Articles with Amazing People

The Essence of Sales - Woody Martin

How often have you heard the phrase "sell the sizzle, not the steak"? Well, here is a true story about Woody Martin, a cigarette salesman who sold a box of matches for a dollar - in the 1960s. He did it not by focusing on the matches, but on something much deeper that all customers love.

The Honeymoon Should Never Be Over

Romancing your prospects and customers is a good strategy - but it should never end once the contract is signed and you are wedded together. Long term marriages require a lot of hard work.

What Do You Give Someone Who Has Everything?

Creating special, magical, personal and memorable experiences for your customers doesn't have to cost a fortune - but you may change their lives - and their loyalty - forever.

What I Learned from the Fire Department

They way the fire department and other emergency services respond to crises can teach us a lot about dealing with customer complaints in businesses. Her are some tips.

When 3-Star Beats 5-Star

You would imagine that a five-star hotel experience would be vastly superior to a three-star experience, but occasionally you would be mistaken. What does it take to beat your more expensive and exclusive rivals?

When Delighting Your Customers Isn’t Enough

So many businesses want to focus on the glamorous creation of "Moments of Wow!" that will create customer loyalty, but they are hard to sustain and repeat. On the other hand, if companies focused on creating relief and "Moments of Phew," they may find customers love that.

When Rules MUST Be Broken

Rules and bureaucracy are sometimes necessary for the smooth running of your business - but they are incredibly dangerous when they lead to unhappy customers and bad experiences.

Why Youth Day Should Be Celebrated

Youth Day is celebrated in South Africa every year on 16 June, but now it's also time for business to celebrate what young people bring to their organisations. If they don't, they may find themselves competing with these start-ups.

Would You Tuck Your Customers Into Bed One Night?

Even though some customers are really unlovable, love them anyway. After all, if Richard Branson can tuck them in at night, why not you?

14 Words Customers Really Want to Hear From You

Doing something nice for a customer always creates an obligation to repay the favour, and you should always be willing to help them out of a tight spot.

A Nation of Thugby* Enthusiasts

South Africans - like many other nationalities - are brought up to fight for everything, to defend everything aggressively, to never surrender. That's great if you are fighting a war, but not so good for customer care.

A Priest on a 'Plane

Taking care of customers and doing good for others is also good for us. After a chance encounter with a priest on an airplane trip, Aki Kalliatakis realised that this is the purpose of life.

Always, Always, the Little Things

On a cold and wet London morning after a long and tiring flight, one special young man made the world of difference, and used the first three minutes of engagement to make the whole trip worthwhile.

Arrested for Hugging

We have somehow forgotten what it means to be human, but every day people who deal with customers are given a magical opportunity to do something nice - and also benefit in the process.

Back to the Floor, Boss

"Undercover Boss" is a reality-TV programme where executives from large companies go out in disguise to work with their employees in the front lines. Are there lessons for managers here?

Bringing Happiness to Others, We Find Ours

Happiness seems elusive for all of us living in "interesting" times. Few businesses truly and genuinely make employees happy; but most customer-facing people can find ways of doing this for themselves.

Customer self-service

Customers are not always rational, but canny businesses will know exactly what to do to make them come back by giving them amazing service experiences

First Impressions Really Count

It is often said that "Your attitude will determine your altitude," but what should people who deal with customers say and do to achieve success? Some practical hints about how you come across may help.

Is It a Job or Is It a Calling?

In all industries, there is a small core group of people who love what they do, and are passionate about taking care of customers. In this article we focus on the rare hospital experiences that go well because of dedicated, caring people

Less Victims and More Heroes Needed

All companies can learn lessons from the way in which hotels deal with their customers. Some are very positive lessons, but some come out of really awful experiences.

Customer self-service

So many businesses become so enamoured with their products and offering that they forget that it's about what customers need and want. Getting a video camera to produce some simple YouTube videos turned out to be a nightmare. Except for the last store.

Of Airplanes and Things

How do you respond when you have a better experience for a much cheaper fare on a flight? After initial trepidation, I booked on and got a lovely surprise. The people were delightful, I laughed a bit, the ‘plane got there on time, and I saved myself a fortune. South African Airways, on the other hand…

Pink Jerseys and Pearls

We all have some special little weakness that seems to be a great turn on. (In Aki's case it's women who wear pink jersies and pearls.) What if we were able to tap into our customers' deepest needs?

Please Pick Me!

The enthusiasm of small children in a classroom can also inspire people in business. How can we get adult employees to imitate the energy of children whose teacher asks a question and the little hands all shoot up?

Problem Recovery, the Maslow Hotel Way

It really doesn't take very much to recover from something that goes wrong. Here are some ideas from a potentially disastrous experience at a hotel where the managers and staff took action which guaranteed successful resolution, and becomes the stuff of legend.

So Many Angels in My Life

Angels may exist in heaven, but there are so many wonderful people in businesses who have gone out of their way to help. Here we share some stories of real inspiring people who have made a difference.

So Who Gives the Best Service?

Who are the people that give the best service? Are there some lessons to be learned about different people? And is there a list of characteristics of people who are good with customers?

Some Will Get It... Some Never Will

Can you coach someone with a bad attitude? Probably not, but how do you recognise people with a good attitude?