To the elusive Melanie, my WordPress… wait for it…

First supermarket staff became ‘Colleagues’, then (as this article in the Daily Mail explains) burger bar workers became ‘Mobile Sustenance Facilitators’ and school dinner ladies became ‘Education Centre Nourishment Consultants’. But in my opinion the latest email from WordPress tops them all – and there are TWO HUGE reasons why my husband and I are currently rolling around the floor laughing with irony… Continue reading “To the elusive Melanie, my WordPress… wait for it…”

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It’s not just about businesses offering indifferent service…

With the UK General Election looming it struck me that it is now TWO YEARS since I met up with my local MP to discuss improvements in mental health services for the over 18s with regard to the most deadly of all mental illnesses: Anorexia Nervosa. He promised to investigate what Parliament might be able to do about it and get back to me. I am still waiting… Continue reading “It’s not just about businesses offering indifferent service…”

There’s nothing like good old-fashioned ‘corner-shop service’

When I was a kid in the 1960s you could get anything and everything from your local shops, in our case a 20-minute walk away through Yorkshire suburbia. Nothing ever changed. There was Mr Blight the chemist and Mrs Dews who ran the post office plus umpteen other shop owners who were on first-name terms with my mum. Back home there was Mr Robinson who delivered fruit and veg on Friday evenings, Ben the milkman, ‘the whistling postman’, the Corona fizzy drinks man and the regular bakery van. On top of this was Willy, the small, thin man with learning difficulties, who delivered stuff for the local shops on his bicycle. Plus, we lived opposite Mr and Mrs Dunbar who ran the local newspaper shop and Mr and Mrs Plummer who owned the carpet store. Shopping was very much a social experience for my mum. The store owners couldn’t do enough to be friendly and helpful. Continue reading “There’s nothing like good old-fashioned ‘corner-shop service’”

Freelance copywriter? Clients to avoid. #4 The Hunter Gatherer.

The Hunter Gatherer is a bit like the Dirty Tricks Co except that I’m not entirely convinced he or she is gathering free advice deliberately. As a freelance copywriter I am more than willing to share my knowledge and offer advice… up to a limit. However hours and hours on the phone over a period of weeks, months or even years (as has been the case with some Hunter Gatherers!) is probably a tad over and above this limit. Especially if they never give you any paid work. Continue reading “Freelance copywriter? Clients to avoid. #4 The Hunter Gatherer.”

Freelance copywriter? Clients to avoid. #3 The Dirty Tricks Co.

The Dirty Tricks Co may have a very pleasant marketing director who will get in touch with you with great news: the company is about to revamp a shedload of its marketing material – websites, brochures, technical leaflets, sales letters, PR, the lot – and they’d like you to be the freelance copywriter to handle it. Could you come along to a briefing meeting at their premises two hours’ drive away on Tuesday? In the meantime, here’s a mass of background information plus briefing documents. If you could have a thorough read through before you arrive then that would be simply splendid. So you put aside a morning to read and digest the documentation and a further afternoon to drive over for this promising meeting with the marketing team and MD. Continue reading “Freelance copywriter? Clients to avoid. #3 The Dirty Tricks Co.”

When your customers call you – what happens BEFORE they get put through to your staff?

A heck of a lot has been said about the irritating ‘Press 1 for this, press 2 for that’ kind of response when you call a company. Or the even more irritating ‘We’re sorry we’re unable to take your call at the moment, please wait until an operator becomes available’ plus the ‘Your call is valuable to us’ kind of tat. (If it was that valuable they would go out of their way to answer it first time round, hey…) But what about the other irritating things that put customers off when they call you and which could lose you important business? Continue reading “When your customers call you – what happens BEFORE they get put through to your staff?”

Customer retention: don’t make promises you’re not going to keep

No-one knows exactly how much more it costs to obtain new customers than to retain existing customers; the Institute of Marketing has dug out several statistics that range from three to 30 times more (see this PDF). But whatever the cost, the fact is that it is more costly to acquire new customers than it is to keep your current customers happy. I’ve already noted that business indifference is the biggest reason why customers don’t come back, but yesterday I experienced another one: Making promises that you’re not going to keep. Continue reading “Customer retention: don’t make promises you’re not going to keep”

Why customers don’t come back, and why I – as a customer – don’t (and do) come back

Jeremy Vine on BBC Radio 2 has just announced that, in today’s show, he will be discussing Tesco’s annual loss of well over £5 billion, one of the biggest ever reported in UK corporate history, according to Sky News. So I googled ‘Why customers don’t come back’ and came across this great article by Allan Baylis, (world class speaker, author of The Magic Bullet and an international business consultant). As you can see, there are several reasons why customers don’t come back, one of which is because they’ve sadly died (hopefully not as a result of your product or service!). But the reason why, according to this article, ‘around 68% of your customers don’t come back because they perceive an attitude of indifference from you, or someone in your organization’. Continue reading “Why customers don’t come back, and why I – as a customer – don’t (and do) come back”

Three of my Dream Clients: what do they have in common?

My last three copywriting jobs have been for three of my Dream Clients. Basically, as a freelance copywriter, I would do whatever it takes to produce great copywriting for each of these organisations. Indeed copywriting for these clients is more like a relaxing vacation than hard graft. And I want to hang onto my Dream Clients for as long as I possibly can. So what do these particular three have in common? Continue reading “Three of my Dream Clients: what do they have in common?”