Boohoo; Bad Communication

Customer Service

Customer Service

Following on from my ‘Wow Moment’ with DPD post I’m going to use delivery service (as provided by all online retailers and some high street ones) as a handy example of how communication is paramount to keeping a customer happy.

Sadly, the focus of this post is on a business that has failed to communicate appropriately with a customer.

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Wine Challenge Winner

Wine Challenge Winner

Image: Wine Challenge Winner

The winner of the Young London Resident Event Wine Challenge popped by our office the other day to pick up her delicious prize.

She was thoroughly pleased to have become part of the elite group of individuals who have won a Young London Wine Challenge, something I am sure will take pride of place on her CV in future.

 

 

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Young London Resident Event

Young London Resident Event

Image: Young London Resident Event

Throughout the year Young London, the Letting Agency arm of Young Group, likes to hold events to give our residents a chance to mingle with their neighbours as well as test their taste buds at our ever popular Wine Challenge.

Inside are just a few images of what was a great night for staff and residents alike.

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Young London represented at The Games

Young London Volunteer

Image: Young London Olympic Volunteer Raymar

The Olympics was not just about athletes performing at the top of their game to break Olympic and World Records. It was also about showcasing London to the world.  At the front line of this showcase were the Olympic Volunteers, men and women who gave up their time to be on hand to provide amazing customer service to support the Games and provide visitors, athletes, the media and officials with the very best possible experience.

One of those volunteers was Young London’s very own Raymar Batten, here she tells me about her experience of working at the games.

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Tech Tuesday: Social Media Brand Failures

Waitrose is a company renowned for giving the best service out of all the supermarket heavyweights. Yet even companies as celebrated as Waitrose need only take a single step wrong for a wealth of unwanted attention to be showered down upon them.

Last summer Shell announced a new partnership with Waitrose, with two ‘Little Waitrose’ to feature on existing Shell Petrol forecourts. Some Waitrose customers are disappointed about this, because they feel Waitrose have positioned themselves as an ethical brand; Shell on the other hand often top the list of ‘least environmentally friendly’ companies.

Thoughts and opinions on ethical brands and partnerships aside, it is how Waitrose responded on social media sites today that has spurned criticism and unwanted attention. Read more of this post

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Tech Tuesday: Pinterest

Tech TuesdayLast year I discovered Pinterest, and realised it was exactly the type of social network that was missing from my life. I love pretty things, cool things, new things; from wanting cake pop decorating ideas (hello, muppets) to needing some infographic inspiration, Pinterest was the virtual pinboard I needed to visually save thoughts, ideas and inspirations.

Although initially the domain of soon-to-be brides, amateur bakers and beauty-holics, last week TechCrunch named Pinterest as the best new startup of 2011. Over the past week Pinterest related posts have popped up across the blogosphere, with every industry asking what Pinterest can do for them. At the beginning of January we created a Young London account, so here are a few ideas about what it can do for the property world… Read more of this post

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YODEL Doesn’t Deliver on Customer Service

Regular readers will know how pivotal customer service excellence is to our business model and despite being a daily focus for us, it’s been a while since I blogged about it.  Last time I shared my experiences of online retail giant ASOS’ customer service, and how traditional high-street retailer, Boots, knocked it into a cocked hat (yes, that’s a ‘Northern’ expression!).  The crux of that blog was that communication is key to delivering decent customer service.  Now, following a few weeks of stress from ‘YODEL’, I’m going to add another couple of watch-words to the list; RESPONSIBILITY and ACCOUNTABILITY.

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5 Great Things You Can Do On Linkedin

Tech TuesdayLinkedin has grown from an online network that was seen as the domain of recruiters to a social experience that meets the needs of everyone from the entrepreneur to the student and the small business.

Over time it has listened to users to improve their experience, and 2011 has seen a number of major and minor changes to the service. As a result, the number of new members is increasing, as is the time spent on the site by users.

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Following the Property Twitterati

Tech TuesdayTwitter is the initial source of all news, comment and opinion that reaches me. It might seem unrealistic to those not on Twitter that such a wealth of information and knowledge can be gleaned from a series of 140 character sentences, but last night while the London Riots were dominating the news I learnt more from Twitter than I did from the BBC, Sky News and the Guardian’s website combined.

I found tweeters in my local area disputing claims that the high street was being rioted, trying to spread the word as best they could to minimise panic and concern. I got to see images and videos documenting events that happened less than a minute before in Croydon, Clapham, Hackney and Lewisham. And this afternoon, 73,000 tweeters are now following the @RiotCleanUp account that is providing information about the most damaged areas and mobilising the London community into a clean-up team.

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My Job as Head of Fun

Science Museum Late Nights

Follow me on twitter! @younglondon

As part of my role within the communications team at Young Group, I have a rather unique alter-ego as the in-house Head of Fun. This part of my role is broadly split into two parts; finding fun and fabulous things to do in London and sourcing local offers and information, and then sharing those fun and quirky nuggets of information far and wide through social media.

I hunt down all that’s great about living in the capital – from one-off cultural events to the best places from which to watch the city pass by.  Quite a large number of our tenants are new to London, but are too busy with their new jobs to venture further out on random expeditions. By providing an insider’s ‘best bits of London’ they get tailored suggestions that help them to get the very most out of living in London; ideas for adventure in areas close to where they live.

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Tech Tuesday: LinkedIn

Tech TuesdayWhen I first learnt about LinkedIn, it was described by everyone I spoke to as ‘the facebook for business’. People still say it’s a ‘networking’ site by nature, and while it can generate new business and leads it has a much wider practical and marketing potential too.

Recently a lot of people I have spoken to in England have said they dislike it, because it’s filled with people they don’t like trying to ‘connect’ with them. As Ian touched upon in his QR codes blog, the UK is always a little while behind the US. Yet in May LinkedIn shares more than doubled in their debut on the New York Stock Exchange, so the likelihood is that in a years time every business will be managing their company page with the same veracity they are currently applying to their twitter profile.

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Social Media: Measuring Return on Engagement instead of ROI

The Real Cost of Social MediaTwo weeks ago I attended the annual Internet World exhibition, where ‘ engagement’ was the buzz word.

David Edmundson-Bird, Director of Executive Programmes at Manchester Metropolitan University, took it a step further in his lecture about emerging trends in digital marketing, asking whether we should measure return on engagement instead of investment when it comes to tracking social media success.

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Facebook: When is a Profile a Page?

Tech TuesdayF acebook was originally created by Mark Zuckerberg as a tool students at Harvard University could use to communicate with each other. The popularity of thefacebook (as it was then known) spread, but initially you could only join if you were a member of a recognised university, and then later a member of schools and organisations in English-speaking countries.

Once its popularity increased, it became a lot easier to get a facebook account. You no longer had to be affiliated to a school or university to get an account, and PR companies and businesses soon caught on that brands could become “people” and interact with a captive audience online.

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Goodbye MIPIM, Hello London

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My MIPIM 2011 is over, and I am back in the office. So, how was it?

As ever, there was the mix of seminars, networking, events and meeting people – some new, some from the past. Visitor numbers were up 6%, and there was an array of stands from lots of cities with

buildings planned dotted all over them.

The UK was the country of honour this year, although from what I saw this seemed to be re ad

as the Republic of London not the UK.

There seemed to be a realism around, that the market/lending environment has stabilised and it will stay at the current level for sometime – I tend to agree with this. Lenders were talking about lending on cashflow, so not the speculative lending of the past, but back to focusing on where the money will be coming from to pay the loans/bills. Not rocket science.

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Social Media and the Private Rented Sector

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It’s not a question of whether social media is an important tool for your company or the private rented sector in general. If social media is important to your customers or consumers, then it should be important to you.

So is social media important to your customers? Around one third of the British population is on facebook, with 5.3 million users living in London. Therefore if London habitants form part of your demographic, consider social media a set of tools that you must not blindly bypass.

It’s easier than ever to reach a large audience, but harder than ever to really connect with it.

Did You Know 4.0

Social media should be used in two ways – as a means of getting information into the public sphere, and as a way to build relationships that feel personal within the realm of the online world. Self-promotion is the reason behind the majority of forays into social media within a business context, but marketing yourself online involves a large degree of sensitivity. Starbucks do not interact with everyone who follows them on twitter or facebook as they can give away a cup of free coffee as an incentive for someone to ‘like’ them, actively using their product to promote their brand. However a social media strategy like theirs, one without a commitment to ongoing interaction with individual consumers, is a rare example of success and should not be seen as the norm. The reality for the private rented sector is that if you can’t offer a month’s unconditional free rent to everybody that ‘likes’ your facebook page and can only provide a branded pen as an incentive instead, ongoing communication and interaction is your best chance of securing fans online and in reality.

Simon Gordon, Head of External Relations at National Landlords Association, has also commented recently on the future of social media in the property industry.

We do use the social media at the NLA. Like many other organisations we have felt the need to embrace it and while we may not have got it all right we believe this is a powerful tool that cannot be ignored. We live in an age of almost instant communication and if the sector is to keep up with developments there is a role for social media. This is especially true of a sector like ours where there are reputational issues to be addressed and, at times, inaccurate perceptions to be corrected.

He raises an important point by suggesting that people use social media as a way to voice their complaints. Social media can provide a disgruntled customer with a very powerful tool, a loud voice that can travel across cities raising awareness to their cause. If you spend time monitoring feedback across social media platforms not only will you be provided with valuable customer feedback, you will also be in a position to cut negativity when it starts by contacting the disgruntled person immediately and providing them with the excellent service they desire.

Essentially, even a great social media strategy is likely to be worth little if the service or product you offer does not live up to expectations. Yet if your customer is important to you, communication is always key.

Suggested viewing

If you are still unconvinced about the power of social media this short video provides facts and figures illuminating just how many people use it and the numerous ways you can get involved.

Teaser: it took 38 years for radio, 13 years for television and 4 years for the internet to reach an audience of 50 million – it took facebook 2 years.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sIFYPQjYhv8]

(Watch on YouTube).

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