Archive for the ‘Attitude’ Category

So, you may have noticed the other day I posted my first blog in over a year. It has been a busy 12 months and even longer since I closed my consulting business to focus on another incredible opportunity that presented itself to me. Due to the amount of time that it took to build my understanding of the new business and the role that I played in it, my blog took a back seat even though it was the fun side of my consulting business. Well the time has come to delve back into the blog and to put some focus back on one of the creative things that I truly love to do.

I wanted to take a minute to restate the purpose of my blog other than just being an outlet for me to be challenged, supported and critiqued for some of the thoughts that I put out there. My consulting work and my passion for many years had been the customer experience and it is still something that I am truly passionate about as part of my new role and as a consumer every day. The blog was to help consumers understand that they had choices for their hard working dollars and should not accept a bad experience when there are so many other businesses that would bend over backwards to earn their trust, respect and loyalty. Often times the blogs encouraged consumers to take the leap, do the leg work and make the move versus sticking with the existing business that was counting on us not to make the effort. On the business side of the customer experience it was about pointing things out to businesses that provided great customer experiences and those that didn’t. For those that did well it was my pleasure to share the amazing things with my followers, even if it was the smallest of things, as they often are the things that make the difference. On the not so good side, I would tell the story and then make a suggestion or two (usually with a little humour) that I thought might help those businesses improve their experience and ultimately keep their customers. You can see what specific experience drove me to start my business and blog by looking back at one of my first blogs here

One addition to my original focus moving forward will be things that may not speak directly to the customer experience, but something that has motivated me to sit down and pull some thoughts together, like the RBC blog.  In the world we are in today I think one of our biggest risks is to remain silent while the world passes us by. As times presumably get tougher moving forward I believe the silent majority will start to rally and begin to speak up. Remaining silent will allow others to impact the comfort of our lives and I prefer to be a part of that conversation. Hopefully I can help rally others to stand up and make a difference as well.

Thanks for your support!


Rob Ford – I like him…

 Wow, that got you excited….

 Rob Ford has now been the mayor of Toronto for just over a month and no matter what you think about the policies of Rob Ford, you have to appreciate his commitment to customer service or great customer experiences. He understands, as his did in his riding by returning all phone calls to constituents within 24-48 hours, that communication and delivering good experiences is a big part of the political game. Yes there will always be people on either side of the spectrum that you cannot please, but the average consumer understands that there are limitations to what can be done based on money, time and manpower. What they will however appreciate is that someone gets back to them in a timely fashion and follows up when requested.  Responding to your constituents is no different than responding to your business customers.

 When you spend money at a business and you get good value, you come back. When you don’t,  you go elsewhere. In our case we had a government that was not providing good value (in the mind of the voters) and thus, we the consumer, decided to take our money elsewhere. That somewhere else was Rob Ford and so far I like what I am hearing. It still remains to be seen if he can live up to all the commitments of great service, but if he even comes close to what he was delivering previously,  I am sure we will all be much more satisfied with that aspect of his leadership versus that of the previous government…Whether you agree with his policies or not.

 I don’t call mayor often, but if I do I am looking forward to the experience.


Virgin Airlines…what a great surprise!

 I have just returned from a trip to Los Angeles and when I looked to book the ticket a few days out from the trip the cheapest option was to fly Virgin Airlines. I had recently been told that Virgin was a good airline and have always had a great impression about Virgin and their amazing guest experiences.

 Well, I can tell you now that I like what they have to offer. It certainly has some of the same components that other airlines have, but I would have to say that Virgin has done a great job at finding ways to differentiate themselves from the completion. Virgin does not fly any routes within Canada and does not have large schedules to the US out of Canada, but if you do ever get to try them out, here are a few things that you are likely to see…or hear.

 They had tunes playing by the check in counter…love it!

  • Staff was friendly and helpful at all points except for one guy on my return home
  • Funky lights on in the plane when you board – simple, but different
  • Love the animated cartoon humour that explains the normal pre flight rules and regs versus the more traditional serious approach on other airlines
  • Was shocked to see the pilot come out of the cockpit to do the welcome message  to the passengers leaving Toronto… and when he said “we sincerely thank you for flying with us” I really thought he meant it!
  • At any time during the flight you can order food from the screen in front of you…anything, anytime.
  • Wireless internet service on the flight! It was free because of the holidays, but I would pay just about anything for free wireless on a flight!

 As I mentioned above, the schedule in Canada is a little challenging to fly Virgin, but if you enjoy some of the services above as part of your flight, I am sure you will enjoy the Virgin Airlines experience.


The Keg – Just can’t get enough…

 The Keg gets it. Not sure why, how, when or who created the approach to the business originally, but it works. It works in good times and it works in bad times. It works when you are celebrating with friends, having dinner with the family or just pulling up a chair at the bar and going it alone.

 So what is the “it” and how do they “get it”? Well there is a lot more to it than what I can put into a single Blog, but it really comes down to people and consistency of experience.

 The staff at the Keg are called “Keggers”. If any of you have worked at the Keg you probably still find opportunity to use the handle in conversation. Keggers are a special breed. They love the hospitality business or at least they do when they are on stage at the keg. I don’t think I can ever remember an unhappy staff member at the Keg…any Keg. I have likely been to a Keg in every province of Canada and in the US as well. No bad staff. How can it be? I think it has to do with hiring the right people and then treating them like they are your most important asset, because they are. The company spends boat loads of money on staff engagement parties, trips and activities to ensure that their staff know that they are important and appreciated. In addition, it keeps the staff connected and creates the stories and the culture that legends and great friendships are made of. My good friend Mac still tells me stories of his day as a Kegger 20 years ago and still has a special rapport with other staff he comes across in life.

 The consistency of experience is really about providing the fundamental aspects that are important to every dining experience and occasionally going above and beyond when required. The fundamentals (in addition to great staff) includes a great environment (who doesn’t love the new look of the Keg), quality food, cleanliness and the occasional product feature to inspire a new experience for a repeat customer.

 Take the above two ingredients and add a dose of empowerment to let staff and management address any situations that do not deliver the “Keg Experience” and you have the perfect recipe for success in good times and  bad. 

 Looking forward to my next trip back for another great experience.