customer service – in 3 easy steps

Officially, this is my first post of 2012…and am happy to be back!

 

I’ve had a few experiences with different companies locally, which made me ponder sharing some tips when dealing with SA’s “amazing” customer services.

 

1. DON’T ACCEPT THE RUN-A-ROUND!

e.g. Last year I changed banks, from Standard to FNB, as the service I was getting from Standard Bank, was short of mediocre even. When they told me to call another number, or asked me to come back into the branch, I would reinforce who the customer was, who was being inconvenienced and who needed to take some accountability. And…reiterate how it’s not your responsibility that there’s an issue, why else would you be calling them!

 

2. THERE’S ALWAYS SOMEONE THAT CAN DO IT…

e.g. AutoPage recently confirmed via e-mail & sms that my issue had been resolved, yet when I checked my online account, it was not. I called in and asked to speak to the manager – weirdly the customer consultant came back after 2 mins and was able to resolve the issue he previously couldn’t.  There is always someone higher you could speak, to get the issue resolved.

 

3. THEN, IF ALL ELSE FAILS – THE “MAGIC” HELLOPETER WILL HELP!

e.g. I’m currently experiencing an issue with Discovery Health, I call in this morning and it seems that they don’t even know why my claim was not processed. This morning I logged into www.hellopeter.com and shared my bad experience, within the hour I’ve been called by the executive customer relations department who is now working on my issue. The cool thin with HelloPeter is that you can see who are companies and respond and who doesn’t…but those who do, care a lot about what customers are saying about them.

 

Things to remember…

*always record the date, time and name of person who you’re speaking to (this saved me quite a bit of money)

*record the reference number if possible

*request a follow-up e-mail with agreement made

 

13 dark movies…

 

…my wife recently commented on the types of movies i choose, how dark they are and how you need to think when watching them! before i choose them, i actually go to http://www.imdb.com were all movies are rated by people that have seen it – if it’s below 6.0, it’s probably not worth getting…

 

After thinking about it for a bit, I just realized that the reason they’re considered to be ‘not-so-hollywood’ is because of the how they’re written. If you think about movies like Gladiator, Braveheart, Bad Boys, etc. – they all follow the same sought of storyline. There’s a lead actor, who has the BIG challenge he needs to face and there are times when they almost want to give up…but then good prevails and the hero saves the day.

 

Then there are those movies that just don’t follow any path…instead, they’re edgy, dark and some so complex that you need to watch the movie twice – most of all though, it’s not so much about the writer wanting a HERO, but a writer who’s focused on relaying a message.

 

…in no particular order, here is my list of dark, but very original movies – A MUST SEE (check http://www.imdb.com if you’re unsure)!!

 

 

 

    

who really committed the crime, will keep you guessing till the end!

 

 

 

 

    

imagine waking in a dream, then living it…

 

 

 

 

    

the concept is far-fetched, but imagine you could find a portal into someone else’s mind!

 

 

 

 

    

alter-ego or imaginary friend…or parallel universe?

 

 

 

 

    

a movie playing back to front, literally starting at the end and playing to the beginning – scene for scene and the lead character can’t remember things…

 

 

 

   

fear is a place. the tagline really says it all…

 

 

 

 

   

ever wondered the effects of addiction, ecstasy, cocaine and heroine makes an appearance.

 

 

 

 

    

funny, another drug-related movie where the guy goes on meth for 8 days straight – needless to tell you the story is interesting.

 

 

 

 

    

a pedophile meets his nemesis…

 

 

 

 

   

one of Tarantino’s less known movies, but one where the girls fight back!

 

 

 

 

   

how far will one go to beat your nemesis?

 

 

 

 

    

by far my favorite movie of all time, I’ve watched more that 20 times because Nolan’s far-fetched ideas actually portrayed to perfection.

 

 

 

   

you know that if the villain’s performance is better that the hero, you’ve got a real ripper. Joker steals the show…

 

 

 

 

 

marriage

marriage:- a ceremony by which a man and woman become husband and wife.
 
I can assure you, in my almost two years of being married; it’s a whole lot more than that. A lot of key lessons learnt along the way, but also some interesting concepts we’ve learned together that I thought could be valuable sharing…
 
…but first, let’s clarify the difference between ‘complete’ and ‘complement’.
 
If you’re looking for someone to complete you, that means you’re not authentic to yourself, but rather only 50% and you’re looking for that ‘other half’.
I was fortunate to meet a guy in his early twenties, about 3 weeks ago, and we got into conversation about the fact that he just got divorced. I didn’t mean to pry, but decided to ask what the reason for them splitting up was, and just before he started to explain I stopped him and asked if I could guess why?
 
“I’m guessing you got married at a young age, then you were looking for someone to COMPLETE you but later you both discovered a little more about yourselves individually and came to the realization that you don’t complement each other.”
 
He agreed, and it was by no means the first time I’ve seen it happen. Sometimes we become so infatuated by the idea of marriage, but don’t necessarily take the time to understand what it really means and what is required to make it work. So, if you find someone that complements your character, then you’ve taken the first step to a relationship.
 
Now I’m no genius at it, I still screw up, and my wife and I still argue – a lot! However, as I mentioned above, there were some key concepts we learned that makes it a little easier for us.
 
1. Even though you feel, don’t forget that he/she also feels.
  • Like when you argue about something, and you really want to make sure that you’re expressing how something made you feel, you tend to forget that while you’re making sure your partner knows this, you might not be listening to how it makes them feel
  • Respect that the two of you are not always going to feel the same way, but you need to respect him/her nonetheless, because it is who they are after all
In the beginning of our marriage we would spend hours and hours trying to enforce our ways on each other, not realizing that the energy could’ve been spent on something more positive but more so that being in a relationship did not mean that you need to change the other person to how you are. What fun is that going to be anyway, because then you might as well date yourself?
 
2. It is not what you say, but HOW you say it.
  • Tying closely to the point above, it’s so easy for us to shout at our partner to make them realize that we have a point, more so to make sure they know how we feel and that we’re firm on not changing who we are
  • Imagine expressing yourself, but in a manner that you start understanding each other a little better
Growing up I would hear people saying it all the time, a successful marriage is one with good communication. Experiencing it now, makes me agree that it is probably the most important ingredient to have a successful relationship.
 
Where my wife and I were really lucky, soon after we got married, we decided to attend marriage classes with Discover Islam Centre at Taronga road mosque. This is where we learnt a lot of our key lessons, and I was surprised to learn that from a religious perspective, it’s clearly defined as to what is expected from both male and female in marriage.
 
For a man – it’s intimate fulfillment, not just sexual, but also a female’s appreciation for what he does.
  • if a female shows appreciation for something, it means he is going to want to do it again
  • the opposite, is that he doesn’t feel valued, so why should he even care?
  • Support all his endeavours, no matter how crazy, the happier he is, the more motivated he is to give to the marriage
For a female – it’s being provided for.
  • the misconception here is that it’s just monetary, it’s a lot more than that, it almost means to provide the simple things she may like
  • it’s NOT just big gifts, what if she likes surprises, and you just surprise her with chocolate – or something simple
  • and…what for me seems to be one of the most important aspects of this, is to give her attention
For me, one of the biggest mistake’s us men sometimes make, is that we always want to fix things. So when our wives talk to us, we’re quick to translate emotions, thoughts and experiences as a need to change or respond with an answer to what she may be saying.
 
Sometimes, they just want us to listen, be there, and help them process what they might be going through.
 
Like I said, I am no pro, but this is what I’ve learnt so far…

motivate

What motivates you?
 
My passion is coaching people, and I have noticed that the one thing we take for granted is what really drives us.
 
…because we live in a world with so much pressure to succeed, we tend to take on the motivations of others or really just follow the current trend of things of our time…
 
Like money as a motivator – I’m here to bust this myth, because money can never be a motivator, if you disagree, please find me the one person that exists that got to say ‘that’s enough for me’. See my point! Don’t get me wrong though, money may not be a motivator, but it can definitely feed the things that motivate us in life. Like your lifestyle, travelling, hobbies or making others happy.
 
Once you understand what these fundamentals are, it really puts things into perspective and simplifies the reason why you do what you do. Why you get out of bed, why you work hard to achieve your goals and overall just the reason you living YOUR life.
 
We are all unique, so what drives you, will probably not be the same thing that drives me and that is the key.
 
When you realize that personally it’s your child, family, sibling, etc. – or on the work front that it’s your passion for people, leading others or successfully delivering projects; then you’ll be that much more focused on taking on any challenges life throws you way.
 
Why share this information? I’ve seen too many people discover a new side to them once they’ve locked onto this and it’s magic.
 
Like any writer, I’m really interested to know your thoughts, please take a moment to post a comment on this piece…

getting CAUGHT UP?

Ever get that feeling like everything that could possibly happen, is happening, whether negative or positive it’s happening – and you just feel like you’re getting CAUGHT UP?

It’s been about 4 months since my last BLOG POST, and I miss it, but this all due to getting caught in it ALL…but now, I’m back and it feels good.

A lot has happened since the last time I posted a BLOG, one thing I clearly remember was being woken one morning by the SCREAMS of our next door neighbor, being woken up that way gives no clear direction for a reaction. I called the police, fortunately they were there soon, and all of that for some guy who just decided to open the damn oven. We were left boggled for a while as to why he did that specifically, and since I’ve always been a lot more pensive when at home. That said, it’s everywhere and instead of us focusing on the root cause of the problem – we spend more money on stronger security gates, higher walls and shock-fencing. And…so the companies that sell these thrive off our fear!

It’s Monday morning, I’m on my way to work, already I’m thinking that I need to finish work, to make sure I get home on time so that I make my appointment for training. I feel like I’m on FFWD all the time, it’s like my whole week’s plans start playing through my head, while it’s playing virtually in my head I’m trying hard to make sure that there are no conflicts in my calendar. We need to fit the visit in the parents in, we need to make sure we’re exercising cos we need to look good for summer and we also need to eat healthy cos someone mentioned that due to our blood / blood type that we’re eating too much of something. So when we’re shopping, we start putting restrictions on things that we can/can’t eat cos we might DIE doing so. It’s Tuesday morning and we have a big project coming up, so we might need to invest a little more time on this cos we don’t feel like we’ve invested enough on it – or wait, I have some current actions so I’ll save this for later in the week. 

Tuesday Afternoon and I’m on my way home from work, making sure that when I get to a traffic light, that I’m checking all around me cos I heard about this ‘smash and grab’ earlier this week. After the break-in, when I get home I’m also more aware when I get home…or even hear some sound that I’m not use to. Wednesday morning, I need to make sure I get everything done on time so that I make my training tonight, I missed Monday’s session cos I had some report I needed to finish early. I really hate the way I’m feeling now, as it’s Thursday morning and I missed training again – how could I do this, cos I really need to get fit for summer – it’s imperative that I do!

Really, is all of these institutions we subscribe to really necessary, do we really need to be so hard on ourselves if we don’t do certain things? My mom even mentioned that in their time, all these funny things people experience medically didn’t even exist back then. Can we learn from them, yeah, they didn’t check the calories, didn’t plan every single moment they had a available and even waste time subscribing to the latest HIT that is taking the world by storm.

I mentioned this in a few of my previous BLOGS, it’s important to let the little KID inside come out, so really enjoy the simple moments in life. Thanks to Coldplay concert and shouting my LUNGS out, I’m feel happy again. And…I realized that happiness is what you make it, instead of subscribing to EVERYTHING, take out of life what matters you – AND HAVE FUN!

Never lose the Sense of Adventure…

 

Cape Town’s Soul Part 2

Start Dreaming…

You have to start somewhere right?

I mean, I’m a kid from Wynberg, Cape Town – and if you would’ve told me 8 years ago that I was about to go on the journey of a lifetime – I would’ve said “Yeah, whatever…I’ll see you in Claremont, outside McDonalds tomorrow morning!”

Up until the age of 23, my life seemed isolated, almost as if I was meant to do/see more but somehow I was being held back. So one day, I just decided to get my passport, with very little money saved and no idea how I was going to get to the UK.

It’s amazing how powerful one’s intention can be, because soon after that my mom gave me a kick-start to what was just the start of my journey through my dreams…

From; watching Formula 1 live at Silverstone, Coldplay live in London, meeting John Digweed in person, travelling Europe and sent for work to Jerusalem.

 

I remember when I got to Jerusalem, I had to pinch myself, because all the emotions where overwhelming. Not only from being in a place that’s so spiritual, but a place where the Prophet (PBUH) once made Salah, even brought tears to my eyes at the first Jummuah I spent there. What’s really going to blow your mind is what my mother told me when I got back home from my travels, she said “when you were a little boy, you would point at the photo of Dome of the Rock (in Jerusalem) and say that you would go there one day!’’

…it’s your dreams, no one can take it away from you, and to fulfill them you have to work hard – but I promise you, when you get a taste of it, you will realize that IMPOSSIBLE, is NOTHING!!

(From travelling to different parts of the world, one is humbled when you come back to a city so beautiful. You might be from Cape Town, but I am here to tell you that there’s a world of possibility out there!!)

Cape Town’s Soul Part 1

One could call it an “Old Soul”, filled with history and rooted deep within are actions that still emanate from a long past generation.

Why do I say this?

I was watching a TV program the other day, where there was a group of Capetonians doing some dance competition and it seems that none of them looked in the judges faces with confidence. They asked one of the judges from Cape Town, what is that about? And…his response was that it still comes from the days of us being slaves, saying ‘yes baas, nee baas”. It’s carried on from there; I remember while growing up my mom would always say that I must be happy with what I get, almost as if she were telling me that I must settle.

I am 100% sure that we were not put on this earth to settle! The more and more I think about it, it’s made me realize that I’ve been brought up in a society where people tend to WAIT for luck to come their way. Maybe, just maybe, one day I will get what I want…for now though, I will keep doing what I do and settle for it. The funny thing is, that I found myself in this exact situation, where I got to a point where I was comfortable – I started to be so comfortable that I even started complaining about how I hated my job, but was okay with doing it because it paid the bills.

Is that what life’s really about then, just paying bills? In a system that is designed to lock you from all ways – it’s sooo easy to get credit ANYWHERE, but what they don’t tell you is how HARD its going to be to pay it back again. You’re so tied to the ‘Matrix’, that you find yourself stressing, and all you hard-earned money goes straight into paying all this DEBT back. And…because of it you can’t even treat yourself to something good. If you’re in this situation, then the system has succeeded and tying you down.

What’s the point of me saying all this?

My point is, that the system is designed to take you away from who you really are, because we become so focused on the things we either need to pay, or the things we next want – we fail to focus energy on what we are really about, as individuals.

When last have you thought about what it is you really enjoy, so much so that when you’re doing it doesn’t seem as though you’re doing a JOB, but rather you’re fulfilling your purpose? Let’s take my example; I am a Customer Service Manager, but I absolutely love what I do because I enjoy developing people, I like assisting them to realize their actual potential.

To find out what you really enjoy, it has to be authentic to you, like ask yourself “what really drives me?”. Let’s not confuse this with money, because money comes and goes – but you will always be the constant!

Stop carrying the chip on your shoulder, because you think you deserve better, but you’re not willing do what is necessary. Success comes to those who want it, and no matter how impossible it seems at the time, go for it. Fight for your dreams, because no one else is going to do it for you, and you’ll see that when you achieve one – you’ll realize that the SKY is the limit.

Why have I named the piece Cape Town’s Soul?

I look around me and I see the energy Cape Town has, the new generation coming along – and I’ve realized that they can be privy to life’s wonders if we show them. I mean really take the time to show them that dreaming about a Honda VTec, having a big house and striving to be like everyone else is just a waste of time.

Instead…we should be showing them the really value to life, by showing them how to dream BIG and work towards achieving it.

If this piece seems all over the place, it’s only because my energy towards this is puffed up. Watch this space for Part 2…

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