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Break Your Own Rules

I had a couple of great little customer service experiences recently that I’d like to share. On both occasions the employee admitted breaking the rules.  They had done something that I , the customer , thought was great service. But it was against the practices or policies as applied by their own managers. See what you ...

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Social Media: A Trust Thing

I’m lucky. I’m part of an organisation where everyone has access to social media. Anyone can set up a Facebook or Twitter account. Anyone can blog. Without restriction. No Policy. One Rule – “If you wouldn’t say it out loud in the cafe area – don’t put it on social media.” So it’s shocking to ...

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Disrupt your Industry. Or be Disrupted.

A customer called us recently. His call was answered really quickly. A repair was needed to his home. His problem was diagnosed with just a couple of questions. He was given a time and date for the repair. He was told it would be in two weeks time  – a part was needed that wasn’t in stock. ...

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Young People are not the problem. But Employers often are.

The other day I was sitting with my colleague , James Walsh , and a Recruitment Consultant – talking about the difficulties of employing young people.  And how employers , and outdated recruitment practices,  are all too often part of the problem. Unintelligible jobs descriptions. Never giving candidates any feedback. Lack of mentoring. The insistence on applying 20th ...

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Is expecting a contribution to community such a bad thing?

Yesterday ,on the  Guardian Housing Network , I asked whether it’s right that a Housing Association should expect a resident to make some sort of contribution to the community they move into. That we expect , as the default position , that everyone makes 5% extra effort to help their new community be the best it ...

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Listen to customers. But don’t feel you have to do what they say…..

“Do your customers agree with what you are proposing?” was one of the questions our Board asked me this week. My response went something like this: “I don’t know. We’ve listened to what they have told us. We’ve observed how they find things difficult to use. And then we’ve tried to create something they will ...

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It’s all about people…….

Yesterday I blogged on the dangers of just talking about what you do ,rather than what you actually change. Today I saw a lovely poem – on our internal social network. It’s written by one of our “Opportunities 4 Employment” customers. O4E is a 6-month paid placement aimed at offering people an apprenticeship and a ...

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What do you do again?

I work for a Housing Association. We build homes and we house people. And I dread people asking me what I do for a living. If you work in the same profession, or any other that doesn’t instantly ignite animated conversation , you will know The Tumbleweed Moment. That moment , those uncomfortable seconds of ...

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It’s our Birthday – Top Learnings of Bromford Social Media Year One

Last night – at our Board – the Chair opened the meeting with a question that I was utterly unprepared for. “Does anyone have an objection to people tweeting during this meeting? As long as they keep the comments relevant to the items being discussed?”. A couple of eyebrows were raised. But nobody objected. This ...

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Two things you can’t say on Twitter…..

There are two opinions that are definite no-go zones amongst the liberal left twitterati. Opinions that , if you were to express them openly , could see you banished to the most remote, uninhabited and hostile parts of the social media planet.(Linkedin…..or even worse, Google+) What are they? 1 – Saying you think the NHS ...

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