Tag Archive | Customer

We need better food labelling…

This morning, we (my girlfriend and I) were going shopping at the big Tesco Extra supermarket at Canada Water. This was actually the first time that it was really quiet and not many people were around. Shopping between 9am and 10am seems to be the way to go if you like space, take your time and actually do not have to wait at the tills. I will definitely do that more often.

As we were in a great shopping mood and had the space in front of these never ending product shelves, we decided to take a look at what we buy comes from and if we can find products that are produced locally or at least are not imported from some country ont he other side of the world. This is a really great thing to do as you will discover where the product actually comes from and you will be surprised! We are not just trying to reduce our environmental impact with this little change in buying behaviour, but I think it will also help the UK economy and your shopping basket a little bit healthier as you are more likely to buy seasonal products and reduce the carbon footprint enormously. Additionally, I really do believe that the consumer – meaning all of us – has the power to change things for the better.

speed shopping by {foto obscura}  (foto-obscura)) on 500px.com
speed shopping by {foto obscura}

But back to food labelling and the difficult task with some products to find out where they were produced. For example, we were looking for some lentils  and you can imagine that there was an amazing diversity of colours, shapes and labels to buy from. However, all of them did not mention on the packaging the country of origin. We could find out that there were packaged in the UK, but that was all. And this not the only product where you will have difficulties finding the actual source. It looks a bit better in the meat and fruit & vegetable section as most fresh produce will have a label that at least shows the country of origin.

Another thing that makes it difficult for buyers is that most products coming from different markets and are packaged in various countries. Therefore, you will have all sorts of labels claiming different things. If you just think of the organic food labelling. There are a few bodies that can certify in the UK, some more in Europe and everybody has their own label. This is very confusing and you never know what think of if you don’t know the label. This has lead us to do a bit more research on some of the labels, but this again time consuming and if you have a busy lifestyle it is hard to do. However, I do argue if we would all inform ourselves a bit more about food labelling and start changing our buying habits, I am convinced that we can change it for the better.

Please share your thoughts.

PS: If you like to read more about where your food, cloth and other things in your life come from, read: Confessions of an eco sinner by Fred Pearce. A really good read! For more information on the environmental impact of food production, watch: HOME on youtube for free. Pictures you will not forget.


Life can be so simple

Isn’t it true that we sometimes make things more complicated than they actually are? I just watched this wonderful little video and it made me think.

Every day we do things a little bit more complicated. For example, in business I am constantly thinking about the next new marketing tool that I can use to get more customers instead of just talking to people I know and meet every day and tell them about the products we sell in our business. This is not just much cheaper and cost effective, but also much more fun. Additionally, it is a proven thing that people trust people more when they know them already and get a recommendation.

Another great example at the workplace might be that we doing meetings after meetings in order to make sure that everybody knows everything and the service levels do increase. However, by being in meetings all the time and talking about what should be done, we actually forget to have enough people on the floor to provide a great customer service experience.

Unfortunately, I currently cannot recall anything that I do in my private life that could be all a bit more straight forward or made easier. But I am sure there are many things that can be simplified and actually would work better with less stress or workload. Therefore, think before you do things.

Maybe you have something that just came into your mind when you watched the above video or read this post. Please share your thoughts.

Friendly service makes all the difference….

As I was the other day writing a post about bad customer service, I needed to write about the service I experienced last night at Pizza Express at Holborn. Usually Pizza Express is not my preferred Italian Chain restaurant, but it served the purpose of getting a nice Italian meal in the Holborn area and I could not really look for other options as the battery of my smart phone was dead – so foursquare could not really help.

And exactly this little misfortune was the reason I got one of the best customer service I have ever received in a restaurant. And here is the story – I was supposed to meet some business partners from Germany at this restaurant, but could not find them in the restaurant. The waitress that approached my with a big smile offered me to look at the downstairs area, but my friends were not there. As I was running late, I was 100 percent sure that there must be already be seated. The lovely waitress then suggested to give them a call and checked if I was sure that I was in the same restaurant. Having been in this situation before, in most restaurants or places people give you that weird look like you are dumb and cannot even find the right restaurant. However, this waitress did with a big smile and empathy. I asked her if there would be more restaurants of this chain in the area, but only at least 10 minutes away. Therefore, I was sure that I was at the right place. When she suggested I should give my friends a call, I mentioned that my phone is out of battery and I will not be able to call them. Then, she asked me if I know the phone number and I agreed while wondering where the next telephone booth is and where to get change to make a call. And here came the moment of truth – she offered me to make a call from their phone. She placed on an empty table and asked me to wait until she could get me the phone. I would have never even imagined that this would be an option. This person just really made my day!!! But I never managed to make a call as my friends arrived and there was no need to make a call.

I can only say, it was such a little thing to offer me a phone to make a call and I know for a fact most restaurants or businesses would not allow or do. I think even most people working in restaurants would not even get the idea to offer this. But for me it was one of the best things that happened to me for while and I will certainly remember it for a while.

Additionally, we exchanged details to see if we have an opportunity for her in my business that she can make sure all our customers are happy as well. I think, people with a natural passion for customer service are hard to find these days especially in these kind of restaurants that go for volume and are situated in the tourist areas of London.

However, I think that it also depends on the customer how much service he gets. I truly believe that when you asked nicely and treat service staff with respect and give them a smile your chances are much higher of receiving great service in return. Give it a try!

Dell and customer service

Only three days in my challenge and I already struggle to find something I can write about. It is not that I don’t have enough ideas or subject I would like to write about, but most of them actually need a bit of further research to put together something really good of a post. I also might need to get used to writing a bit quicker as most days I will not have the time to research and write for about 2 hours. But enough of the waffling for now and here we go with my next post about customer service gone a bit wrong.

Dell Logo

Image via Wikipedia

I purchased a DELL XPS 1330 laptop about 3 years ago and was really happy with its performance design and the overall service. DELL is known for good customer service and value for money products as the company mostly uses the internet to distribute their products. About 3 weeks ago, my laptop started to running hot on a regular basis and actually switched off completely with a nice blue screen – we all don’t want to see – in order to prevent damage to the processor.

As I had this problem about 2 years ago and knew that after the while the ventilator will lose some performance due to dust blocking the filters and overall flow of cool air.

Knowing that I did purchase a 3 year guarantee package which I think came at a great deal at that time – I am even thinking about renewing it, knowing the potential problems with XPS machines – I called customer service to get an engineer over to replace the ventilator part. Having done that before I thought that it would not be much of a challenge for DELL as the first time I had that problem about 2 years ago, everything was done to my total satisfaction. Therefore, I was confident it would be the same this time, but it all went a bit different from what I expected. After some time explaining my case the help desk person ran mr through different scenarios of I should try before they would sent somebody out. As these checks determined that it must be a problem with the ventilator, we agreed to have an engineer sent out to my home to repair it in 2 days time, which I think is just great. However, they would not be able to give me a time slot for the engineer to arrive. The help desk clerk actually pointed out that they do not offer the option of morning or afternoon services as the engineers were running late and they got too many complaints. Therefore, DELL decided to not give time of day at all to increase customer service satisfaction. I could not believe what I was hearing!!!

Here we are – a customer service got reduced because too many people complained about the service delivery falling short of the companies promise and below customer expectations. I can only tell you that if we would work in the hospitality industry like that than we would lose customers very quickly.

Back to DELL  and me having the customer service clerk on the other line, I had not much choice but to agree to spend a day waiting at home for an engineer that might come between 8am and 5pm, as I was told.

The engineer arrived and was very pleasant to talk to and after 45 minutes everything was changed as requested. At that point, I was very happy and could not wait to get back on my laptop to catch up with some work, while discovering that the ventilator would not make a move at all and the laptop was running hot after 20 minutes worse than before.

It was time to call customer service again and I tried to speak to a supervisor straight away to get some quick results. I asked DELL customer services to call me back as I was calling from a mobile and the clerk declined my request as it was a busy day for them – by the way they usually offer to call you back, but not this time. After some discussion I got my call back from a supervisor who sincerely apologised and was able to help. The supervisor helped me to have an engineer arranged on a weekend as I was working all week and was not able to see anybody at my work place to fix my laptop. When I was asking for compensation, she first declined but finally agreed to send me a 500 GB external hard drive for the inconvenienced caused of not being able to work on my laptop for one week. Until now, three weeks later, I did not receive the promised external hard drive, which is again a bad experience of poor customer service.

To sum it all up, in general DELL seems to have good customer service, but in this case they did not deliver what they promised on two occasions. Do you have some bad customer service experience with DELL or any other company then please share it here in the comments.

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