Archive for March, 2013

 

Success of the Pink Ninjas

Monday, March 25th, 2013

By participating in many work related schemes, we get to witness the extraordinary talents of young people on a regular basis. Last Wednesday was a prime example. I was invited to judge the Young Enterprise Company Finals at Bethany School and what a pleasure it was.
We were presented with six companies, formed by students from various schools, who had come together to compete in the finals. Business plans had been formed, share capital raised and taxes paid. The students take on the responsibility of running the company for a year, getting practical experience with finance, marketing, selling, product development and company administration. Along the way they encountered problem solving and the importance of teamwork and communication.
The Young Enterprise programme, now in it’s 50th year, has seen thousands of students develop key skills that will enhance their employability and enterprise capabilities. Many alumni of the Company Programme have gone on to outstanding careers as entrepreneurs, corporate executives and public figures. Employers tend to look favourably on students who have taken part in the programme. The academic world also recognises the value of the scheme. An A level 3 OCR qualification is available to all students taking part in Company Programme. This is worth up to 40 UCAS points that count towards entry into university.
The finals were made up of three sections, firstly judging the business plans, secondly judging the trade stand and interviewing the students and finally judging the presentations. Each company demonstrated a sound business understanding and had excelled in at least one area of the judges criteria. The enthusiasm was not only impressive but totally infectious
Prizes were awarded for the best business plan, the best trade stand and the best presentation. The overall award went to a group of very determined young people, going by the name of The Pink Ninjas. The Pink Ninjas offered seasonal services, taking advantage of Christmas, Valentines Day and Easter as well as producing a school mug that could be sold throughout the year. Their brand awareness was tremendous and their constant monitoring aided the company’s further development. Communication and teamwork were probably the key factors leading to the Pink Ninjas overall success.
Huge congratulations go to them and the very best of luck for the rest of the year.

Red Nose Day News

Monday, March 18th, 2013

It was all about being ridiculous last Friday and David certainly entered into the spirit of the day.

What started out to be a fairly low key, last minute fund raising effort in the office, turned out to be a well supported Red Nose Day Raffle. With the help of our neighbours in Beaufort House, the ladies at Medway ‘LadiesWhoLatte’ group and our family members, we managed to raise £77. Telcare then matched that figure bringing us to a respectable £154 to pass on to the Red Nose Day charity.

After a spot of red nose wearing and hilarity in the office, we folded up the tickets and asked Matt to draw the winner.

The prize of our Thornton’s Chocolate Hamper went to ticket number 11 purchased by Alan Wiltcher. Congratulations to you, we hope that the copious amounts of chocolate will limber you up nicely for Easter.

A huge thank you to everyone for participating, your generosity is most appreciated.

Do your customers say WOW!

Monday, March 11th, 2013

I recently purchased a pair of boots from the shoe store Schuh. After a month the stitching came undone so I had to take them back. As a regular customer I knew that this wouldn't be a problem as the company have an excellent returns policy. Unfortunately, when I arrived at the store I found that I had left the receipt at home, but I did have email confirmation of the purchase with me. The sales assistant said it wouldn't be a problem as long as I didn't mind waiting whilst she searched their records. Five minutes passed and the manager came over and asked if everything was ok and apologised for my wait. I explained that I was to blame for not having the receipt. A few more minutes later, whilst I was trying on a replacement pair of boots, the assistant announced that she was having difficulty finding a record of the original sale, so she was going to make a quick call to head office. She did this and got it all sorted. Again she apologised for keeping me waiting and then asked if she could have my credit card, I looked at her quizzically; "so that I can issue you with a refund to make up for all the inconvenience." She gave me a 10% refund.
As I walked out of the shop my friend turned to me and said "wow, I've never bought anything in here before but I will be from now on."
My expectations were that I would get the boots replaced. I would have been happy with this but the truth is I probably wouldn't be writing a blog about it and my friend probably wouldn’t have commented on it. That part of the service was a given expectation, so it wasn't remarkable. Receiving a refund however, was not expected, it was an extra, a total surprise and certainly worth commenting on.

Those extra touches are often not difficult to do or costly but make for a great customer experience, one that we want to tell our friends about. I call this Magic Marketing. As a result of my visit to the store that day I have told countless friends about the experience, I have tweeted about it, written a blog and my friend has become a customer. All it cost Schuh was £10, I’d say that was a smart move!

What extras do you offer your customers that make them say "wow"? By building these touches into your service you will stand out from the crowd and keep your customers coming back for more.