Archive for the ‘customer service’ Category

Take the time to kick of the year on the right foot?

 If you have not had a chance to read any newspapers or on line articles about financial planning over the New Year I thought I would echo the thoughts of many articles that have been published for your benefit.  Take the time over the next few weeks whether at night, on Saturday or have a friend or family member review many of the things that cost you money each day or each month. There can be lots of savings to be had and with an ever changing business environment and economy you need to be paying attention.

 Here are some things that you should be taking a look at:

 Mortgage – Rates have been at all time lows for many years, but there is a growing thought that rates are going up this year. Do you need to make changes? Talk to a pro, someone you trust or maybe a mortgage broker.

 Bank Accounts – Fees are a killer. Check what you are paying and if there are other banks that charge smaller fees or give better rates, make the move.

 Credit Cards – What are the interest rates that you are paying? Can you do better or what about taking out a line of credit (usually less than half of the credit card rate) and consolidating any outstanding debt that you have. Big dough potential.

 Phone Bills – Call up your provider to find out if they have any offers and if coming to the end of your plan, shop around! The internet has much of the info right at your fingertips.

 Lines of Credit – Consolidate debts, look for best rates and try to eliminate wasteful spending in order to pay it down.

 Insurance – Home, personal, car – check them all out to ensure you have the right coverage and that there are not other options that can save you money.

 Get Your Taxes Done Early – Better to have the money in your hands instead of the government. Maybe it can help you start paying down that Line of Credit tomorrow instead of starting April 1.

 Of course you will always hear me speak about the customer experience of the above. When you call any of the above people, whether you currently do business with them or not, be sure that you get the support and service that you need. You pay money for the above and there are lots of options for you to consider, so don’t settle for being treated poorly by anyone.

 Good luck!

 Cheers,
Pete

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.

 Cheers,
Pete

Kicking off 2011 – The Power of the Consumer

 Welcome back everyone! I hope that everyone had a great break and enjoyed the benefits of the early sales, the lower prices and free offers that were presented all over the place.

 As we move into 2011 you have more control and power with business than every before. Be sure to demand better service, look for better prices online and when you don’t get good value for your hard earned dollars, begin to look elsewhere for the same or a similar product.

 Happy New Year!

 Cheers,
Pete

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.

 Cheers,
Pete