Negative comments about the quality of customer service by renowned food writer, Georgina Campbell, in a recent interview with Matt Cooper of TodayFM, have set the hospitality industry on edge.

Not surprisingly, the sector has become defensive and Fáilte Ireland’s surveys of overseas tourists suggest strong visitor satisfaction, with 93% describing the service they received as either good or very good.

But be careful. There is a world of difference between a customer rating your business as good or very good. A […]

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Years ago, when we were holidaying in France, I asked a local if he knew where the local post office was located. He said Oui but vigorously shook his head. When training on body language, I sometimes tell this story of mixed signals. It always gives me a headache! It’s actually very difficult to say yes and shake your head simultaneously. It goes against one of the most fundamental and universal body language gestures, the head nod.

Body language is older […]

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In our case study on customer retention, we interview Janine Patterson of Sodexo. She explains how, over the past seven years, Sodexo has steadily increased its customer loyalty levels. Today Sodexo Ireland is outperforming Sodexo’s global average with over 95% retention levels. It’s an amazing achievement. But it starts in an unusual place – first you’ve got to let some of your customers go. Find out more…..

This article was published in the June 2013 issue of Hotel & Restaurant Times.https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/59286216/Sodexo%27s%20Customer%20Retention%20Strategy.pdf

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Refer people to you, not away from you!

“To get referrals, you need to do more than nothing”
Andy Bounds

Referrals make so much sense. Yet, I find that a lot of companies I work with don’t have a strategy around getting better and more referrals.

The first bit of news is that referrals usually don’t happen all by themselves. You need to do something to encourage your happy clients to pass on your name to other potential clients. Or, you can ask […]

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Lads, I've just got a great idea!

So you’ve cut the costs to the bone. You’re working with half the numbers you worked with three years ago. Your team is feeling demotivated and you’ve run out of ideas. Are you stuck? Not at all. Like Michael Caine in The Italian Job, it’s a case of: “Just a minute, Lads. I’ve got a great idea!”

Talk to the people who are closest to the challenge. Recently I’ve been working with a number of organisations […]

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Right now I’m preparing two sessions on innovation for delivery at the Irish Management Institute (IMI) and want to talk about where great ideas come from. Look in the obvious places! Customers are one of the greatest sources of ideas. But for real insights, we often need to look at our brands ‘in the wild’, as they are used in our customers’ everyday lives.

The head of Heinz, William Johnson, tells the story that he discovered –  in his […]

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One of the most important articles I ever read was about the link between how employees are  treated and rewarded and bottom line sales, profitability and customer loyalty. You might say: isn”t that obvious! Yes, I agree but often the best articles are telling us stuff we know already but don”t deliver on.

 Like motivation. How many of our internal communications conversations are designed to motivate staff? Not that many, yet we know that a motivated team is much more […]

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A 2% increase in customer retention is equal to a 10% cut in costs. Now that’s pretty interesting for any company that’s gone about as far as it can go in paring back costs. So how can you ramp up your customer retention strategy?

While customer service might have improved in Ireland, I regularly check out service standards in hotels, restaurants and shops and there is still so much room for improvement. And the great thing about customer service is that […]

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A good,  solid customer relationship is built on trust and commitment. But how can you build trust quickly, or is that the point: trust must be built through positive experiences over time?

I know one shop that manages to build trust in one single transaction. Not only that, but this shop builds positive word of mouth (PWOM) even among first time customers. OK, enough of the mystery then, I’ll tell you the name of the shop. It is Martyn Evans Tennis […]

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In the field of influence and persuasion, Dr Cialdini  (pronounced Chilldini) is the most quoted social psychologist in the world today. And he talks a lot about the importance of being likeable when going about our business. Whether you’re a surgeon, a mountain guide or a receptionist, you need to influence people to like you and like the ‘brand’ you represent, as an individual and as an embodiment of the organisation and its values.

For example, for all you surgeons out […]

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