Plan Your Team’s 2012 Travel Now

Read this is in less than a minute!

Have you thought about how to minimise disruption to your business over the next couple of months as we host the world’s greatest sports events in 2012?

What to do

1. Ensure you and yours have thought about travel arrangements
a. If you need to travel, keep an eye on the routes and changes on a day by day basis – things could change for many different reasons

2. Make sure you are ready for people in your team to work from home as an option:
a. Have SMART objectives in place, this ensures people are clear about what is expected of them and how they will be measured
b. Agree regular communication routes and timings so that issues can be dealt with effectively and efficiently
c. Agree how you will manage this approach after the games are over, people develop new habits in about 30 days and may want to continue to work in this way for the foreseeable future
d. Remember people are more likely to give their discretionary time to their work if they believe you are giving them something in return – including work / home balance or flexible hours

3. If the role is truly not flexible, work out creative ways (preferably with them) to support them during this time when they may find their journeys to be longer or more difficult

4. Be open and transparent about why certain roles are flexible and others are not and be prepared to have the difficult conversation about these differences

5. Most importantly, support people through the weeks ahead, and at the same time ensure they understand the ultimate responsibility is with them to get done what is expected of them

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Positively Impact Your Business NOW

They’re Shelling out!

Shell is bringing customer service car side to the pumps this spring with the return of Forecourt Attendants at nearly 300 sites across the UK. The new Attended Service programme is a free service designed to help drivers with advice on fuels and fuel efficiency, basic car care and safety tips.

Shell Forecourt Attendants are returning to the UK after an absence of more than 20 years heralding a return to a golden age of customer service for motorists where attendants were once commonplace on British forecourts.

Another indication of the competitive advantage organizations are identifying with by providing consistently outstanding service. Contact us to talk about how your business can benefit by providing your customers with an amazing experience every time they interact you.

Turn a complaint into a gift
Research by Eptica shows that 83% of customers complaining on-line are unhappy with the response they get, with 17.5% getting no reply at all – how are you doing?
A customer complaint is your opportunity to listen to what your customers are saying about you, learn how you can improve your all customers’ experiences and very often gain a very loyal customer and ambassador by providing great service recovery.
Contact us to learn how to turn a dissatisfied customer into a positive supporter of your business by clicking here.

On your marks, get set . . .
The 2012 special games are nearly here! Many organisations are only just thinking (if they have started at all!) – about how their team members are going to get to and from work and how they might need to change their working practices.
We will be publishing a special and simple working practices newsletter for the 2012 games on Monday 9th July, next week to help you manage what could be either a difficult or amazing seven weeks through the summer, lets hope your is amazing!

The Magic of an Exceptional Shopping Experience

We recently visited Lulu Guinness of Ellis Street, London where Laura, Ariadni and Katie ensured that we had an exceptional shopping experience acheter cialis 5mg.

All three of them were very enthusiastic and knowledgeable about the Lulu Guinness bags and accessories, which they all use themselves giving them additional insights into the pro’s and cons of them. They were able to answer all the questions we had about the products and when they did not have the specific handbag we had visited the shop for, Katie was able to suggest an excellent alternative. She based her suggestion on the information she had gleaned from us during a very relaxed conversation and discussion about what I wanted to use the bag for and why I had chosen Lulu Guinness.

It could be suggested that in a store that sells premium product in an affluent part of London, we should expect to be treated like this, however, in our extensive experience, it is rare to have such an enjoyable shopping trip.

Zagg sell covers, cases and accessories for mobile phones and tablets. Whilst visiting Philadelphia in 2010, Gita had a protective SHEILD (which has a lifetime guarantee) fitted to her iPhone. The cover lasted for eight months (through much use and abuse) and when she visited Philadelphia she had it replaced, quibble free.

Recently the cover needed replacing again, so she contacted Zagg who arranged for a replacement SHEILD to be sent from the US to UK, and asked that the old one be returned to them to ensure that she received the replacement free of charge as per the guarantee. They subsequently sent timely reminders to Gita to make sure that the old SHEILD was returned to them within the agreed 60 day period and sent an e-mail to confirm receipt of the skin when it arrived – all free of charge!  We were so delighted with the service and excellent communication, that we sent a note of thanks to the CEO’s office (they encourage feedback direct to their CEO on their website) and had an immediate response to thank us for our compliment.

What you can do now:

  • Ensure that your team “know their stuff” really well – it can make the difference between making a sale . . .or not and getting return business
  • Do what you say you will do, efficiently and enthusiastically – keep your promises
  • Encourage feedback from your customers so that you can learn what you do well (to do more of) and what you can do better
  • Employ people who enjoy working with people – your customers!

Even More Important News…

Arizion Ltd is delighted to announce that Gita V Langston (née Katbamna) has joined Arizion as a Director and business partner of the business.

Gita brings extensive experience of sales training, change management and organisational development (OD), including team and organsation culture in a FTSE 5 company, working with employees at all levels of influence and seniority and across the world.

Gita is a professional coach, mentor and an MBTI Step 1 Practitioner achat de cialis en france.

Important Announcement from Arizion

Geoff Langston, Managing Director of Arizion (customer experience development experts), has been recognised as the UK’s first customer service trainer accredited by the Customer Service Trainers Network (CSTN) and recognized by the Institute of Customer Service (ICS).

The CSTN said:

“We are delighted to announce that Geoff Langston is the first UK customer services trainer to have gained Customer Service Trainer Accreditation from the Customer Service Training Network. This accreditation confirms that Geoff meets very high standards in training, which includes assurance that the trainer is professional, up-to-date, is able to engage well with learners and ensure that everyone on their courses comes away from the course with the skills and knowledge to be able to improve their own customer service. Our accredited trainers also agree to self-assess themselves annually and ensure they use continuous professional development to maintain their high standards. What this means is that Geoff can be trusted to provide excellent customer service training.”

Geoff is also available to assess you or your customer service trainers either on an individual basis or within your organisation. Please contact Carol Pillinger, Quality Director of the CSTN for further details:

Email Carol

A Tale of 2 Continents

The UK and India have many differences including:

  • The weather (typically a lot hotter in India)
  • The cost of living (typically a lot lower in India)
  • Wages (typically a lot lower in India)

Another key difference, based on my recent visits, is the exceptionally good customer experience offered by the majority of service providers in India. There seems to be a real passion and pride to treat customers extremely well, whilst providing a great product or service.

For example, we visited a jewelry shop in Mumbai to buy a bracelet for our niece. The person that served us showed us a fantastic range of bracelets, relying on the quality of the goods and his knowledge of the product to make the sale, rather than giving us a sales pitch. He then took us down to another shop owned by the same family for a cup of tea and a chat where every member of the team was exceptionally pleasant and helpful, even though they knew we were not there to make a purchase. Whilst we were in the first shop, the assistant also did a small repair on another piece of jewelry we had purchased in the UK; this was done at no charge!

It doesn’t take much to guess where we will be going back for any further jewelry purchases next time we are in India.

I also had a pair of leather flip-flops repaired by a shoemaker and repairer; his shop was a small shed at the side of the road in the local village. The care, love and pride in his work that he showed as he made the repair was incredible to see and we went back the following day to get a zip on a handbag repaired.
Again, guess where I would go for further shoe and zip repairs in the future.

In both these examples, the work environment and tools to do the job were very basic, however the passion for serving was outstanding.

Lessons for us:

  • Adding value can be easy, low cost and fun
  • It is important to create an environment where people can do their best work
  • Empower your team so they can to go
  • A smile makes all the difference – easy, low cost (free in fact), and fun?

What can you do NOW to make a positive difference to your customers’ experience?

Top 10 Tips for Immediate Bottom Line Profit Improvement

1. Treat company resources as you would if they were your own:

  • Encourage team members to imagine how it would feel if they had to pay for their own materials/ utility bills/ travel costs etc
  • Explain current costs and the positive impact of reducing organisational overheads to team members

2. Encourage people to be more aware of the value of utilities:

  • Turn thermostats down by just one degree
  • Make turning off unnecessary lights a habit during the day and at the end of trade and consider investing in light sensors to automatically turn lights on and off
  • Only put enough water in kettles for a specific number of cups of tea and coffee

3. Recruit effectively:

  • It can cost up to half the annual salary of that role to recruit a new team member (this includes advertising/ interviews/ training/ administration etc) therefore ensure recruitment practices are robust
  • Ensure that you are clear about the job and person specification you are recruiting for
  • Train your recruiters effectively
  • Ensure you have a robust induction programme t is used consistently
  • Put regular reviews for new team members into your diary

4. Review how and where you spend your time:

  • Complete a time log to highlight where, when and how you spend your time
  • Be honest with yourself about what changes you can make to improve the way you use your time

5. Learn when to say yes and no more constructively:

  • Consider each request for your time carefully and be prepared to say no to activities that do not add value to your business

6. Look after the paperclips:

  • Stationary costs can soon significantly add up, set a standard by re-using stationary as frequently as possible
  • Print all your documents double sided where possible
  • Use spoiled printer paper as scrap and note paper

7. Encourage and empower your team to feedback efficiency ideas and reward them:

  • Set up a process (or group) that reviews how your business runs with a direct line to feedback directly to the owner or manager of the business
  • Empower your team members to deal with minor complaints about services or products from your customers

8. Review your policies and procedures:

  • Challenge all your policies and procedures – why do you have them and what are they trying to achieve? Is it for the benefit of the organisation or for your customers?
  • Change all policies and procedures to be customer-centric

9. Re-visit your internal and external communication methods:

  • Review how effective your organisational communications are
  • Identify the most effective communication medias for your business and use a combination of them (including email; meetings; informal discussions; tele-conferences)

10. Put tips one to nine into action and review them regularly – both by yourself and with your team

and of course:

Deliver a consistently exceptional customer experience!

Getting Back to Work

Here is the first in a series of Arizion Top Ten Tips:

  1. Be ruthless with your e-mails – unsubscribe to newsletters, blogs etc. that you normally just delete without reading. Check that there is a valid reason that you have been copied in to an e-mail. Deal with e-mails regularly to keep the volume manageable.
  2. Review your goals and objectives – re-visit them to ensure that they are still current and you are making good progress towards achieving them. Identify the support you need and from whom you need it to achieve them. Put a regular monitoring process in place.
  3. Start exercising regularly – build exercise into your daily routines. Walk to and/or home from work, cycle to and home from work, have a lunchtime jog or power walk. Exercise tends to stimulate the mind and the production of positive hormones as well as helping keep you healthy and fit to enable you to perform at your best.
  4. Plan thinking time into your day – very often our best ideas come to us when we have “switched off” from our daily tasks and routines. Take 10 minutes out of your day every day t to sit in a quiet space, and let your mind wander, allow your thoughts to go where they will. You will be surprised at the ideas that “pop” out!
  5. Listen to your team and colleagues – very often the people we work with have fantastic ideas however, it is easy to get caught up in being so busy that we forget to use this excellent resource. Listening actively takes practice, so start practicing today.
  6. Minimise the time you spend at meetings and maximise what you get out of them – think about why you are going to a meeting and what value you can add to it. Do you need to be there for the whole meeting (do you need to be there at all?) or could you join the meeting for the agenda points where you can add value? What preparation do you need to do before the meeting, -who do you need to speak to and what do you need to read?
  7. Say no more frequently and thoughtfully – to meetings – to interruptions – to requests for your time – to producing reports and to more if these activities are unlikely to add value to you and/or your business.
  8. Say yes more frequently and thoughtfully – to meetings – to interruptions – to requests for your time – to producing reports and more if the activities are likely to add value to you and/or your business.
  9. Have fun! “Find a job you love and you will never work a day in your life”. There are many other clichés including “this is not a dress rehearsal”; “we only get one life – live it”. However, the reality is that they are also very true. Feeling good emotionally is medically proven to be good for your health. Laughter and joy release endorphins and serotonins into our bodies and these improve your immune system and well-being.
  10. Have an autumn clear out – on, in, and under your working space – go through all the surfaces, drawers, and lockers and underneath desks. Identify what you need in the near future (keep it close by); what you need to keep for further reference (file it); and what you do not need (bin it). Like you are with your e-mails – be ruthless, you will feel great at the end of the process!

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Metro Bank – Tottenham Court Road London

Metro Bank opened the doors to it’s fifth store in Tottenham Court Road on the 18th March 2011. Modeled on the American Commerce Bank founded by Vernon Hill, Vernon has now moved this successful model to the UK.
The culture of the model is built around the customers, “who are at the heart of our business” to quote Dipak Varshani, store manager at the new store.

So far, all my personal experiences with Metro Bank have been excellent. Their approach is simply one of recruiting the right people, – people that smile and have a passion for customers, it seems as though their formula will continue to win happy customers and of course business.

What are your experiences with Metro Bank (or other banks)? EMAIL ARIZION to win a copy of Raving Fans by Ken Blanchard

While we are talking about banks, Chase Bank has taken technology to another level. They provide an APP that allows customers to bank cheques (do you remember what those are?!) using their phone without even visiting a branch. Have a look at the Chase APP at

Make a difference today

Take a few minutes out of your schedule to listen to your paying customers and also your internal customers i.e. your team. They are very often the best source of new, exciting and innovative ideas.

And if you are a boss . . .

Remember people join organisations and leave because of their manager! Think now, about how much you know about your team members, what they are doing; how they are feeling; and do they have what they need to do their job well? Taking time to understand could be the best investment of time in your working week.