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Finding Your Customer in all the Noise: Four Questions

15 April 2017

I was in Pavilion’s Exclusive Books Cafe recently (before it suddenly and unceremoniously closed down). I found myself looking out into the very busy passageway watching what seemed like hundreds of people walking, sauntering or rushing past. Some were alone, some in a group, others were with family or a special friend. Some were very…

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Business lessons from a three-year-old

1 September 2015

Simply Communicate is three! What a privilege it has been to do what I love these past three years and to share my passion. I have met some wonderful people, sat in a host of delightful coffee shops around KZN and drunk barrels of coffee. I have been privileged to journey with a variety of businesses and people…

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‘It’s not my job’

9 March 2015

‘It’s not our job’, screamed the newspaper headline as I sat in a Coffee Shop at the Musgrave centre last month during a round of load shedding. The story was about Durban Metro Police claiming that traffic control at intersections when the lights go out is not their problem – they have other things to do. No one seems…

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Customer service on the freeway: the devil in the detail

1 October 2014

A trip to Durban on a cold drizzly morning led to a minor irritation on the freeway. At the Mariannhill Toll Plaza I did what we all do on approaching a toll booth. I slowed down and began to open my window, timing the opening to coincide with my coming to a stop at the window.…

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Putting people first in Alan Paton country

15 September 2014

I was privileged to spend three days recently in Ixopo running a workshop for ward councillors. Driving through that magnificent, though presently brown and dusty, countryside, I was reminded of Alan Paton’s words, ‘There is a lovely road which runs from Ixopo into the hills. These hills are grass covered and rolling, and they are…

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Mugg & Bean: picking up serviettes

17 June 2014

Jen and I were in Mugg & Bean, Liberty Midlands Mall, over the weekend. A waiter walked by with a tray of dirty plates, and a used serviette fell to the floor as she passed our table. She didn’t notice, but another waiter did and immediately picked it up and threw it away. Of course, it…

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Sharing the love: Going the extra mile

23 April 2014

I was invited to run a workshop on presentation skills at the Maritime School of Excellence (MSE) in Durban last week. The prospect was pleasing, but the location was a nightmare, and I had less than 24 hours’ notice. The MSE is on one of the scariest and longest roads in Durban: Bayhead Road. It…

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Customer service: lessons from the KZN South Coast

14 March 2014

Jen and I spent a few days in Scottburgh on KwaZulu-Natal’s South Coast a couple of weeks ago. We took a slow walk around town on the first day looking for a place to eat. Apart from the usual fast-food outlets, there are a couple of interesting places on the main shopping street, but there…

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Customer care and dieting: easy to do, difficult to sustain

2 January 2014

Good customer service is not difficult. Yes, there are big things that can make our efforts more effective: the vision/mission thing; the tracking systems; the social media programmes. But customer care happens in the ordinary, everyday interactions between staff and customer. If we don’t get those right, all the systems in the world will make…

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They are changing the guard at Buckingham Palace

11 September 2013

The newspaper headlines tell us that zealous police officers from London’s Metropolitan Police accosted Prince Andrew while he was walking around his mother’s Buckingham Palace garden in broad daylight. If I were a member of the British Royal Family, I would object to the use of the word “zealous”. They were simply doing their job as…

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