• Jade Ficarra

Conversation Is A Good Thing

It's been over a week since my last post and my my my didn't we cause a rukus.

Isn't this fun?

We're talking about it.

However, it seems some people have missed the point of the blog, but in talking about it, they have help achieved it's main objective, and that is awareness.

As the title might have you believe, it was centred around how vital customer service is now, especially in the age of social media and ecommerce. Now, obviously, I'm not trying to get you to go shopping online. Quite the contrary. That would indeed put us out of business. We want you to shop locally. Shopping locally benefits everyone around you. But you already know that, what you do with that knowledge is completely up to you, but if you want a thriving town and region, you will keep your dollars local.

What our objective was, and we do plan & set objectives before penning any blog, was to create awareness that word can spread quicker than wildfire these days, driven by things such as Facebook, reviews, Tripadvisor, Twitter, and wouldn't you know it, blogging. So how you treat people, and it's not just in customer service, how you treat people is certainly no longer contained to dinner table conversation. When you're done reading this, scroll through your news feed of your chosen social media and see how many rants you see. It's become a very public outlet for people, especially those who don't like confrontation, which is where I believe a lot of cowardly "cyber bulling" comes from, but that is a whole other blog topic.

The point was to create conversation and awareness. As the title might have you believe, if you work in a service industry, that customer service you offer is so important, because we don't have to walk into your store at all. We do it because we like talking to people, we enjoy shopping locally, and we enjoy excellent customer service. It was not to generalise local businesses at all, in fact we illustrated some businesses that impress our socks off every time we walk in, but in case you missed it, or you're simply pining for some positivity, I'll name them again.

Shopping locally (Swan Hill) I love it when;

- I can walk into the Northern Shoe Store and the staff know that I have an unusally large foot for a woman, and will steer me away from the fabulous Italian leather shoes made for less sasquatch type ladies, and just go fetch everything that might perhaps fit my gentlemanly sized feet without making me look too much like a drag queen.

- Looking for a frock for a wedding or a ball I can walk into Fashion Affair and Catherine will kindly, gently, but honestly tell me that I do indeed look like a drag queen and I need something more flattering on my shoulders. NB. Of course she's never told me I look like a drag queen, but I might mention that and she ever so gracefully doesn't disagree. I appreciate her honesty. I'd much rather that than being squeezed into something hideous and go out looking like a rolled pork roast.

- I love when I walk into Dresemme that Corinna's eyes light up as she scurries to the back room to show me something that has just arrived that she thinks I'll love. God damn her I do! I try to avoid taking my credit card when I go to these shops now as I spend contantly & I'm runing out of wardrobe space because they're so gosh darn good at their jobs!

- I walk into Cafe 202 and Wes and his staff make my coffee whilst I'm still standing in line to order. I also love that Wes' staff speak so highly of him and the training he gives them. There's something a little Marco Pierre White about Wes don't you think?

- I get a phone call from my accountant because he knows how bad I am with financial paperwork and he just wants to remind me. That's service! Thanks Justin, I'm sure I've avoided many fines because of you. It's not my fault, us creative types just don't like numbers. Or organisation. Or numbers. That's why we have you.

- I love that I can email a photo to Greg Cruikshank in the morning and by the afternoon he has it printed and mounted on canvas for me! Try doing that with Snapfish!

- I love going into Bikes & Trikes and chatting to Steve about all things riding, biking or footy. Steve knows his stuff on all these fronts, and never does the hard sell, in fact he directs me to the things I need rather than things I might want.

- I love walking through Kent's Amcal Pharmacy and being greeted with beaming smiles from Rick & Janine, Belinda, Robbie, Denise and many of the other staff who are there to help with whatever I need.

- I love that I have a local travel agent whom I can call if there were any concerns such as, I don't know, a volcanic ash cloud stopping me from getting out of Bali! That's not where I am, but if I were, I'd be sure glad I'd called Jason to book it all. I appreciate that he is always there to answer silly questions or get me prices on little impulse trips I might want to take which are now few and far between given my new mother status.

- I love that when I walk into most places I shop at in Swan Hill people want to stop, chat, ask how the baby is and get an idea of what I'm looking for, afterall, you don't just happen to walk into a store, you're in there looking for something, talking to me is the best way to find out what that is and sell it to me. You just don't get that in the city or of couse, online.

What I don't like is blatant rudeness when it is completely uncalled for. That's not just in the service industry, that's in life. There's just really no need for it.

Hell, you woke up this morning, you're blessed with another day on earth which is a privilidge denied to many so for heavens sake just smile, be nice and help reduce the rants online!

Ooooh there's a whole campaign in that! #reducetherants

(Most of the above mentioned businesses are indeed clients of Clear Eyes New Media, so yes, of course we are going to mention them. Please, if you have had other amazing customer service experiences in Swan Hill, feel free to comment. If you have any rants at me and my blogs, feel free to post them too, I enjoy the feedback :)

#reducetherants #reducetherants #swanhill #service #retail #shopping #customerservice