Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Have you heard me speak?

Monday, October 04, 2010

Whitechapel Bell Foundry get a Golden Helicopter Award

You'll see in my latest newsletter fascinating stuff from my recent visit to the Whitechapel Bell Foundry - founded in 1420.

The tour and the staff there are delightful, helpful and informative.


Golden Helicopter Award to Swiftcover

I don't know about you but I find the whole business of insuring your car, and renewing each year, a real pain - with crazy forms to fill in and lots of wasted time.

No more!

Swiftcover are just brilliant - it's online and painless.


Golden Helicopter Award for UK Fast

This comes from my friend Jane Green:

"Roger – I know you are a standard bearer for good service – and I’m afraid as a journalist and fortysomething lady – it is something I am rather vocal about. We are just so awful at good service in this country.

On Monday I counted a wasted 30 minutes of pressing numbers on my phone to get through to a human being – and then they usually couldn’t help as my question wasn’t in their script. Try calling Hewlett Packard – if you can find a number!

So, I am a bit embarrassed at how excited I am at having found a company who answer the phone within 3 rings – with a polite, helpful and jolly person at the other end. AND they are in the UK. How rare is all of that?

The company is UKFast – they are based in Manchester, have been going about 10 years and now have about 100 young staff. They keep winning awards and I’m not surprised. They are a hosting company – and since I put my business on their servers, our site speed has increased by a whopping 2,600% (yes it was very slow before). I know you know how important download speed is for an online business.

But their service is what’s impressed me Roger. And I love the fact that they are based here in the UK. Try it yourself – call them and you will see – they have to answer the phone within 3 rings."

I have no hesitation, therefore, in awarding UK FAST a GOLDEN HELICOPTER AWARD

Friday, June 18, 2010

Ditched Helicoper Award - Barclaycard

I travel overseas a lot and,of course, I use my credit cards overseas. I have two - a Bank of Scotland business Mastercard and a private Barclaycard - which I've had for ever.

These days credit card providers like you to let them know when you go overseas to help with fraud prevention so every two or three months I call them to let them know my upcoming trips.
At BOS I get a charming Scottish lady who I get straight through to, who takes all the details down, we have a nice chat and it's all very painless.
However with Barclaycard it's got progressively more and more difficult. It was fine for a while , then the operative (when you finally get through to them after lots of button pushing and listening to things you are not interested in) told me she could only take down one country at a time and I would have to ring from that country to tell her the next country I was flying to!! I then asked to speak to her supervisor - who was helpful and took down all my information.

Now however - that doesn't work - and Barclaycard insist that you can only go to one country at a time - what nonsense. I tried escalating it up the tree and sending emails but you just get a standard response which answers none of your questions.

So after 30 years with Barclaycard I've now dropped them and gone to a Marks & Spencer Mastercard - who couldn't be more helpful. They give you a discount in their shops AND they don't even want you to tell them you are going abroad!

So a well earned DITCHED HELICOPTER AWARD goes to BARCLAYCARD - goodbye.

Ditched Helicopter Award - Costa Coffee

Costa Coffee have put a lot of effort into their brand and it's been highly successful for them - but that's something they can destroy very quickly!

Competitors of theirs like Cafe Nero have loyalty cards - cards they stamp as you buy and you get a free cup when it's got six stamps - very simple effective.

Costa Coffee have now decided to follow suit - but just to be one better (they think) it's a plastic card which you have to register on line - Grrrrr- but I did it.

Then, what do I find? - the card is not accepted at the FIRST ELEVEN Costa Coffee shops I visit!! There is even a large card on the counter of most saying they don't accept it.
When asked they each told me it was because they were franchisees and it didn't apply to them.

So what Costa have succeeded in doing is to start to destroy that homogenous brand image in our minds and force us to recognise that there are Division 1 and Division 2 Costa Coffee shops.

So I contacted Costa Coffee and expressed my surprise at this turn of events. I get a "corporate" reply with all the nonsense about appreciating my custom and telling me that "some" of their shops can't accept the card because "they have the wrong tills". Unbelievable - even if it's true - and it appears to not be - they should have delayed the launch of the card until they had every shop on board.

So - for the very clever trick of introducing a Customer Loyalty card that does exactly the opposite - a DITCHED HELICOPTER AWARD goes to COSTA COFFEE

Ditched Helicopter Award - The Meat Company

A couple of years ago I did an event at the newly opened Meat Company restaurant located in the "new" old town in Dubai and have really enjoyed going back a few times since.
However I recently went, having booked in advance, and asked to sit outside. This isn't something you can often do in Dubai and it was delightful - looking out over the lake in front of the new Burj Tower and watching the fountain show.
There was a surprise,however, that the prices had gone up but then - as I'm finishing my dessert and before coffee - I am asked (actually told) if I would go inside now as they had booked the table for someone else!

Bad, bad news - and a DITCHED HELICOPTER AWARD goes to THE MEAT COMPANY for doing such a thing.

Golden Helicopter Award - Holiday Inn Express, Safa Park

I recently stayed at the budget Holiday Inn Express at Safa Park, Dubai at around GBP60 per night.

It is delightful - it's modern with excellent sized bedrooms with every facility and very quite being off the main highways and next to the park. Very convenient and with the most helpful and charming staff.

It just shows how easy it is to get it right!

A GOLDEN HELICOPTER AWARD goes to THE HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS, Safa Park - I will be staying with you again.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

How to Really use Powerpoint

That most used,misused and abused of presentation tools see my short video and let it enhance not detract from what you are saying....

Monday, April 19, 2010

Golden Helicopter Award - NCP !!!

My friend David Bancroft-Turner shares this "volcano" story with us:

"My volcano story...........

So – if you were going to start this I guess we could have been in a lot of worse places – Utrecht.

Nothing we could do Thursday night after finishing the workshop so stayed in Utrecht. Friday to Amsterdam. No ferries, no cars, hmm.........ferry from Calais. No chance. Fecking Health and Safety won’t let you go on without a car!!!

So – here was our cunning plan. Amsterdam to Paris, Paris to Le Havre, foot passenger to Portsmouth, pick up car at Gatwick.

Fell at first hurdle, queued for 4 hours to get ticket at Schipol. Got train to Paris (well at least we’d be closer to home). Train broke down outside Antwerp – back there. To Brussels, to Paris then Eurostar – an extra train – Hurrah!!!

£1200 out of pocket and having met a whole tribe of wonderful human beings (and getting some business i think!!) the NCP car Park at Gatwick (where I had booked for 3 days and now had been there for 6) processed my ticket and while I fiddled to get out my credit card the guy announced "Sir – we do not intend to rub salt into the wound – the extra 3 days are on us".

My faith in large organisations has been restored – Hooray for NCP – they have my business for life!!!!"


Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Golden Helicopter Award - Sepehr Tarverdian

I first went to Iran to speak 18 months ago under the auspices of Sepehr Tarverdian and his company Hamayesh Farazan. Sepehr is the very best translator in Iran and used to work for the President and decided to use his talents to set up conferences featuring top international speakers.
That first event I went to with two other speakers had around 150 delegates and was a little disorganised - but good fun.
I have just been back - this time with seven other speakers - to speak at Sepehr's "World Management Forum" which was held in a magnificent conference hall, very professionally organised with every facility and 1200 delegates!
So a GOLDEN HELICOPTER AWARD has to go to SEPEHR TARVERDIAN and HAMAYESH FARAZAN for their fantastic progress and service to the Iranian business community.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Golden Helicopter Award - Octara

It is a especial pleasure for me to make this award.

Octara in Pakistan organise conferences, events and programmes and are simply the very best - anywhere.

When I speak in Pakistan and run Masterclasses I work through them and they are the most professional, most efficient and most charming organisation to deal with.

They produce simply outstanding marketing materials - better than anywhere else in the world - they organise the events to the fine detail and are the most ethical of people to deal with.

So a MASSIVE GOLDEN HELICOPTER AWARD goes to Muhammad Arif and his brilliant team at OCTARA

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Ditched Helicopter Award - Paper Show

When I run workshops and Masterclasses on business growth I set up a virtual company and have the delegates tell me what growth they believe they can achieve in the company as a result of each of my initiatives, tips and secrets. To do this I have always had to use an old fashioned overhead projector which has meant taking my own to any workshop in the UK and relying on the organiser finding one for an overseas event.

I have always thought that, sooner or later, a new technology will appear to replace the OHP so imagine my joy recently when I discovered that it finally has! Paper Show appears to do exactly what I want - so I go on the website and look at the details but it is not clear whether it will work with a Mac(have you changed yet? - light years better) rather than a PC.
Now many of you will have heard me rant on about "contact us" buttons on websites and how organisations need to ensure they have proper, expeditious procedures to respond.

Anyway about 5 weeks ago I used Paper Show's "contact us" button to ask if it was Mac compatible and, if not, when it would be.

After 3 weeks - nothing - and I'm getting a little cross - and then what arrives from Paper Show but a questionnaire for me to complete "as a new customer" !!! So I complete it and request a reply to my question.

A further two weeks and NOTHING. So I decide I must try and use the new power available to the little man - You Tube (have you seen "United breaks Guitars"?). I will record a video of complaint and post it - so I go into You Tube and think I'll firstly see if there are any Paper Show postings already.

There are - three - demonstrating it and singing it's praises - so rather than record the video I simply post a comment: "DO NOT BUY THIS PRODUCT - THEY GIVE LOUSY SERVICE AND DO NOT RESPOND TO E MAILS"

and.......the very next day I receive an email from their brand manager apologising, advising that it is not currently Mac compatible, that it will be in May and offering to send me one free of charge!

A great response BUT it shouldn't have happened and PAPER SHOW have to get a DITCHED HELICOPTER AWARD but I promise that if I do get it in May and it is exceptional I'll change that to a Golden Helicopter Award!

Ditched Helicopter Award - Toilet Seats!

We re-modelled our bathrooms and WCs at home last year - at great expense- and used Ripples in Oxford to do the job. They were excellent no real complaints and we were very happy with the result but then we come to toilet seats!

On their recommendation we had "soft closer" hinges for the toilet seats - all very nice - but then after a very short time they gave up soft closing, firstly on one toilet and then the second.

We have now waited over six months for replacement hinges - which, apparently, need to come from Keramag in Germany. I have constantly chased Ripples who, of course, blame Keramag and I have been in contact with Keramag who pretend to be helpful but insist I go through Ripples......

When will companies learn that it's the small things that people remember where and lack of service is involved?


About Me

My photo
Roger Harrop, The CEO Expert, has spent over 25 years leading international business at the highest level, ultimately a plc, putting him in a unique position to deal with contemporary business challenges. He is ranked in the top 10 of Management and Strategy Speakers worldwide by Speaker Wiki and twice voted by the members of The Academy for Chief Executives 'Speaker of the Year' He is an, Oxford, UK based, international motivational business growth speaker who inspires and entertains his audiences with his acclaimed Staying in the Helicopter® programmess. Over 20000 CEOs, business leaders in 40 countries have achieved transformational change through his thought provoking and entertaining talks laced with real-life stories, anecdotes and humour. Roger is an author, accredited SME business advisor, mentor, and independent director and has run businesses for major multi-national corporations. He is a Past-President of The Professional Speakers Association, a former Vice-President of The Institution of Mechanical Engineers, and a Liveryman with The Worshipful Company of Marketers.