Archive for September 12th, 2012




\Teen earns Ontario Junior Citizen nomination

Every aspect of a business is governed by communication. Effective communication between the executive and those that do the work is essential to ensure that the right work is being done. Every business must be able to communicate with its customers. A lack of communications skills can affect the bottom line. How often does your interaction with a company’s call centre drive you to the opposition? Never underestimate the importance of communication skills in business.

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Communication in business takes place on a number of levels.

Communication between the business and the outside world is of prime importance. Effective communication with clients is one of the keys to keeping a business alive. Without its clients, a business has no reason to exist. Only a monopoly with ‘captive clients’ can sustain itself without effective external communication.

Client communication begins with marketing. Marketing lays the foundation of a business’s communication with its clients. Marketing is the ability to communicate the benefits of the products and services that a business offers. It establishes the image of the organisation, and creates an element of public trust in the organisation.

The sales force provides the next level of client communication. The sales force must be able to represent the company and its products accurately to potential clients. A failure on the sales front can cause irreparable damage to the business.

Many companies fail on the third level of client communication. The call centre is often the first line of support for a company’s products. Often too little time and effort is invested in the call centre. All too often call centre consultants are under-trained, incompetent or lacking in motivation and commitment. The call-centre is the business’s window to the world. A good call centre consultant is able to retain a client even where past service has been bad. A bad consultant can lose almost any client!

Also in the realm of communication with the outside world is communication with stakeholders, other businesses and the media. These areas of communication are crucial. Appropriate communication skills are required to represent the company to the world through the media. Stakeholders may include shareholders, government and other interested parties.

From time to time it may be necessary to use other businesses to provide services for the company. In a typical scenario, a firm of consultants is brought in to achieve specific objectives. Three years and many millions

Election prognosticators point to a few familiar indicators in concluding that President Barack Obama’s chances of winning a second term right now aren’t so great. No president since World War II has won re-election with unemployment above 7.2%. Last month it sat at 8.6%.

But pollsters say mood can matter even more than cold statistics as voters ask themselves: Are things getting better? Some tentative signs of improvement are sprouting in several electoral swing states, maybe just in time to give Mr. Obama a lift. Of the 12 states notching the best employment gains over the past year, six are …

Newspaper advertising is the top source that consumers turn to for making shopping and purchasing decisions, according to a survey conducted for the Newspaper Association of America by Frank N. Magid Associates.

The study titled “How America Shops and Spends 2011,” found that 79 percent of adults said they “took action” as a result of newspaper advertising in the past month including clipping a coupon (54%), making a purchase (46%), visiting a website to learn more (37%), and trying something for the first time (20%).
Newspaper-Ads

“This important new research reaffirms the power of newspaper advertising to engage consumers and drive them to take action,” said NAA President and CEO John Sturm.

“More than all other media, adults continue to turn to newspapers to inform shopping decisions that lead to purchases. They are an opt-in media in an opt-out world, making newspaper advertising an ideal and effective choice for advertisers who want to reach consumers ready to shop and spend.”

Advertising on local newspaper websites ranked second (behind only e-mailed store or product information) among online options for advertising sources, beating general interest websites, paid ads that appear on the right side of the search engines , ads on social network pages, and ads on mobile devices.

The study found that other media trailed behind newspapers as the main source for checking advertising. he closest competitor – the Internet – trailed newspapers by seven percentage points (35 percent vs. 28 percent) Direct mail received a 12 percent response, and television was cited by nine percent of respondents.

Other highlights from the study include:

*More than half of all adults (52 percent) identify newspapers as the medium they use to help plan shopping or make purchase decisions.

*Almost three-fourths (72 percent) of all adults regularly or occasionally read newspaper preprints; For Sunday inserts, this figure increases to 90 percent of all adults. Over the course of 30 days, 8 in 10 adults (79 percent) acted on newspaper preprint advertising.

*Nearly four-in-10 (38 percent) adults who identify themselves as newspaper “non-readers” recalled other forms of engagement in the past week, including checking sales in local stores, clipping coupons, comparing prices, checking movie or TV listings and classifieds.

Introduction.
I have been asked to produce a short report that can be used to demonstrate to the board of directors that improving customer service is an excellent way of improving takings.   My report has to include the following:
. The role of a supervisor in delivering customer service,
. The impact of excellent customer service on how your team works and the positive benefits       to the hotel, team and customers on delivering customer service,
. How delivering excellent service can support up-selling and add on-selling,
. How we are to monitor service delivery.

Research Customer service. What does it mean?  
.                   Customer service according to the dictionary means:  
“Assistance and other resources that a company provided to the people who buy or use its products or services.”                                                                                  

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                  (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/customer+service)
  .                 Customer service according to Turban el al (2002)
“Customer service is a series of activities designed to enhance the level of customer satisfaction – that is, the feeling that a product or service has met the customer expectation”
(Turban, Efraim (2002). Electronic Commerce: A Managerial Perspective. Prentice Hall.)
Customer service is the provision of service to customers before, during and after a purchase.
Customer service begins with you. Hiring and retaining service-minded people and properly training them to provide excellent service is a good start, but don’t stop there. Conduct customer surveys to find out how you’re doing, and then tailor your service to meet their expectations. Bad service, including seemingly small things such as the way an employee answers the telephone, can devastate a small business. Check in occasionally and use meetings, memos and incentives to make sure your employees are doing their best for your business. A friendly, pleasant…

NOMINEE.

Gravenhurst’s Jessie Lou Helmkay has been nominated for the Ontario Junior Citizen of the Year award. Up to 12 final recipients chosen as Ontario Junior Citizens of the Year will be announced on Friday at www.ocna.org.

Photo by Allyson Snelling

GRAVENHURST — A Gravenhurst youth who has been described as a born leader with a zest for life has earned an Ontario Junior Citizen of the Year nomination.

At 13 years of age, Jessie Lou Helmkay is a role model for her peers and leads by example, said her mother Cathy Tait, who nominated Jessie Lou for the award.

“Jessie’s own personal drive for success results in her continuing to go above and beyond at school,” Tait said

The teen is a solid grade A student, added Tait. “Jessie’s enthusiasm at school is infectious and she motivates her peers to achieve high performance and enhance projects and presentations using creativity and drama.”

Jessie Lou is a Grade 8 student at Muskoka Beechgrove Public School where she has been involved with the school’s student government for four years — as a class representative and last year as minister of the environment.

With a flair for drama, Jessie Lou has been a strong cast member in three school plays and also performed in community theatrical productions Scrooge and Alice in Wonderland.

For more than five years, the teen also used her dramatic side while volunteering in the Muskoka Steamship and Historical Society’s pirate cruises. Every Sunday over the summer months, Jessie Lou could be found playing the role of her alter ego “Tea Bags,” and more recently she became a junior helper with events at Muskoka Boat & Heritage Centre.

Jessie Lou spent last summer volunteering as a camp counsellor at Santa’s Village because she was too young for employment. Despite her age, she has been praised for her maternal instincts and aspires to help children.

“I want to be a pediatrician,” she said, adding she also hopes to continue acting.

Tait said she does not drive her daughter to succeed, Jessie Lou chooses to do so on her own.

“Jessie decides to take part in as many activities as possible and also strives to be the very best at everything she attempts,” said Tait. “Her academic commitment is driven internally and she believes that there is nothing she can’t achieve if she puts her mind to it.”

In a supporting nomination form, Muskoka Beechgrove Public School Grade 7/8 teacher Lisle Terry agreed Jessie Lou is a deserving candidate for the award.

As a volunteer, Jessie Lou spent four years donating her recess time to sort recyclable materials from the various classrooms. She has supervised kindergarten classrooms during snack times for five years and has also volunteered in the library and as a floor hockey referee.

“In addition to all of Jessie Lou’s volunteer contributions, she can always be counted on to contribute positively to class discussions and puts forth 110 per cent when completing assignments, often looking for ways to extend her learning and challenge herself independently.”

Jessie Lou’s commitment to the environment is also evident as she has initiated programs like Lights Out, which encourages teachers to use fewer lights in the classroom. She has also worked toward maintaining school and class temperatures to conserve energy.

Other relatives including Marilyn Helmkay, Pamela Tait and Tom Batstone supported the nomination. Letters of support were also sent by Beechgrove teacher Peter Yungblut, Muskoka Boat & Heritage Centre operations manager Ann Curley, and Santa’s Village day camp coordinator Sarah North-Harris.

“I was kind of surprised by the nomination because I hadn’t heard about the award,” Jessie Lou said in an interview. “I feel proud to know that people thought of me to get something like this.”

Sponsored by TD Canada Trust, Direct Energy and coordinated by the Ontario Community Newspapers Association (OCNA), the junior citizen award recognizes young people across the province who make life better for others by doing more than expected of someone that age.

The nomination period closed at the end of November, and Jessie Lou was the only nominee for South Muskoka. Up to 12 final recipients chosen as Ontario Junior Citizens of the Year will be announced on Friday at www.ocna.org.

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