Wasted Effort

How much time do you sit there thinking if only?

If only…

I had more time (you have plenty of time you are just using it sensibly)

as I need to get that job done (how important is it?)

but I would rather do something else ( will it pay the bills though?)

Rather than keep thinking about it and putting it off – grasp that nettle and get on with cooking up a change – nettle soup warms the heart and fuels the fire of desire!

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Master or Slave?

As the pressure continues for your business to perform there has been over the last few years a never-ending stream of how to be more effective, how to be more available, how to be more responsive through the use of the latest technological gadget / system.

Have you ever thought about the drain this has on your working time?

Are you driving the technology or is the technology driving you?

I have seen far too many grabbing for their mobile phone/ Blackberry/iPad the moment a ping sound is emitted, almost to the point they send a reply before they have even seen the message!

What makes us feel we are so indispensable that it is okay to interrupt someone else by having to respond to that call / text. Do you really think that it is socially okay or is it downright rude?

As a client or supplier respect my time, my focus and my commitment.

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Are you Nick’d too?

Back in the 1930s Nick has been running his gift business in Europe for a few years. Whilst not a figment of his imagination, he soon found that lots of people, strengthened by a certain Cola brew got to know about his unique gift and delivery to door service. Demand increased, kept on growing and was very seasonal which started to put a great strain on his production, logistics and cash flow. He found he and his staff were soon working 24×7 to try to meet demand. He relished in the corporate hospitality afforded to him, though he started to wear thin of being offered sherry and pies at most events. His weight soared.

However rather large cracks started to appear.  Nick was not very good at detail especially keeping customer details and orders on file. Soon he started to get customers ringing up complaining about mis-deliveries of incorrect products. Some of them were in tears whilst others vented their frustration somewhat abusively that they had not received what they ordered. This was a BIG problem as every customer had a unique order to them and there was nothing worse than an unhappy client. Customer satisfaction started to slide to the floor and he felt as though he was going into an abyss. Nick’s employees were up in arms at the negative comments and abuse they were receiving from unhappy customers.

Nick started to sleep badly, increasingly suffered from indigestion  and was a tad snappy to everyone due to all the stress he was feeling. Mrs Nick was none too pleased either as she wasn’t getting her 40 winks of sleep a night – not good for a woman of a certain age! It got to the point that she would no longer put up with the aggravation, lack of attention and grunts of conversation afforded to her by Nick. A divorce was demanded. Nick was shocked – this was a wakeup call!. What could he do  to save his marriage and his business? He wished that someone could help him sort things out and get things back on track.

Well believe or not fairies really do exist and one popped up right there and then – the implementation fairy no less!! She sat down with Nick over a nice cuppa of tea and fruitcake to discover what his problems were, where he wanted to be with his business and still have a life with his wife. He knew what he loved to do in business – meeting people and creating unique gifts for his customers. However managing the contact detail level was just not him. The implementation fairy said that was right up her street and that she help would sort out getting things back on track.

Firstly she made sure that Nick told her what he wanted  in order to make sure that he had a centralised standard system to track all enquiries and orders. This system could also store all sorts of other information, such as other gifts that could be substituted if unable to supply, delivery addresses that were different from the billing address, history of orders made, and any special requests. She got to work. Bit of an exercise tracking down the bits of paper with contact details on but she got there in the end putting all the information into a database. A few large glasses of particularly well chilled Chablis to celebrate were drunk once done!

Soon Nick’s customers started to see an improvement in service – what they had ordered actually delivered on-time and to the correct address. They even had a nice follow-up call to check that they were happy and was there anything else Nick’s company could do for them. If the customers were unhappy this was actioned immediately by their complaint being logged and someone coming back to them within 24 hours with an update / resolution.! Satisfaction rocketed like a proverbial reindeer flying in stratosphere!

Way hay – Nick started to feel happier – customers started to place additional orders and his staff themsElves started to get compliments from clients. Mrs Nick withdrew divorce proceedings and Nick was finally able to take a well-earned holiday with her safe in the knowledge that things would run smoothly whilst he was away.

A little bit of help makes a massive difference – what will you in 2013 to improve?

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