Monthly Archives: May 2013

A Balanced Look at the Pros and Cons of Virtual Instructor-Led Training

Interested in the pros and cons of Virtual Instructor-Led Training (vILT)? Join us along with Training Industry on a webinar this Wednesday at 10PM Gulf Standard Time. Share this link with your Training/Learning & Development colleagues! Registration is free!



The Customer Needs

The Customer Needs

The Qualities of Stellar Customer Service

Regardless of industry, product, or type of service, customers consistently report that they value four qualities in the service they receive.  Customers want service that is:


This quality refers to the ability to manage service factors that are invisible to the customer that take place in the hidden dimension.  Customers want to take advantage of the full range of services an organization offers.  They expect to get the most complete service possible.  However, they don’t want the inside details about the business, and they don’t like dealing with dozens of different people.  They expect the service provider to coordinate things on their behalf.


This quality refers to the ability to provide what is promised, dependably and accurately.  Customers want to feel they’re in capable hands and that promises will be kept.  Customers want things to be right the first time. Should something go wrong, customers expect a quick and thorough recovery.


This quality refers to the ability to provide caring and individual attention to customers.  Customers want to be acknowledged quickly and politely and they want to be treated with respect.  They want to know that the service provider will deal with them on human as well as business levels, and that the organization welcomes the opportunity to serve them.


This quality refers to the ability to provide prompt service and creative solutions.  Customers want a flexible approach to service.  And they expect prompt and creative problem solving.

A Salty Sea Tale

On a recent visit to Kuwait city, I came across this lovely sea-front cafe where I took the picture below. I really wanted to be seated at the front, where, as you can sea, a person is guaranteed the most incredible view. I decided to go back the next day and see if I could grab that best seat. So picture the scene. There I was sitting in the warm evening sunshine typing up my notes after a hard day’s meetings. I should mention I was doing this typing on a brand new 15” Apple Mac which I’d owned for precisely four days at this point.


Although I was concentrating hard I was vaguely aware of some guys on jet skis out in the bay. Suddenly one of these came shooting up towards our terrace, made a sudden turn and created a huge wave which drenched the entire terrace and everyone on it, including me, my notes and my brand new 15” Apple Mac which I’d owned for precisely four days at this point.

As I and others stood open-mouthed and dripping, the jet ski guys disappeared around a corner to the sound of much laughing and slapping of backs.

I then carried out a series of knuckle-headed moves to rescue the situation including pressing napkins into the keyboard and turning the machine off and on again to see if it still worked. If something like this ever happens to you do not do this under any circumstances. Instead turn the machine upside down so that they keyboard is resting on a towel on the edge of a table or similar. (Gravity then takes the water away from anything delicate).

Somehow my machine has survived and I have become something of a minor celebrity at my local Apple Store where I have so far returned three times so that their tech guys can take the back off my machine and stare in wonder at circuit boards that really ought to have been fried. I am hoping to be invited to San Francisco and be grilled to see if I’ve created an elaborate hoax or am indeed and living, breathing laptop miracle.

Now, I work for AchieveGlobal and we’re all about training in Leadership, Customer service and Sales. You may well be asking what this blog entry has to do with any of those things so let me address that now.

Customer Service

The reaction of the staff at the cafe was appalling. I got a shrug of the shoulders and a bill for a drink I could no longer consume. I realise what happened was not of their doing but it ruined my experience of enjoying their service and I will certainly never return. A little sympathy and empathy would have gone a long way.


My first thought when it happened was why oh why had I not bought Apple’s protection product, it wasn’t as if they hadn’t tried their hardest to sell it to me. But therein lies the problem. The harder they tried to sell it to me the more determined I was not to have it, even when it was clearly something that could have ended up saving me a fortune had a not been so lucky. But like most people now, although I love buying stuff I hate being sold to and this is something that our programs teach the modern sales person how to deal with.


This all came about because I wanted the seat at the front and so I’ve learnt that if you’re going to be the one in front you need to have the skills to cope when you get soaking wet!

Matt Somers