Archive for July, 2008

Why do you work???

I’m probably classed as a work-a-holic. I don’t look at it like a bad thing – but the difference is that i know its temporary. I’ll probably retire in a few years – but just for a few months, because i honestly expect i’d get bored of travelling. I love it that much, to me its a game.

Take today i did the whole company executive “work day” (10-12 hours), later tonight i’ll travel to my favourite bar; and do a 5 hour DJ set. Tomorrow (Saturday) i spend the afternoon lecturing at the Dublin Music Achamedy (6 hours) Followed by another dj set DJing infront of 2000 people at Spirit (57) Nightclub. But to me thats fun.

One of the people i really look up to is Author Timothy Ferris, the guy is really inspirational. Here’s why:

Marketing – Dont Shy Away From Your Customers

One big marketing mistake that businesses make is they often shy away from their customers. If you do something right you have a duty to let the customer know and if you do something wrong you really need to talk to your customer and let them know you are aware of their problems – and what you are doing something to solve them. Every aspect of your business is marketing and every aspect is the responsibility of the first point of contact.

Take two examples.

1) I was recently eating in a restaurant, the food was good and at the end of the meal the waiter said this KILLER marketing tag line “I hope both the food i served and my service was to your satisfaction”. Nothing in your face about it, but he knew his job down to a fine art. The service had been perfect, so much so we barely even noticed until he mentioned it. Frankly we were glad he did as we talked about it the next day to our friends and were happy to tip that little more. Everytime our glasses we nearly empty they were filled up, we didnt have to ask for anything because when i looked for soya sauce he noticed and brought it before i asked. He had done a great job and was proud of it! Isn’t it funny how we tend not to catch people doing things right?

2) Take in stark contrast my relationship with waste collectors AES in Portlaoise – awful is an understatement. The expectations are similar – show up and preform a tast. The reality is disturbing. I’ve regularily called their office – usually they pay lip service then promise a call back – which they actually do less than 5% of the time in my experience. So I wrote to the Managing Director and also the admin explaining my frustration – i got a call the next day, so i asked did you get my letter? I’m not aware of any letter was the reply – so offfically i never was acknowledged for the letter nor the problems with their service. That day my bins were collected. Some weeks later i rang 5 times in one day after a month of non collections created a bad smell. This time when i arrived home the bins were collected (even though though it wasnt bin day); however noone called to tell me they were going to be collected, my 5 calls were never returned, no one addressed the problem and at the next collection day there was again no collection. Despite having paid twice for service till August i will probably hire another company and continue to quest, probably unfruitfully, to return my double charged payment – which they’ve now send three unrelated invoices for.

Whats the connection? It all comes down to ownership of responsibility. Would the sales person in the latter example stand face to face and ignore you. Probably not. But he doesnt feel its his problem hes in sales so not at fault for accountings mistakes, not to blame for the bin collectors not collecting the bins – its just not is him problem, nor the person who’s remit it is to answer phones. On the other hand the waiter in the previous story took responsibility for our whole meal – if the food was bad it wouldnt have been his fault but he still took ownership and would have apologised (and meant it).

So how do you turn a business around from the a group of individuals who work to a team who takes ownership? Really its simple, change the language you use and the way you approach problems. Your first point of contact with a business should become “Your Guy / Girl”, once they find out about a problem they must follow it up untill its solved and if its not they must keep contact to inform the customer of its status, if your company has closed doors then have ‘Your Guy / Girl’ be outside with the customer knocking on them. Every day a business owner should have someone with a list of customers problems and asking is this being solved yet? Make daily / weekly contact untill it is. Ironically it shouldnt just be considered the job of customer service – i feel it should be someone in the marketing department. Who knows how much their latest TV ad cost and how much the cost per conversion on a flyer is, when compared to one friend / neighbour recommending a restaurant or advising to avoid a bin company.

After all whats the point in having a sales force if you cant retain customers who want your service. Patch up the holes in your bucket before you fill it!

Gourmet Burger or Abrakabera in Disguise???

Photo Taken at Oxygen 08

Gourmet Burger or Abrakabera in Disguise???

(For those not from Dublin – Gourmet Burger is a well known Dublin restaurant that serves fancy high quality burgers and Abrakababra is a fast food chain.)

Blog Update

Sorry folks blogging has been slow as of late. Thought i’d make a mini post just to keep everyone upto date.

Next Dublin Media Centre DJ course Starts this Sat, ment to post on this but it was literally sold out the day after we announced it – so didnt see the point. [email protected] for info on my next course and to get on the waiting list for it. Might Consider doing one in the Portloaise area if there’s demand, will still be through DMC but looking at how far some people travel for this months course it might be be worth looking into.

Twittering has been slow, i’ve become more of a twitter spectator as of late. Will get more active as i’ve implementing some time saving ideas next week. – If your on twitter add me.

Jobs in Laois? If you know anyone looking jobs in Laois for Sales / Admin i’m looking for people at the moment so send CV’s here if you know anyone looking – Would be much appreciated.