What makes a great customer service experience is when a sales associate goes above and beyond to ensure a customer is satisfied. I recently experienced this type of service when I went shopping at my local mall for an airline messenger bag.
When I entered the store I browsed their selection and eventually asked the sales associate if they had the specific bag I was looking for in stock. She told me that they sold out since it was one of their best selling bags. The sales associate told me that my best bet was to go to the Lacoste at Yorkdale Mall since they had a larger store, thus a larger stock selection.
I asked her if she could double check with the store just to make sure they had the bag in stock at Yorkdale before I headed there. She agreed and called them for me. After she spoke with a sales representative at the other store, she told me that they only had one left and she asked them to keep the bag on hold for me.
I made my way to the other location and was greeted by a sales associate upon entering the store. At the cashier desk I asked for the bag that they kept on hold for me. The sales associate asked me to wait while she brought the bag out from the stockroom. When she came back, she had the airline messenger bag I was looking for.
She gave me a brief explanation about the material of the bag, including how to care for it. She also told me that it was their last bag and was on sale for 30% off. I decided to purchase the bag and after that purchase I was very satisfied with how smoothly the process went and how helpful the sales associates were.
Do you remember a shopping experience where the sales associate ensured your satisfaction? Share it in the comments section.
Through the eyes of Kevin...
Although there are multiple ways to purchase flight tickets, the most common method is through online websites. Once people solidify their travel dates, they choose to book their flights in advance to ensure that they’ll get to choose from a variety of routes for the most affordable fares.
There are some online flight sites that may be a bit overwhelming and confusing especially to new users. I was once helping my mom buy flight tickets from a travel website. Once we had selected our flight route, seating and completed the purchase, we realized that the price was not in Canadian dollars but U.S. Dollars, meaning the price was a bit more than we had expected.
I found it shocking how unclear this had been on the website. Other travel websites made it clear whether or not you were purchasing in Canadian or U.S. dollars. You can't take a site at face value. Just because it looks user friendly does not mean it's without its flaws.
Having information presented in an organized manner is vital to attracting customers. It has become even more important today as websites offer a wide range of information and resources to attract their target market. For websites to be user friendly, it is important that sections and categories are carefully presented in a way that is simple for customer usage. Since travel websites specifically display a lot of information, it’s important for the developers to think from the perspective of the users.
Through the eyes of Kevin...
When I’m in the mood for something other than the meager food supply I have in my cupboard at home I go to a nearby food plaza that sells subway sandwiches. It’s my favourite restaurant, specifically due to the employee’s ability to maintain my customer loyalty.
When I walked into the restaurant a few days ago, the restaurant employee called me by name and asked if I would like my usual sub: A pizza sub toasted with Swiss cheese. I said yes and he began preparing my sub. He didn’t have to ask about the type of bread or toppings. When the employee completed the sub, he folded the bread closed and used a knife to cut the sub in half, wrapping it up in wrapping paper. The employee asked me if I would like to pay with my credit card, which I did, as I always do. He didn’t even have to ask me if I preferred my sub “to-go”, saving time for me by placing my sub in a bag.
It’s the simple gestures like this that make me continue to return to this restaurant. It leaves me with the impression that this subway restaurant cares enough about me to not only know who I am but also my preferences.
If you’ve experienced great service that impressed you, share it in the comments.
Through the eyes of Suzy...
Everyone dreams about traveling and exploring new cities around the world. Leaving their current life behind, they fantasize about being carefree and stress-free. Other than the obvious reason of wanting to escape the endless amount of work hours and stress of every day life, why else do people want to travel? Here are five reasons why:
1. It's a new challenge: What's better than leaving your comfort zone and taking on a new challenge? Many people love to face and enjoy the challenges of traveling in a new place. For people who are drowning in routine life, traveling may seem like a good idea.
2. You get to learn about yourself: If you are never put in a position that forces you to think on your feet and protect yourself, you will never know how independent you can be on your own. When traveling, you become very self-aware and self-sufficient.
3. You realize how big the world is: You know how sometimes you feel as if you know enough in your life? For instance, I felt that way after I finished my university final exams. After studying for accounting and finance exams, I felt as if I knew enough things to last me months... until I began traveling during the summer and realized that academic knowledge is nothing compared to the things I can learn while exploring the world. Whenever you travel, you realize how big the world is and how small you are in comparison.
4. It gives you stories to tell: Traveling makes it extremely easy to grab the interest of people when you meet new people. When you have countless unusual stories from your traveling days, it becomes a piece of cake to sound interesting!
5. It widens your understanding of other cultures: You may be well-aware of other cultures out there, but you won't truly experience it until you are a part of it. If you travel to Korea for instance, you will be in awe of the cultural difference and food choices. Even if you travel within a country, you can still experience the smaller things that other people appreciate in other places.
Through the eyes of Amy...
1. Jack-o-Lantern Luminaria: Get a piece of transparent paper, draw on some spooky face designs on it, use tape to create a cylinder, and place a push light inside of the cylinder for a mess-free, spooky decoration!
2. Spooky Silhouettes:On black paper, cut out a silhouette and glue it onto a piece of white or orange paper. To complete this decoration, frame it!
3. Candy Garlands:For this decoration, get a bunch of wrapped candies and staple the ends of the wrappers together. The best part of this decoration is that it would be create a delicious time while cleaning up after Halloween.
4. Dripping Pumpkins:Do not have time to carve out a jack-o-lantern? Then simply take some red acrylic paint and drizzle it onto the pumpkin. Do not forget to do this over some paper, as it may get messy.
5. Glass Eyes: Gather some clear cabochons, and print out or draw some spooky-looking eyes on some paper. Cut those eyes designs out, and use some glue to stick your designs onto the flat side of the cabochon. Now, your guests’ blood will run cold whenever those eyes fall upon them.
Through the eyes of Suzy...
STEP 1: GATHER YOUR MATERIALS
All you need to do to get started on this lantern is:
2-4 cleaned, empty tin cans (you can use any size)
an assortment of nails (for larger or smaller holes)
colorful permanent markers
paper, pencil, masking tape, scissors (if you plan to use a pattern)
STEP 2: CLEAN AND FREEZE
Gather the used tin cans, remove the labels, and clean them thoroughly. Fill each can with water and freeze them overnight until solid. The ice will stabilize the can and prevent it from cracking or bending when you punch in holes later.
STEP 3: DESIGN YOUR PUNCH GRAPHIC
Decide on a design for your tin cans. Draw the pattern out on a piece of graph paper and tape it to the can as a guide or you can freehand a design.
STEP 4: PUNCH OUT YOUR PATTERN
Using a folded towel, cradle the frozen tin can and position a sharp, narrow nail above each mark on your pattern and gently tap it 3 to 4 times with a hammer until the you make a pattern on the tin can.
STEP 5: REMOVE THE ICE BLOCK
Rinse the can under a hot tap until the ice block pops out and allow the can to dry.
STEP 6: ADD SOME COLOR
To add color to the new punched-tin lantern you can create a variety of fun, shiny designs by simply using colorful permanent markers.
STEP 7: LIGHT ‘EM UP!
Drop in some lighted votive candles, enjoy the fun, flickering patterns cast by your new handmade lanterns! Be sure to place the lanterns on a fire-safe surface as the candles can get hot.
Through the eyes of Suzy…
Sometimes, we all need a little motivation to keep moving forward. The easiest way to be inspired is to read quotations that you can relate to or want to be able to relate to. Here are my personal 10 favourite quotes of all time:
1. Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.
2. Create what sets your heart on fire and it will illuminate the path ahead.
3. My goal isn't to wear brands. It's to become one.
4. Unless we push beyond what we can currently do, we will not progress.
5. If you are persistent, you will get it. If you are consistent, you will keep it.
6. If you don't go after what you want, you'll never have it. If you don't ask, the answer is always no. If you don't step forward, you're always in the same place.
7. Your present circumstances don't determine where you can go; they merely determine where you start.
8. To change your life, you need to change your priorities.
9. You must have long term goals to keep you from being frustrated by short term failures.
10. Be picky with who you invest your time in. Wasted time is worse than wasted money.
I find that the best time to look at these quotations is right after you wake up. The temptation of relaxing on your bed with soft pillows and blankets can be strong; reading these quotations will help motivate you to get out of bed. Additionally, you can read them during your commute to school, work, or wherever else you are traveling to.
How to use coconut oil this summer
Do you ever wonder if there is a miracle product that can pretty much do anything in terms of beauty? Well, coconut oil is exactly what you are looking for. From lotion to makeup remover to hair treatment to cuticle care, coconut oil can do anything that you want it to do. Here are numerous ways of using coconut oil:
1. Use it as a hair mask: You can either apply coconut oil directly to your hair (from root to tip) or mix it with other natural ingredients known to be good for hair. Coconut oil is quickly absorbed into human hair, making it one of the most effective natural ways of moisturizing it. Simply apply, leave it on for around 30 minutes, wash like you normally would, and enjoy the best hair of your lifetime.
2. Use it to remove makeup: Although applying oil to your face seems odd, it can be extremely beneficial if you use the right kind. Not only does it effectively remove makeup from your face, it also gently moisturizes your skin, making it unnecessary for the skin to produce extra sebum on your face.
3. Use it to clean makeup brushes: Mix coconut oil with antibacterial soap to completely clean makeup brushes and make them good as new.
4. Use it to take care of cuticles: Applying coconut oil to cuticles can make nails extremely strong and healthy. If you like to apply lots of nail polish frequently, you will definitely benefit from this method.
5. Use it moisturize your body and face: Like I mentioned before, coconut oil can be an effective gentle moisturizer. Your skin will be soft, glowy, and smooth after you use it as lotion.
6. Use it as deodorant: This one is a bit odd, but it works! You can either apply it straight to your armpits or mix it with arrowroot and shea butter to make a deodorant mixture.
7. Make an exfoliator: You probably heard of honey and brown sugar mixture. But have you heard of brown sugar and coconut oil? It's more effective because it's not sticky like honey and it's more moisturizing because of the coconut oil.
8. Use it as lipbalm: The simplest way of using coconut oil is to apply directly to your lips as a lip balm. It will make it extremely smooth and soft.
Now you know how coconut oil can be used for pretty much anything. If you are thinking about purchasing it, make sure you buy the raw, organic, non-processed coconut oil – not the one that contains chemicals and other substances.
Through the eyes of Suzy...
I'm pretty sure a good amount of people are aware of social media and its growing influence on customer relationship management. Big corporations have been utilizing social media to directly communicate with their customers and so far, it has been very effective! Whether customers make positive or negative comments on social media, companies can instantly check the message and reply efficiently, improving the relationship with the commentator. To the customer, it may be about getting a response from an actual human representative, but to the company, it is much more than that.
Interacting with customers on social media can positively impact the company in a variety of ways. The most obvious one being improved reputation and image. Social media is a virtual space in which millions of people can view and comment on big corporations. If the company does a good job in managing relationships with commentators and followers, it will create a reputation of having good customer service. Second, it can increase the engagement and exposure on the media. With more people communicating with the company, the higher the engagement rate will be for the company. And with more engagement, the more exposure it will have in terms of public relations. Now, this is where the plan can backfire. If a customer complains or negatively comments about the company and it fails to politely fix the situation, the whole problem can blow up on the media in a bad way. Screenshots of the conversation between the company and customer will go up every single social media platform and there will be no escape from it – which is why it's so important to know how to properly manage relationships on social media. On the bright side, another benefit of social media is the inexpensive cost. Any company can whip up an account and start promoting its services and products! Of course there may be extra costs for better benefits, but the basic services are relatively inexpensive.
Now looking at all the companies engaging in social media, it is clear as to why they do it. The benefits exceed the cons by so much! If you are thinking of starting a business, definitely look into social media customer relationship management.
Many people think that baking is time consuming and messy, and generally it is! However, for those who are too busy, uninterested, or short for time, I created these 5 quick and simple recipes, all with 4 ingredients or less, that take under 30 minutes to make. Enjoy!
Apple Pie Bites
- Pisburry Crescent Dough
- Melted butter
- Brown sugar
- Apple slices
Separate crescent roll pieces, combine melted butter and brown sugar, spread mixture over each crescent roll piece, place apple piece at the bottom of the triangle, roll up. Bake at 350 for 10 mins.
- Store bought puff pastry
- Soft butter
- Brown sugar
Unroll Crescent Dough without separating pieces, spread butter over rectangular dough, sprinkle generously with sugar and cinnamon, roll into cylinder shape, cut into 10 equal pieces, bake at 350 for 15 minutes. Feel free to top with icing!
- Pisburry Crescent Dough
- Marinara sauce
Separate crescent roll pieces, spread marinara over each crescent roll piece, layer on cheese and pepperoni, roll up, bake at 350 for 10 mins.
- Store bough phylo pastry
- Brie cheese
- Fig jam
Line a muffin tin with phylo pastry dough, bake at 350 for 5 minutes, remove from oven, fill cups with fig jam, Brie and prosciutto, bake all together for another 5 minutes at 350.
S'mores Pie Pops
- store bought pie crust dough
- Milk Chocolate Bar
- mini marshmallows
- beaten egg white
Cut pie crust dough into long rectangles, cover half of each rectangle with chocolate and marshmallows, fold other half of dough on top of filling and pinch sides shut, brush beaten egg white on top of each mini pie, bake for 15 minutes at 350.
$8 Vodka shots? $9 Tequila shots?
After just over an hour at a club or a bar, you can easily spend over $50 as you recklessly drink shots after shots, most of which seem heavily diluted. If you are like me, a very price-conscious person, dropping a $50 at a club or a bar is not easy to do. However, the temptation is damning, I must say. For those of us who want to enjoy a night out with our friends with lots of drinks minus the empty wallet, here is a list of my Top 4 affordable bars in Toronto:
1. Sneaky Dee's: Crazy graffiti on the wall, cheap drinks, live indie rock band, and a chill atmosphere are all part of the experience at Sneaky Dee's. It is easily a fun place to check out after a night out or to go grab some breakfast the morning after
2. Imperial Pub: This pub is more for the older customers looking for cheap drinks. You can choose from a wide range of draft beers and listen to live music.
3.Communist's Daughter: Cozy and quaint, this bar is a favorite of many locals. It is a very small bar, fitting approximately 40 people maximum. The place is decorated like an old bar from the 80's and is a very friendly environment with the bartender occasionally playing music with his band, serving drinks in-between verses.
4. The Labyrinth Lounge: The Lab is a go-to place for students looking for cheap drinks and a place to dance with good music. Drinks are as cheap as $3 a shot, with a variety of alcohol to choose from other than beer.