Disruptive. But not always in a good way.

The ‘on demand economy’ and the 'disruptive' brands that are creating and supporting it is the current buzz in the marketing world.  In the last week, I’ve attended two presentations where the likes of Uber, Airbnb and Deliveroo have been held up as great examples of a new way of doing business. Putting the customer experience at the centre, relying on crowd-sourced reviews, shaking the complacency of established brands and service models, moving to a [...]

Licensed to spam?

Last week, I wrote a piece about how poor digital marketing practice is damaging our industry.  At the heart of this is not just how brands are failing to build meaningful relationships with their audiences, but the fact that they're often actively disengaging them. Like many areas of marketing practice, addressing the basics is not rocket science, but it does take work.  Putting yourself in your customer’s shoes will help ensure they’re truly engaged [...]

Tipping point?

Back in December 2014, I wrote a blog about the archaic and confusing practice of tipping serving staff in restaurants.  I suggested it was time to end the frequent ‘bill shock’ and the lottery of who actually gets the money.  A few months later, the media was full of stories about the big restaurant chains withholding or deducting tips (for ‘admin fees’ or to 'share' with the wider team) and in some cases, actually [...]

To Tip Or Not To Tip? That Is The Question…

A recent survey claimed almost two thirds of Britons were “unwilling” to pay a service charge and many are confused about tipping etiquette. There’s worse news for bartenders, as 98% would never tip for a drink. Is it a cultural thing, or is it down to a generation growing up with fast food and takeaways? I know I always (inwardly) question exactly why I’m tipping my hairdresser or taxi driver, when all they’ve done is [...]

By | 2017-01-04T19:51:26+00:00 December 15th, 2014|Customer Service & Experience, Retail & Hospitality|0 Comments

Want Great Restaurant Service? Then Pay Attention!

I just read a fascinating piece about a New York restaurant, whose owners couldn't understand why they kept getting such bad online reviews. The food wasn't a problem, but clearly the service was - how long it was taking, wait times for tables etc. But as they'd recently shortened the menu and employed more staff, it just didn’t add up. To help them understand what was happening, they watched some 10-year-old CCTV tapes, and compared [...]

Happiness On The High Street? Cheap Clearly Isn’t Cheerful

Regular readers of my blog may remember the post I wrote in January about how retailers blame poor sales on just about everything apart from the customer experience. Which? Magazine has just published its annual Shopper Survey, based on satisfaction and likelihood to recommend - and the importance of excellent customer service could not be clearer. The headlines are that Lush, Disney, Richer Sounds, John Lewis and Waterstones make up the Top 5 and Apple [...]

How NOT To Do Customer Service

As a companion piece to my last blog (Time to Address the Relationship Disconnect), I’ve written a handy ‘how not to do customer service’ checklist. Poor customer service is now so commonplace in the UK that comedians build entire routines out of it; the curse of the unexpected item in the bagging area, the endless ‘your call is important to us’ messages while they leave you sat on hold and the never-ending IVR menus. (“Press [...]

It’s not the weather, it’s not the ads. It’s the customer experience.

So here we are again.  Time for the annual ‘retailers post disappointing Xmas trading results’ headlines.  This year, I’m not looking at the correlation between their results and their ad campaigns, I’m having a think about the relationship between their results and the in-store experience. With retail sales overall up 5.3%, and some brands delivering up to 20-30% growth online, it shows just how badly the poor performers have done. Over at M&S (down 2.1%), [...]

Trust me, I’m an honest marketer

If brands were honest... Marketing magazine recently carried an interesting piece entitled ‘Face it, your consumers hate you’ which talked about rising consumer distrust of advertising and marketing.  It quoted a survey by the brand agency Promise, which found “consumers are ready to assume the worst about brands, and have fallen out of love with them.” I’m not surprised.  Back in February, I posted a blog arguing the case for a return to [...]