does it feel right?

If they look empty then what does everyone know that you don’t so you walk by, if they are too busy then you might also walk by.

With so many couples on holidays I wondered why the restaurants did not bother with candies? – an empty restaurant can transform quickly into an intimate, romantic spot when a special atmosphere has been created.

Eventually we stopped at the restaurant alongside the waterfront that had a good number of customers eating but it wasn’t so busy so we were able to get a seat with a good view.

The waiter cleverly guided us to a spot that helped spread the customers even more throughout the restaurant making it look a little busier than it actually was – he understood the “optics” that a place looking busy would attract more customers.

My lasagna was gorgeous but Dee’s gorgonzola and spinach pasta was strangely missing gorgonsola – we probably wouldn’t be back.

To the front of the restaurant there was a stand selling ice cream and crepes to passing pedestrians strolling on the marina. During the course of our meal the woman looking after the stand didn’t serve a single customer until suddenly one man stopped and ordered a crepe.

Her hot plate was fired up, the deliciously smelling mix was poured over it and the whole area carried the tantalising aroma of crepes being made. Suddenly I so badly wanted a crepe as did most people who walked by – while the guy waited for his crepe more people stopped and queued and then more and more.

The woman within 10 minutes went from having nothing to do to not being able to cope!

People are simple creatures and we often look to others to see what they are doing before we are prepared to commit.

What are you doing to attract your first customers?

Greg Canty 

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion Communications who offer Marketing, PR, Graphic Design services from our offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

A great customer ethos

October 1, 2016

Eathos

It was just another day and just another cafe and I ordered just another cup of coffee.

How many times have I done this in my lifetime? How many times have all of us done this and it’s just one of those many “customer transactions” that we do over and over.

While I was waiting for my coffee to arrive I inevitably lost myself in my phone checking emails and my twitter feed when a smartly dressed waiter appeared with my coffee.

With a big smile he placed the coffee in front of me and with full eye contact said “enjoy your coffee” in a way that made you feel he really meant it.

Oh, thanks a million” he surprised me with his genuineness and I did exactly what he asked and took the time to enjoy my coffee.

While serving a customer a cup of coffee is quite a routine task there are many ways that this could be done and my waiter made a decision to do this in the best possible way.

In the course of all our work there is a good chance that we end up doing the same thing over and over for our customers or for the internal customers that we work with everyday.

Try to do these routine tasks in the best possible way!

Note: The cafe/eatery is called Eathos and it can be found on Baggot Street in Dublin. They seem to hire a team with a great ethos!

Greg Canty 

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion Communications who offer Marketing, PR, Graphic Design services from our offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

(pic by Maura Hickey)

 

Customer Loyalty – Who is rewarding who?

September 20, 2016

champagne

You can see it all starting to change – things are getting better and inevitably the prices are starting to creep up and the special deals are disappearing. The free glass of wine or soft drink with your lunch is gone – the bill has crept up €5 per person.

We use a particular hotel (our second home!!) on a regular basis in Dublin. In the depths of the recession they were glad of the business introducing keen rates for Corporate clients and a loyalty card system that rewarded you with free nights every time you stayed 10 times.

The room rate has crept up and 10 times has crept up to 13 times and the free upgrades to the better rooms don’t happen anymore – the reward for loyalty is less than it was because they don’t need this ‘loyalty’ as much anymore.

Recently we rang to make our usual booking and it happened to fall during the Dublin Horse Show week.

We have vacancies but we can’t give you the corporate rate. That rate doesn’t apply at busy times” the reservations person explained.

Excuse me. The hotel isn’t full, the event is happening and you have vacancies. We stay with you in the depths of winter when the place is half empty” Logic wasn’t winning as we tried to make our point.

Sorry, we have a new policy

We resorted to jumping over that person’s head and having a quiet word with the manager who we have got to know quite well and he negotiated a rate closer to what we normally pay. We shouldn’t have had to make any phone call but as I already said, things are changing.

Initially we were angry and frustrated. You think about finding a new place to stay but this hotel is close to the office and its convenient and in truth we all just have to ‘suck it up’ and realise that things improving means that your custom just won’t be as valued as it once was.

However, we now feel different about that place and if there was a better option we would definitely have switched to it at that point.

If you are increasing your prices and squeezing up those deals try to do it in such a way that doesn’t let your ‘loyal’ customers feel like their loyalty was pointless – you’ll want them in January!

Greg Canty 

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion who offer Marketing, PR, GraphicDesign services from our offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

 

 

 

Your most important customer 

August 12, 2016

Cakes - Fuzion

Last week our fantastic and very lovely graphic design intern, Marianne sent everyone in the team this mouthwatering email:

Morning, there are some home-made buns in the reception area should you fancy something sweet. They are cinnamon sugar and amaretto sugar buns (hope no one has nut allergies). Enjoy!

Enjoy?!!

They were absolutely delicious but more than that, this fantastic gesture by her was a brilliant way to make a connection with her fellow teammates on her first week.

This huge gesture blew me away and it got me thinking about customers and customer service.

The most important customers aren’t the crew out there that buy our goods and services, they are the people who work alongside us, day in and day out. Our bosses, our peers, our trainees, our interns – our relationship with these individuals is the most important one of all.

We spend most of our waking hours together and ultimately it is this group who will help to deliver your personal success, who will generate your income, who will make your days more enjoyable, who we need when we have problems and are under pressure.

Most of us can’t do it by ourselves and isn’t it much more fun when we do it together?

The most important customer is the person who works with you – look after them, treasure them.

Well done Marianne and thank you. You get it.

#WinHappy 

Greg Canty 

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion who offer Marketing, PR, GraphicDesign services from our offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

The next guy paying for what the last guy did!

July 12, 2016

Paul Kelly - Console

That’s the last time I’m holding the door open for someone,

It’s the last time I’m going to let someone out in traffic,

The last time I’m going to open my mouth and offer an opinion,

The last time I’m going to spend loads of time on a proposal,

The last time I’m going to pay for lunch,

The last time I’m donating to charity,

The last time I’m going to give an honest answer,

The last time I’m doing pro bono work,

The time I’m going to trust a suppliers word,

The last time I’m going to look after a staff member,

The last time I trust someone and give them credit,

The last time I donate to a charity…..

While we must always learn from our experiences we must be really careful that the next guy doesn’t get short changed because of what happened with  the  last one.

Never stop being prepared to do good things.

Greg Canty 

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion who offer Marketing, PR and Graphic Design services from our offices in Dublin and Cork

Hate !

May 3, 2016

Ryanair pic by Greg Canty

Hate is a big word and I hate using it!

Boarding our Ryanair flight from Liverpool to Cork I uttered the words I have uttered many times before to Brendan, my son “I hate Ryanair

He took me up on it straight away “give it a rest, they are really good now, way different to before

Sure enough the process felt different, the APP made it easy to manage our booking and the stampede for seats that used happen before when the boarding gate opened just wasn’t there now.

Why do you still hate them” he asked?

I explained that I hated that Michael O’Leary had such a disdain for customers and customer service and this was the cornerstone of the brand. I hated how it made me feel when I used the airline and swore that I would even avoid destinations if they were the airline to take you there.

This time the Liverpool v Borussia Dortmund match dictated the destination and Ryanair was the best way to get back to Cork.

We are handed a magazine as we board… It’s not a magazine but a catalogue of things to buy – there is nowhere to put it except by my feet as there is no pocket on the back of the seat. The back of the seat instead carries safety information and an advert for cosmetics that can be purchased on board.

Ryanair pic by Greg Canty

I look down the gaudy big yellow bus, the heat is on full blast and everyone is fidgeting with their air vents. The people around me grumble about the stifling heat while the pleasant hostess passes by quickly wanting to know who wants to buy scratch cards (I presume some people like to buy them but for the life of me I can’t imagine why – I feel for her, it must be a part of the job she hates!).

I’m looking forward to getting off in Cork and for this flight being over but first I’ll finish this blog post about brands and how they make you feel.

I guess Ryanair have improved a lot but yeah …I still hate them but not as much as before.

What brands do you feel strongly about?

Greg Canty 

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion who offer Marketing, PR and Graphic Design services from our offices in Dublin and Cork

Fancy a dance ?

March 6, 2016

Saturday Night Fever

I was having a chat with a buddy of mine who we do some work with from time to time.

A project with an immovable deadline had hit an impasse because someone on the client side had let one of his guys down – the task they were to do was a relatively straightforward one but they didn’t get to it due to their own work pressure.

The person on his team informed him that she could do no more because of this ‘thing‘ that wasn’t done so the project deadline would be missed.

It would probably have been a legitimate reason for missing the deadline and he could quite happily declare that “there is nothing we could do“.

He had a choice to make ..

Being in business is like being on a dance floor except you have no idea what music they are about to play or who you will have to dance with!

You turn up expecting an eighties disco and suddenly they play a waltz. You are waltzing and an Irish gig comes on. Sometimes the dance floor is packed and you are struggling to manoeuvre around the floor and suddenly you find yourself dancing by yourself and feeling very awkward as everyone is watching.

There are times when no one is dancing and its up to you to get things moving by dragging an unsuspecting dance partner out on the floor in the hope that others join in.

Sometimes you can dance all night and have the best of fun but there are times when you are just not in the mood – your feet are sore but you still have to dance.

Sometimes it’s dancing with the most perfect, incredible, stunningly beautiful woman and sometimes … Well. you can only dance with the women who are in the room!

My buddy instructed his team member to just do the task that the client was supposed to do as it wasn’t a big deal and he wanted to deliver the project on time. Nice move..

Fancy a dance ?!!

Greg Canty 

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion who offer Marketing, PR and Graphic Design services from our offices in Dublin and Cork