Listen to all the Leamington Hour Radio Shows

Article by Gary Jones 08.06.16


I am very proud and excited to have my own weekly radio show!!

This is on radio warwickshire on Mondays 6:30-7:30pm and is repeated on Wednesdays between 5:00-6:00pm. 

I love it! It is my chance to meet new and exciting people, promote businesses and events that are happening locally. 

All of the shows are available to download after 6pm on Wednesdays. You can find all the shows below:

Listen to all of the past shows here:

Leamington Hour Radio No 1

Leamington Hour Radio No 2

Leamington Hour Radio No 3

Leamington Hour Radio No 4

Leamington Hour Radio No 5

Leamington Hour Radio No 6

Leamington Hour Radio No 7

Leamington Hour Radio No 8

Leamington Hour Radio No 9

Leamington Hour Radio No 10

Leamington Hour Radio No 11

Leamington Hour Radio Show 12

Leamington Hour Radio Show No 13

Leamington Hour Radio Show No 14

Leamington Hour Radio Show No 15

I will be adding more shows as they come out so keep referring to this for all the latest shows!
Hope you enjoy these radio shows and if you want to get into the show then please let me know. 

All the best,
Gary Jones

07866602507

Leamington Hour

The 7.1 Key Steps to Building Your Authority OnlineStep 3 – Identify Your Ideal Market

Article by Sam Thiara 11.05.16

How many times have you thought … “I know I could have helped them” only to find that someone else is working with ‘your perfect client’.

Lost opportunity?

It goes without saying that opportunity is all around us and whether your future clients are nearby or on the other side of the world we often dream about the bountiful paradise of clients lining up to do business with us.

The sad fact is it’s not true for everyone.

One of the most underutilised activities in the customer acquisition process is research but you have to quit thinking only about the ‘sexy’ part of bringing on a new client. The often unseen aspects for sustainable success are research, research and more research!

Spending your time evaluating prospects using tools such as a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) analysis is a great place to start.  
This is where you begin to build a customer DNA, the path to sustainable growth in your career or business.


At this stage, and if you have followed my previous blogs; you will have crafted your vision, mission and unique value that lie at the heart of your business and where your passion is centered.

You intimately know your unique value, that gift you possess that can change people’s lives, build greater success for you, your business and bring rewards of greater prosperity, be it spiritual, personal or financial.

So many tools exist to help the process in identifying your perfect client or ‘avatar’ as we often call in the world of digital marketing. The honest truth is most professionals still do not use the tools effectively.

Spending time undertaking desktop research into who, where and why someone would want to work with you, and only you, is a skill in itself and the one activity that will deliver the sort of business results that only a few can imagine.

We are in a time that has never before bought us an incredible opportunity to use free to low cost customer research and acquisition tools and all too often remain overlooked.

Master the art of using social media, chamber data, forums, online communities, market reports etc. to review profiles of those who you believe could benefit from your products and services. When in a face to face environment get to know people, learn about their business and avoid thinking about the sale.

After all we are in a world where social selling is the new way of doing business and out goes the antiquated methods of the hard sell.

Make it personal; find out about their goals, aspirations, what has and has not worked for them, what they read or watch, their preferred hobbies, what success means for them and equally what failure means to them. The deeper you go the more you can help.

This is an excellent time to decide whether you are in fact the right person with the right product or service to help a prospective client. If not then ask yourself a hard question – “if I work with this person will my product or service deliver results for them “. If not then move on otherwise you could be entering ‘lose-lose’ territory and that’s never good for your long term success.

Look out for my next blog


Sam Thiara,

International Sales Manager, Internet Marketer & Trainer

My Journey..

Article by Helen Chidgey 09.05.16


Back in 2012 I received the news that no one wants to hear, that tore my world apart, when I was diagnosed with a Brain Tumour.  Luckily for me treatable, albeit with major surgery but leaving me with little choice but to step away from my previous role as a Training Officer at Coventry City Council..

My recovery was slow but thankfully straight forward in the scheme of things I was incredibly lucky!  No chemo or radiotherapy to endure but many long months of agonising pain and an overwhelming sense of doubt in myself and my body.  How could I return to a ‘normal’ and fulfilling life but when the time came working for myself made so much sense, I could work when I wanted to, where I wanted to and, best of all fit around the needs of family life!

After dabbling for a short time with a major established company selling makeup and gifts door to door; finding Tropic was a breath of fresh air!  At last something I could be passionate about, products that I could rely on to contain no nasty chemicals that have the potential to cause so much damage to our bodies, just pure natural ingredients to boost my health and vitality.  When I look in the mirror I know they are making a difference to how I look and certainly in how I feel. Sharing this feeling with others is a joy!  I feel empowered to make a difference in others’ lives which is something that has always been of great importance for me in whatever role I’ve been in. I’m now also in a position to be able to help others share this amazing feeling too as I build a team of like-minded people all sharing the same passion.

This new chapter hasn’t been without plenty of challenges but then that is what makes it a positive experience!  I love learning new ways to achieve my goals. This fresh, exciting, journey has allowed me to make so many good friends along the way and I think I’ve found my true path in life!

The future is looking good – I love what I do and with Susan Ma’s innovative products I have absolute faith in a bright future that I wouldn’t swap for anything!

Helen Chidgey

www.tropicskincare.co.uk/shop/helenchidgey

 FB: Tropic Skincare Stratford with Helen

Twitter: @tropicstratford

Building Your Authority Online

 Article by Sam Thiara 18.04.16

Step 2 – Clarify Your Unique Value

Take a moment to reflect on yourself…..what do you want to be recognised for and more importantly why, when it comes to your business? You may have spent years achieving mastery in your subject matter BUT do you really reach more of the people in your niche, industry or community knowing ‘deep down’ you could help them but can’t get to them?

 A developing trait amongst those who have reached the pinnacle of success is often based on a core philosophy of selfless service or ‘Seva’. This comes from religious teachings and is a service which is performed without any expectation of result or award for performing it. Such services can be performed to benefit other human beings or society and in business we see this going beyond the norms of customer service. 

Often the principle of ‘Seva’ is lost on those who fail at creating true value in their marketplace. They then spend time wondering why and how others, probably no more talented or skilled than them, are at the top of their game.  

How and where do you start?

You should look to change the focus of how you engage your marketplace and begin to create and nurture an environment where your prospective clients become immersed in learning how to overcome whatever ails them. This could naturally bring your solutions to the table; a significant difference between your USP and your UVP.

Ever heard the term – ‘What is your USP’?

Your Unique Selling Proposition is a mainstay of ‘sales talk’ and no doubt a term you have come across time and time again. This was effective back in the day when the focus was to SELL, SELL and SELL. If you are still a believer in this approach I hate to blow your bubble but it doesn’t work anymore and it won’t if all you seek to do is to SELL. This is apparent in all walks of life and unless you change your focus and start to build your UVP; “Your Unique Value Proposition” the success you so hope for may just elude you.

If you are looking for a new job, career or a client you’re ‘UVP’ should be central to your core values and beliefs.

What are your core beliefs? What virtues do you aspire to, and hold in high regard when you see them demonstrated by others? What will you not stand for? These are extremely important questions that are only asked by about three percent of the population, and that small minority tends to be the movers and shakers in every society.

So when it comes to you wanting to enhance your life, what values and core beliefs do you stand by that helps others enhance their lives. Helping clients become successful is not always uppermost in most people’s minds and you can see examples of this every day when you watch programmes like BBC’s Watchdog and hear stories where ordinary hard working people have been scammed out of their life savings or experienced a terrible service that significantly affects their lives.

As you look to share, amongst your business community, the expertise you possess and the drive, passion and sheer desire to help your clients become successful, your eBook or ‘Lead Magnet’ as it often referred to) will help you attract your perfect client(s) as you build and create authority in your subject matter.

The power and reach of marketing a low cost, high impact and authoritative ‘educational information product’ is a recognised marketing best practise and will help you on the road to achieving the vision you have crafted for yourself.

So when Stephen R. Covey, author of THE 7 HABITS OF HIGHLY EFFECTIVE PEOPLE wrote about his holistic, integrated, principle-centred approach for solving personal and professional problems and presented penetrating insights and pointed anecdotes to support his philosophy he impacted millions. Covey revealed a step-by-step pathway for living with fairness, integrity, honesty and human dignity – principles that give us the security to adapt to change, and the wisdom and power to take advantage of the opportunities that change creates.

 
Did he know this would be so successful? He ‘believed’ and his ‘Seva’ was to teach others what he felt would be life changing. Covey coined the idea of abundance mentality or abundance mindset, a concept in which a person believes there are enough resources and successes to share with others.

Having an eBook that reached millions made him a household name so even if you want to become a household name in your niche, industry or local community would an eBook help you empower your business and inspire your clients? This may be just the start of a new journey to a more abundant life and business, one that can bring you more time, money and freedom. 

What can you do to inspire those around you?

  
Look out for my next blog.  

Sam Thiara,

International Sales Manager, Internet Marketer & Trainer

 

The 7.1 Key Steps to Building Your Authority Online

Article by Sam Thiara 11.04.16

Step 1 – Establish Your Vision

Have you ever thought about where you are headed? Ever thought about why your career or business is somehow not where you thought it would be? Or are you a super achiever and well on your way to amazing success.

Or do you live day to day, with the occasional ‘dip’ into dreaming about what you would like to do, but often not having ‘gusto’ to see it through. It ails us all at times and most will quietly admit to themselves that it’s not possible, they don’t have the money, time or often do not believe they are the ones who could have it all. In reality they let it pass and become comfortable in their present situation. 

Something inside you needs to ‘stir’, something that drives your emotions and you know when you’re onto a winner when someone says this of you; – “He’s got a fire in the belly”. 

This is a great indicator to begin to clarify one’s vision and get you started.

  

If you want more from your life; be it more time, money or freedom you need to look at WHY you must achieve the goal you have dreamed of for so long.

Here’s a quick example that will help you clarify your vision, mission and values:

Imagine you’re going out for a meal with your boyfriend or girlfriend (or husband or wife, if your boyfriend or girlfriend is busy!).

“Even without knowing it, you use vision, mission and values as a system to check in”.  

• Your vision is where you’re headed. It’s what success looks like. So, after you’ve gone out on your date, your vision might be:

“The future I’m trying to create is a warm fuzzy one. Satisfied, happy and reconnected. And this vision will be manifested by us cuddling up on the sofa when we get home.”

 • Your mission is your purpose and what you’ll do to fulfill your vision. It can also encompass the reason you do what you’re doing. So on your night out, your mission statement might read:

“I aim to catch up with the one I love after a long hard week, looking into their eyes, listening and sharing the quality time we deserve. Because time is precious, but nothing’s more precious than love”. 

• Your values are what’s important to you. Your values are the foundation of who you are, and what’s unique about you. They also define the edges of what you’ll do or not do (you can often tell when your values are transgressed because you feel an upsurge of anger – “how dare they?!”). On your night out your values might be:

“I love to talk and I love to listen, so I love a place where there’s music, but it’s not too loud. I love intimacy, but I love to see what I’m eating (so subdued lighting, but not so dark I’m squinting). I love any food except fish & chips, but I live for great sushi.”

“You can often tell when your values are not aligned because you feel frustrated, annoyed or irritated”

So when it comes to your business you need to work through the process and picture your perfect business and more importantly the outcomes you want to see as a result.

Remember how Muhammad Ali literally pictured the round in which he would knock out his competition and Sylvester Stallone who never gave up his script for Rocky because he saw himself in the lead role, even though the film studios offered him a six figure fee but refused, all the while he had no income coming in.

 So no matter if you have a hobby, part time business, a job/career or already run a successful business, if you have not had the success you first envisaged maybe it’s time to change your ‘old thinking’ habits.

  
Look out for my next blog and I hope you take some time out and have a go…it will help as we get to Step 2 and your path to greater success. 

 Sam Thiara,
International Sales Manager, Internet Marketer & Trainer.

 

The 4 P’s for a perfect presentation. 

Article by Ernie Boxall 04.04.16


“People won’t remember what you say as much as remember what they see when you say it…”

 

I am always impressed by the workshop and seminar leaders I have seen give four or five hours of great content without any apparent notes.

 I am sure those people recognise that there are tips that can be passed on.

So, who is this facilitation for? The people who have a skill or a craft which will make an impact on people’s lives and lift them out of the rat race. People who rise at 5.30 am- 6 am, groom, scrape the ice off a car window and drive to a networking meeting. It’s fir people who happily stand at the coffee table for 15-20 minutes and talk to strangers about their business. Until they hear those fateful words:

It’s time for 60 Second Presentations…who will go first?

How many of us have suddenly looked away?

How many of us have checked watches, our phones, anything but not make eye contact?

 At least once a week we have the opportunity to inform the rest of the group, the rest of our sales team on the sector of business we want to identify, ask the right questions to get us an introduction to speak to a new client. It’s our opportunity but we all have to do the work.

Now as a newcomer to networking you can use the formula:

Who you are: Where you are: What you do and who you want to work with?

Ernie Boxall of Balance Health and Fitness, we work in Leamington, Kenilworth and Coventry providing wellbeing with On Site massage. Today I want to connect with companies where computers are being used all day. I’m looking to work with (Be specific.)

Ernie Boxall of Balance Health and Fitness. Together we can stop work killing you…

People now know who I am, where I am, what I do and who they might know to talk to.

Alternatively, if you have been at the group for some months you need to make more of an impact…

Ernie Boxall of Balance Health and Fitness, when you look around your office do you know there is a thief in there stealing your wages. The thief is pressure and it may be sitting on the shoulders of the person next to you or yours. Working together we can defeat the thief and improve profit and productivity. Ernie Boxall of Balance Health and Fitness. I’m looking to work with companies using computers all day so that, with twenty minutes on site head, neck and shoulder massage we can improve profit and productivity.

Ernie Boxall of Balance Health and Fitness…

So there you have two 60 Second Presentations from the same company, each with its own strength and impact.

Your 60 Second Presentation is your verbal Business Card… it says so much more about you than an ordinary business card… and in my case where I actually make physical contact with my clients…it is a vital part of my networking.

Would it be OK to ask how many of you write out your 60 Second Presentations, even your 30 minute seminars? You see this is the first ‘P’ in my “4 P’s of Perfect Presentations”

1. Preparation: Write it out: Edit it: Re-write it and then move on to the second, and probably most important ‘P’

2. Practice: Practice it line by line until you remember it: Record it on audio or video: Use only bullet points to remind you and then spend a few hours making sure you know it by heart and also where to put the emphasis on lines and strap lines.

How many of you practice your 60 Second Presentations until it is word perfect? I write it out…speak into an audio recorder, bullet point the speech and then practice it assiduously.

In my workbook The 4 P’s of Perfect Presentations I will go into more detail.

3. Posture: This begins way before you get to the meeting. It is in the washroom. It is our grooming, the clothes we wear, the make up for women and the after shave for men perhaps. Whether we comb our hair or not. It is in the walk to the podium…do you walk confidently to the roster? Do you wait until everyone is ready to listen to your presentation? Do you project your voice to the back of the room?

OR

Have you decided the group know what you do anyway so you don’t have to make an effort this time? Do you walk to the roster already giving your name and company with your back to people? Do you arrive at the roster and stick your hands in your pockets or stand with them clasped.

How many times have you seen these mistakes made?

How many times have you seen a business owner looking less than professional and thought “Yes that’s a business I want to be associated with?”

How many times has a speaker put their hands in their pockets and deliver a powerful speech?

Finally we have…

4. Presentation. The 4th ‘P’ and in itself this is the culmination of the 3 P’s above it. You have written the presentation… you have practiced it… and walked confidently to the podium… It is the delivery which makes the difference. Let’s face it what can a great presentation bring you, apart from more business…well it can get you a keynote speaking spot for a start. But also Leads, Referrals and Testimonials…because your presentation becomes

MEMORABLE.

 

But let’s look once more at the pitfalls:

1. “Due to the large number of members who have turned up, you only have 45 seconds.” You would have thought many people would say “Good”

But because they have only written the 60 second presentation down and not practiced it, they have not catered for 45 seconds and go past the red card…Unprofessional

OR They speed up to try and get 20 seconds information into 10 seconds and flood the audience…Unprofessional

 

2. You stand up and like a rabbit in the headlines you fix on the front row and speak to them only. Immediately the 25% of the audience behind you will switch off and 90% of the audience will not hear you…Wasted opportunity

 

3. Because the speech hasn’t been practiced each sentence begins with a verbal crutch… Err, Um. So…

I have seen and heard something like the following:

“I’m ‘Ernie Boxall’ of err Balance Business. I am a business mentor and err work in umm Warwick.” ERR I’m sorry you’ve lost me. I will not be calling on your services.

4. Command the stage… whether you stand still or Stride the boards…For main points of my presentations I will stand still but make eye contact all the time…with conversation points I walk the floor and connect more closely with the audience.

So having written out that 60 Second Presentation how many people have you seen remember it? How many people have you seen simply read what they have written off a piece of paper or off their phone? How many great presentations have you seen delivered in a monotone; delivered with hands in pockets; delivered with the speaker’s back to you?

How many of you are prepared to put the work in and become a memorable presenter. Done badly standing alone is a very lonely place. Done well, with the applause of business owners in front of you it is up there with the best feelings. Done very well and for £5k, £10k, £50K a speech it is life changing.

Are there any other ‘P’ you would add for “Perfect Presentations.” Add your comments to the site. I am just curious to see how many business owners feel that a One to One with me would encourage them to take those extra steps to become MEMORABLE.

Contact ernie_boxall@yahoo.co.uk

07962 216833

 

Healthy Habits for Homeworkers

Article by Michelle Abrahall 30.03.16

Working from home is the dream for many people – the flexibility, the convenience and of course being able to wear what you want. But as anyone who works from home (be it working for themselves or remote working) knows, it’s not all pajamas and lie-ins. Not having the stability and structure of an office environment can present a lot of challenges, and if you’re not careful you can slip into bad habits. Here’s how to avoid them and be a healthy homeworker:

Be like a rolling stone

‘A rolling stone gathers no moss’ as the saying goes, and it’s a positive thing! Many homeworkers unintentionally sit immobile for long periods staring at a computer screen. Without the routine and distractions of office life, it’s easy to become sedentary. Take regular breaks, stretch your legs, put the kettle on, whatever you need to do to avoid gathering dust (if not moss!)

Seek out human interaction

Working alone can be great for productivity – I find I get twice as much done in an hour now than I used to in my office job. But long periods of solitude are not great for your mental health, so take steps to avoid them. Arrange to meet a client face to face (always great for relationship building) or perhaps there’s a connection you’ve made on social media that would make for a good coffee date? Even going online and chatting to other freelancers and remote workers can make you feel part of a community, and there are loads of great groups and resources out there.

Avoid the pajama trap

Yes, it’s a wonderful novelty to not have to adhere to a dress code, but beware of spending days in slobby leisure wear. There is a proven link between patients in hospital who stay in their pajamas for long periods and the length of time they take to recover. This is also even more reason to arrange meetings during the week, for which you need to dress well.

Vitamin D for the win

As all Brits know, vitamin D in the form of sunshine can be a rare commodity for most of the year. And if you work from home and the weather’s crap, you might go days without venturing outside. I realise it’s a lot more appealing to go for a walk on a balmy summer’s afternoon than it is in the winter drizzle, but don’t let that put you off. Experts agree that even on cloudy days, you will still benefit from going outside in the fresh air, and if there’s an area of greenery near you, even better.

These points are all common sense, but even seasoned homeworkers will find they need to be reminded of them from time to time. Try to make them all part of your daily routine and before you know it they will become second nature.

  

 

Michelle x 

 

 

What numbers help SMEs make key business decisions?

Article by Julia Leak 21.03.16  

Julia Leask of Leask Accountancy Solutions is a Chartered Management Accountant (CIMA) and trainer with over 20 years’ commercial experience working for and with a broad range of sectors. The last 5 years have been specifically dedicated to working with SMEs. Clients have commented that she not only brings her expertise in managing and coaching a business, but also an enthusiasm that comes with treating the business as if it were her own. She is creative and positive, but practical and down to earth and willing to go the extra mile. Your business will be consistently supported in realising it’s true potential.

I guess you are reading this as you want to find out if there is more that you could be doing to help your business. The simple answer to this is possibly yes. Some businesses could do with a bit of help to know which numbers to concentrate on and how to understand what they mean. These are the numbers that help you make the important decisions in your business that make a difference. Unfortunately, there is not a simple solution like buying a piece of software off the shelf. As your business is different it follows that you will need a solution tailored to your specifications. Other businesses’ like yours have been through this process before and been helped, read what some of my clients have said, 

   

You do want to improve your sales, profits, cashflow, don’t you?

Being able to plan for success would be great, wouldn’t it?

Seeing your numbers in a clearer light would help you sleep better at night, I’m sure.

To start with it is beneficial if you are told that there are three groups of numbers that need to be monitored, controlled and reported. These include both financial and non financial data. It is not just the pounds and pennies that you need know about. If you can measure it you can control, compare against it and change it!

Group A

Key performance indicators (KPIs are specific to your business).

A KPI which is not reviewed at least weekly is useless in helping you manage your business. These should be the numbers that you think about most, the ones that motivate you to take action. They need to identify what good looks like for your business. From this you pinpoint where improvements are needed.

These could include some of the following: –

  • Sales leads​​​​(new potential customers)
  • Conversion rate​(at what rate a lead converts to a customer)
  • Conversion cost​(how much it costs to obtain a customer)
  • Sales per salesman​​(how much each salesman sells)
  • Commission per salesman​(£x commission earned)
  • Number of new customers​(how many new customers)
  • Number of returned customers​​(loyal customers)
  • Average sales ​​ (sale’s value)
  • Cost per sale​​​(direct cost of each sale)
  • Profit per sale​​​(sales value less direct cost)
  • Debtor days​​​(how quickly your customers pay)
  • Creditor days​​​(how quickly you pay your suppliers)
  • Cashflow (12 month forecast of all income and expenditure)

This list is not complete and so it follows that you will find there could be many more KPIs more relevant to you. They will help you measure and monitor whether you are hitting your targets. It is worth noting that many of these figures cannot be taken straight from your accounting records. You will need a bespoke system to calculate them. This should be simple and automated as much as possible so that the results can be checked each day. If you want a systems review to help you model the right process call Julia today 01926 298829.

 

Group B

Your accounting systems dashboard numbers

These are the numbers produced by your (preferably cloud based) accounting system and are the sort of numbers that might have sprung to mind at first. These are the more traditional money numbers which include total sales, gross profit, overheads, cash (bank and petty cash), creditors and debtors.

They summarise and confirm your daily figures and give you a (slightly) bigger picture but they tend to lack the details you need for making key decisions. With a good cloud based system you should be reviewing these figures weekly and discussing them monthly with your accountant. As bookkeeping has become more automated, most good accountants should be offering you a monthly fees plan, that includes a discussion about your performance and the improvements you can make

 Group C

Year end figures otherwise known as your Statutory Accounts 

These are prepared months after your Yearend with all your historic data. They are perfect for ensuring that you are compliant with all your legal requirements and supporting your tax return.

However, as far as being used for quick decision making they have little or nothing to contribute. The overheads they detail are primarily needed for HMRC, to support your tax calculation, rather than planning performance and efficiency. With the development of cloud based systems most good accountants will offer these services as an add-on to their value-added services as the software takes care of your compliance. If your accountant is only doing year end compliance and not offering you any business advice you may be losing out. 

A and B numbers (the first two groups) are crucial for planning your businesses success. These need to be known daily or weekly so that you can act on them as soon as they stray from your ideal. Making decisions in your business has to be supported by up to date information. Knowing YOUR important numbers is key for YOUR business.

So, what are your important numbers? Make a list of the top 10 numbers you think are vital to your business, can you find them easily?

Are you struggling to work out which numbers to monitor? The chances are that your systems probably already provide some of your key numbers so you just need to record and review them regularly. If there are some that are a bit harder to identify then email me, I would be delighted to speak with you julia@leaskas.co.uk

You do not need to wait for your accountant to highlight the bad news in your business months after it happened. By putting simple processes in place to review your daily numbers you will remain in control whilst also being able to delegate a great deal of the work to others.

 
Julia
Julia Leask ACMA MiP, CGMA 

Leask Accountancy Solutions

http://www.leaskas.co.uk/

Tel: 01926-298829

Mob: 07855-275099

julia@leaskas.co.uk
Linked In Profile: http://uk.linkedin.com/in/julialeask

Twitter: https://twitter.com/julialeask 

Facebook:Leask Accountancy Solutions

What can Harvey Keitel and Hugh Jackman teach us about how to look after our customers?

Article by Suzee Laxton 14.03.16 Let me start by clarifying the reality behind the A-lister headline. The closest I’ve ever come to both of these chaps is across a hotel lobby and, as you might have guessed, that hotel lobby was Claridge’s where I was happily celeb-spotting while having the most amazing afternoon tea of my life.

That experience of Claridge’s set the bar for the standard of service I hope to offer every client I might have now or in the future. It’s also the standard of service you should aspire to. 
What made my experience at Claridge’s so magical

1. They understood their customer’s why

For good reason, the focus for many companies is on understanding and communicating their own why to their customers. However, your ability to offer your client what they want depends on how well you understand them aka understanding their why, what makes them tick. 

My ‘why’ for Claridge’s – I’d fallen in love with the place after watching ‘Inside Claridge’s’. My waiter loved the programme too – it’s what inspired him to apply for a job there. We know this about each other because he took the time to find out.

2. They embraced their customer’s why

Once my waiter knew this about me, he brought me over a photo album of Claridge’s and its guests through the ages. I loved it! I’m sure my partner in afternoon tea wasn’t quite as keen as me: it resulted in me cooing over the pictures in silence. 

3. They were thoughtful

Once I’d been given the photo album, it was readily apparent that I’d have nowhere to put it down and, rather than waiting to see if I specifically mentioned this, the waiter (without asking) went and found a little table, brought it over and placed it by my side so I could eat and stare at the photos at the same time. 

Being thoughtful is, quite possibly, right at the heart of Claridge’s as they showed this time and time again:

– my friend is vegetarian and I’m not so, without prompting, they served our sandwiches on separate plates rather than on one stand like for everyone else.

– my coat was taken from me when I arrived, taken to the Cloakroom and a token given back to me. At the end of the afternoon, the token was collected and the coat returned.

– they gave me a birthday cake as I was there celebrating my birthday and they did not sing ‘Happy Birthday’. For me, the latter made me even happier than the former.

4. Their excellence didn’t cost me more 

Or, perhaps, poor service doesn’t cost us any less (sadly).
At the end of Afternoon Tea, we went for cocktails in the Fumoir (beyond amazing). The price of a mind-blowing cocktail served within minutes with table service and complimentary nibbles in amazing surroundings was exactly the same as the bar at Euston where I was queuing at the bar for 30 minutes waiting to be served and had to struggle back to the (dirty) table (in the street) with my own drinks.

Unsurprisingly, I’ve been back to Claridge’s but not the bar at Euston.   

Have you got an example of amazing customer service too? Share if you have.

Suzee Laxton