Highlights: Seeing the Phantom of the Opera in the West End
Lowlights: Staff not smiling at any retail store or supermarket
London is an exciting city. London offers endless choices for entertainment and work prospects, which is why so many expats decide to call it their home. In London everything moves at its own pace which is FAST. If you get in someone’s way they will just keep walking until you move out of THEIR way. Don’t get me wrong, in general Londoners are friendly people and if you need help with directions they will help you (special mention goes to their public transport officers, who were consistently helpful).
I must admit, we at Vent2Me are not big lovers of public transport, but London was the first time that we actually enjoyed catching the bus or train – yes it has problems, but overall the staff made the journey much more pleasurable than what we have experienced back home in Melbourne.
There are a few things that London needs to work on and that is their customer service levels in their supermarkets and retail stores. Because everyone moves at their own pace in London, don’t expect exceptional customer service – especially at Tesco and Sainsburys. The staff are purely there to stock shelves and keep products up-to-date. Interested in buying something from the deli? Well you will need to wait until they are happy to serve you, and when they do serve you, there will be no smile or greeting with it, just an impatient stare. Retail stores such as Zara, H&M and Top Shop were exactly the same, they are happy to take your money, but if you need any assistance well then you have to wait!
With London preparing for the Olympic games in 2012, it will be interesting to see how they cope with the increased tourism – in our opinion London has a long way to go to ensure a positive experience for their residents, expats and tourists.
Our tip for London’s retail industry, SMILE, it costs nothing to do so and a smile can change the way someone thinks about you. Remember the facts: if a customer is happy with your service, they will tell three other people, BUT if they aren’t happy they will tell nine other people. And in today’s day of age, those nine people can end up being a much larger figure indeed!
Also – Londoners you deserve better than shonky customer service, so don’t put up with it. Instead Vent2Me about it!
Until next time,
Cents and Sensibility
Julia Taine, Executive Director of Vent2Me, is a marketing problem solver and mentor. A mover and a shaker, Julia sees a niche in an industry, and takes it, by making it her own. Julia started Vent2Me, because people she knew were struggling with their online presence and their digital strategies. Julia knew she could help these people, and so here she is today.