Tag Archive: review


It’s a Rebirth

Hello my friends,

We have moved! This blog is now at http://corvedacosta.com

I am so excited about it. In a few days, all the readers will be redirected from this site (wordpress.com) to the official Corve DaCosta Blog at http://corvedacosta.com

Hope you will join me. See you there.

Could you do me a favor please? If I appear in your blog roll could you edit the link to say http://corvedacosta.com

That would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you.

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What is customer service?

Really, what is customer service? Because I am getting to think some companies do not understand the concept and can’t deliver it. An easy definition of customer service is treating your customer well. Ahhh, yes we can agree with that but just treating your customers well is not good enough. We need companies to go beyond treating their customers well.

Customer service in 2010 is a function of how well an organization is able to constantly and consistently exceed the needs of the customer. If a business today is not able to compete on customer service delivery then it makes no sense entering the business world. The company would have missed the point and focus of what companies should deliver to their customers. Firms today display on huge scrolls their mission statements and vision statements in their establishments. They express how wonderful the customer is but somehow their delivery does not match up with the words.

On Wednesday March 3, 2010, my friend purchased two slices of cakes from Pastry Passions. They have outlets in Manor Park and Liguanea, all located in Kingston, Jamaica. Later on, I opened the package, everything looks presentable, glanced a bit; it looked good so I began to partake. After eating two pieces I noticed that there was plastic below the icing. I thought to myself “this isn’t right?” I have never purchased a cake and seen plastic below the icing. After some investigations, I learnt that they use the plastic to retain the moisture. It is used for cakes like black forests – the one we bought. Clearly the individual who applied the icing forgot to take off the plastic.

I recognized then that this must have been a genuine mistake. I can’t fathom a pastry outlet of the repute like Pastry Passions making this mistake.

In a situation like this you either accept the mistake and the disservice as normal or you report the situation. It is sad that I was willing to condone and accept this mediocre service delivery from a company when you have paid a nice chunk for a slice of cake. Many customers share this profile though. When something in the service delivery goes wrong they accept the wrong actions by the company as normal when it is not. We need to reach a level where actions like these don’t go unreported. We were so lackadaisical about it that I was able to convince my friend to eat the cake.

However, he decided to call Pastry Passions to report the case so that they were aware of the matter and that no one would be harmed. It would be sad and a bad tale to have a child swallow a piece of that plastic on the cake.

During the conversation, the representative from the company becomes irate. Not over the fact that this incident could have happened at Pastry Passions but was angry that the person reporting the matter had an attitude. This is a blatant violation and a health risk that could bring the store closed and you are giving the customer an attitude. I was upset because I expected better from Pastry Passions. They are all over the Jamaican media telling how good their cakes are blah blah blah. Truth be told, they aren’t that good. Even their presentation sucks because the cakes on display are messed up, the icing does not hold up. So when people can see flaws in your product and still have the guts to handle it and purchase your goods, giving an attitude should be the last thing on your mind. To bring everything home, honey, this was not a normal entry level employee dishing the attitude and insolent behaviour this is from one of the managers.

And that is the saddest part of the story. That a manager, who we will assume should know better, could have done this.

The night got better though. The cakes were returned. While in the Manor Park outlet of Pastry Passions the other manager stormed in, was angry that this situation all had happened. She apologized and it was accepted.

Customer service in Jamaica is at its lowest point. I think we have low regards for customers because as a people we have no respect for people. There are a few good people left. I wrote a blog post months ago that spoke about this topic. In it I shared great experiences I had, so I know great customer service delivery can be reached. It is not hard, it is not a stretch out of our imagination. We don’t have to wait until we reach on an airplane to enjoy it. Customer service should be like breathing, it’s that easy.

When I left school I was employed with the marketing firm and through another private sector firm was offering free customer service training. You need to read that again, free customer service training for their staff. All I had to do was to call up the companies and share the good news of free customer service with them and ask if they were interested. Would you believe that some companies turned the offer down? This training was not mediocre customer service training. They were getting training materials that they could keep all for free. I had managers on the telephone attempting to convince me that their staff does not need customer service training. I also want to share that the training sessions I did companies were surprised of the quality, the technique I used and some expressed I should continue. I am passionate about customer service. Three companies can be selling the same thing but what makes you stand out is how you treat your customers when they walk through your doors.

Do you say “May I help you?” in a dry tone, or

You walk over with a smile and say “Good morning, how are you?” (Wait for a response)

“I see you’re looking at jeans pants, what size are you looking for?”

I should not be shopping and screaming on top of my lungs “HELP”.

Customer service is something you either have it or you don’t. If you don’t have it, pray that you’ll get it. Because we are at a stage where if you ignore it, another company might steal your idea and do a better job at it. Do you have it? Customer service is history, it is in the past. Today, as customers we seek customer empathy. If the manager on the phone, got apologetic and really expressed his dissatisfaction with what his company did we would feel better to consume there again. With the way he handled the situation I am not sure I want to look through their panes anymore. Customer empathy is showing your customer how much you care about them. Because they would have cared a lot before to have reported how bad they feel.

Tips on providing great customer service/empathy

  1. Do not take criticism personally.
  2. Listen to the customer.
  3. Acknowledge that your company did something wrong
  4. If it is the company’s fault fix it.
  5. Do everything with a calm voice, mixed with a smile. It will go a far way.
  6. Never forget to make it up to the customer. Provide free service/gifts, because you want to retain this person.

Happy Valentine’s Day

To all of you!

Happy Valentine’s Day

It is a day officially for lovers. However, we are going to change that and spread a little more love today to all the people we come in contact with. Love is not all about being intimate and cozy with the one you love but it is also about sharing your life and giving of your best to he many people we see and communicate with on a daily basis.

Today let us all rekindle the fire of love where if I see you doing something wrong, love can correct it. It is love that makes me smile with you on a bad day or even when you have hurt others. Love is unconditional, not only desired in certain circumstances.

This is dedicated to all the lovers out there.

Let us use Valentine’s Day to love a little more. Rekindle the love today.

Photos from Craig Bloomfield. Click photos to reach to his blog.

Photos from Craig A Bloomfield.

Photos from Craig A Bloomfield

And The Award Goes to –

I have been awarded two more awards for which I am grateful for. Blogging colleagues William and Jingle awarded me the following blogs.

I am happy to receive these awards. I normally visit blogs (and that’s a lot) and I see some of these awards established to the side of the page. I normally look on and ponder on when I would receive them. I will accept these blog awards with a grateful heart and this is for all the readers who click on this blog and enjoy it. You have made it what it is.

Ten things that make me happy:

1. Watching Beyonce Videos

2. Gospel Music

3. Inspirational Music

4. Blogging, reading blogs

5. Watching Movies

6. Having fun time with Friends

7. Fashion – window shopping, shopping

8. Politics

9. Marketing and Advertising

10. Making people feel happy.

Stay tuned to this blog. Subscribe to the blog and watch out for many more posts.

Sunshine Award

In blogging being recognized in anyway is always a good thing. I was clicking away as usual and popped up on these two fantastic blogs: Tasneen over at Laugh Hard and Doraz at Believe in Yourself who awarded me the Sunshine Award.

I have to pass it on. Here are some blogs I visit regularly.

Great articles       http://craigabloomfield.wordpress.com/

Politics                   http://emptysuit.wordpress.com/

Japanese Fan      http://www.jamaipanese.com/

Blind as a Bat     http://blindasabat-beth.blogspot.com/

Joey’s Pad          http://llcooljoe01.blogspot.com/

Insights & Laughs  http://insightsandbellylaughs.com/

Colts Fan             http://www.nutwoodjunction.blogspot.com/

Politics & Love  http://fromtop2bttm.blogspot.com/

Those blogs make for some good reading. Now when you click remember me.

To make this post more meaningful.

What do you look forward to each day that will make you happy? Share it.

I woke up on my birthday (January 30th) to find a Direct Message in my Twitter account from the Jamaica Pegasus. Who knew? They were inviting me to celebrate my birthday at their weekly Tuesdays on the Grill. How could I turn down an offer like this? So I immediately sent them my info through twitter account for booking. I must say thanks to the Jamaica Pegasus and Ms. Simpson who extended the invitation.

The night was wonderful. Tuesdays on the Grill goes from 7:00 pm till around 10:30 pm at the Pegasus. I had class that evening (Supervisory Management) which I remembered only the day before. However, I went after – my class ended at 8:30 pm. It was not my first time eating at the Pegasus; I normally meet with friends there for a good time. The food is always great and at the right price if you’re eating out.

On Tuesday night from the music to the food to the ambience it was lovely. It is right by the poolside which makes it more picturesque. The evening was well attended I might add – full house enjoying the food prepared by the Jamaica Pegasus.

The evening was magical. Certainly if you are in Kingston – the place to be is the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel – Kingston’s Preferred Hotel.

Dessert

Be YOU – Don’t Imitate

You have studied hard for your examination and there beside you is someone who is intent on copying your answers. What do you do? It may be a great feeling for those who see it as helping out another but dishonesty cannot be rewarded. In Jamaica, the entertainers here have a bad habit or it may be a culture where they imitate popular songs internationally and write lyrics to make it their own with the same mix. A more recent case saw one of Jamaica’s dancehall artistes Vybz Kartel and Spice with a song called Ramping Shop (very sexual I might add) copying Neyo’s Miss Independent Woman. Only when the song was very popular internationally did Neyo file papers to stop these unscrupulous artistes from profiting from his work. Alicia Keys, Beyonce etc are all victims of this.

Neyo’s Miss Independent – Original Song

The Imitation

Alicia Keys – Sleeping with a Broken Heart

The Jamaican Copy by Various Jamaican Dancehall Artistes

The Diva Beyonce

Do you see elements of Beyonce’s style in this video?

To imitate means to copy the actions, appearance, mannerisms, or speech of; mimic. In a recent post I expressed my admiration for Beyonce. I knew the regular readers would find that as a surprise. My love for her is more than an appreciation for her music but more so an admiration in the way she carries herself and performs in the music industry. Her team led by her dad treats her like a product – which is actually is.

I may also like her because her father has many years experience in Marketing and knows the application and the understanding of such. I will agree with her critics that she isn’t the best singer the world has seen and she is overrated. However, what Beyonce has is a commanding stage presence, her performances are amazing and insiders in the music industry express many times over again that she works hard. To her credits, she has won tens of Grammies and reached many number ones on the biggest charts internationally. Anytime she exits the stage you would have known she gave her best and you would have been entertained by Sasha Fierce her alter ego. When you look at Lady Gaga, Rihanna, Alicia Keys; these artistes are popular because of their originality and the freshness they bring to the music industry. I have a problem with people imitating established artistes. Interesting I say that knowing I have a business background where you copy an invention or a process to make profits. However, I believe artistes who imitate are short on talent and lack the creativity they need to survive. It is also interesting to observe that artistes just starting out are the ones who imitate because they idolize these established artistes.

Here in Jamaica, there is a female dancehall artiste who goes by the name D’Angel. I remember years ago in an interview she stated that her idol or the person she looks up to Beyonce. I didn’t know that idolizing an artiste would make you imitate their actions even their style of performane but that is imitation.

The trend of imitating the hardest working female in the music industry even exist in USA I saw a video recently and the props, production of the video resembles one Beyonce did earlier in her career. Many people will not notice similarities like this except for the ones who are looking for the details. What if an artiste imitated Lady Gaga, then maybe the imitation would be clear for everyone to see. It appears the more mild the imitation artistes get a free pass on stealing someone’s ideas and make it their own to generate profits.

For those who are able to dig up the singers Beyonce imitated will agree that some of her ideas may not be new but she uses her own style to add to what was done before to make it her own.

I believe in making your own self. Each one of us has unique talents and gifts that make us special. What if everyone blogged the same way, sang the same way, listened to classical music etc we wouldn’t have diversity.

Oprah recently produced a show to highlight the crises in Haiti. On the program Rihanna was featured singing Bob Marley’s Redemption Song. Here she sings an established song – sang it word for word but added her own style and creativity to the song – which turned out great. I cannot stop listening to this song which was produced to help raise money for the Haitians.

Entertainers should desist from imitating artistes all in the name to make a profit. These songs are played on the internet and on local radio stations and I would assume they make money from appearance fees singing these songs. I am tired of it.

Do not forget to enter my blog competition which ends on January 30, 2010 midnight. Enter on the post below.

30,000 HITS STRONG

Welcome everyone,

This blog has receive over 30,000 hits. When I passed my first 10,000th mark I received a comment from Ken who said “This is an awesome milestone. But you reach 20,000 even faster.” That appears to be so true and today we add 10,000 more.

If you’re a faithful viewer of my blog you will know we celebrate each milestone. This one is no different and we are launching an exciting contest.

BLOG CONTEST – WRITE OF THE GUEST BLOGGER

Two individuals will be awarded the opportunity to appear as Guest Bloggers on February 8 and February 9, 2010.

Entry Requirements:

  1. Leave a comment on this post (that will award you one entry). Your blog name will appear on the entry form.
  2. If you do not own a blog, you may still participate by leaving a comment. The notification I receive will provide your email address, which I will save and that will be on your entry form.
  3. To double your entry, RETWEET this: I just entered Write of the Guest Blogger on https://corvedacosta.wordpress.com/2010/01/20/30000-hits-strong/ Enter by clicking on the link.
  4. To triple your entry, you will have to comment three times on the post.

It is as simple as A, B, C.

Entries are now open and will be closed on Saturday, January 30, 2010 midnight.

Being the winners of this competition, you will have exclusive rights and authority on what is posted for the assigned days. In addition a widget with your blog/image will be posted at the top right position on the blog from February 1, 2010 to February 12, 2010 linking the photos to your blog (if you have one).

***Corve DaCosta has the right to reject any inappropriate post from the winners.

The Grand Draw of the winners will be posted on January 31, 2010 on this blog via a YouTube video.

All the best and May the best blogger win. Let the games begin.

I am excited about this and I hope you will enter.

Let’s celebrate 30,000 HITS.

60….70….80….90…100

Are you looking forward to growing old?

Are you looking forward to be classified as a senior citizen?

Are you looking forward to the day where you will be termed as ‘old man’, ‘old lady’, ‘grandpa’, ‘grandma’?

Are you really looking forward to the day where you will have dentures, a wheelchair, a walking stick, or not being able to drive?

Old people may be looked down upon but being old is a whole other life. Experienced, knowledgeable, informed, weak, strong are all characteristics that can be used to describe senior citizens. I am borderline gerascophobic – fear of growing old. I am thrilled when someone looks at me and says I look 19 or 18. Some make comments that I do not look my age – mu glad bag bursts with joy flowing over. I remember when I was in high school I would tell people I am 16 when I was really 18. They believed me because I actually look younger than my age.

With times changing and new developments every day I cannot begin to fathom living old. I am scared because if we are this advanced in 2010 I cannot think how sophisticated we will be in the next 50 years. For many young people fast food is the order of the day. We love the pizza, KFC, Subway etc the list goes on. For this year 2010 I promised myself that I would be eating out fast food style once per month. I have equaled my limit so far but trust me it will be hard. I hope I can maintain the once per month eat out quota I set for myself.

Have I made a realistic goal?

With busy schedules and work, people are forced to eat out but can we finance a constant fast food diet? My two favorite fast food outlets locally are KFC and Island Grill. With the recession and increase in prices the average meals these days are $6 US. I was speaking with a friend recently and he suggested that these fast food outlets should be added to the list of participating restaurants in our local restaurants week. Eating out is becoming a luxury especially in this recession.

If you are concerned with looking younger than your age and are health conscious a withdrawal from fast food could be your best alternative. Eating healthy home cooked meals should form part of your daily regime if you want to look and feel good in those latter years. The decisions we make today could affect our lifestyle later on in life and could reflect how fast you age.

Today we watch MTV, VH1 and listen to Lady Gaga, Beyonce, Alicia Keys, Jay Z, Rihanna, Taylor Swift etc. Entertainment changes drastically when you are old. No old person wants to hear ‘boom boom boom’ in their 70’s but we may find ourselves listening to more classical pieces and more news on television. Going to the movies could be a thing of the past as our eyes will be old. With all the computer time and employees fixated before screens at work, I am convined our generation will have more eye problems than our forefathers. You may want to limit surfing the internet and television viewing to save those eyes. Sometimes I wonder what the elderly do at home. Most times older folks are indoors talking to their spouse or relatives. In the next 50 years I hope more establishments geared towards entertaining the elderly will be developed. I think we will be living large – constantly going out. These places of entertainment will be extremely beneficial to our generation because we are constantly on the move, even now I am multitasking.

As we age, we should embrace the advances in technology and communications. Without a doubt my generation in the next 50 years will be more accepting to new developments understanding that we can afford it. Communication will not die but a greater emphasis will be placed on it. Can you believe Facebook and YouTube will be history – who knows Google may be gone? I hope I will be here to witness the changes, even to tweet about it. Come on Twitter is forever – that will never grow old.

Years ago, I started college and the course was slated to end in 2009. Back in 2004 I thought to myself “the world will end before I finish this course”. I thought 2009 was so far away but time flies. We are now in 2010. At the end of this month I will be seven years closer to thirty. I can’t believe I said that.

I am no longer scared of growing old I am scared I will not enjoy my old days. I want to enjoy it.

Growing old is good, getting all the grey hairs are a blessing. I’m seeing Obama grey and I know its stress!

I am beginning to think growing up isn’t all that bad, once I grow gracefully.

In 2010 …

The year 2009 was a bad year for many people. Many will also argue that last year was a successful one. We cannot deny the significant events of 2009 that affected the world a great deal. The few people I have exchanged words with are determined to make 2010 better than 2009.

For many business owners it was hard staying afloat. With a crumbling world economy and consumer spending at an all time low, businesses were forced to offer more sales and discounts. If companies are to succeed this year they better be willing and open to think differently. If you were offering kitchen wear in your store, now will be a good time to offer something new – like cooking lessons. Businesses will have to reinvent themselves if they want to remain in operation. Furthermore, it may be the best time to start a business. Consumers will be reducing their consumption, therefore companies who tap into a niche market will be more successful.

The optimism and new prospects people are feeling, I think will make most survive the new year. Most governments would be seeking to increasing taxes and finding new ways to cut government spending. If you’re an American you may see health care reform, new job opportunities while Caribbean countries like Jamaica will be in for harsh economic times. Most companies will rebound when the American economy gets back on track.

It will be a super year for entertainment. Whether it be music, fashion, movies, sports, even blogging. Blogging this year I believe will be even more popular. If you happen to be reading this post, Welcome and do return again. People are coming off a bad year and they will be looking to date even marry. Depressed and lonely people are searching for happier times and if you can provide that excitement, fun and positive energies then it may be a good time to get hitched. Social networking sites are going nowhere to give it a try.

Two thousand and ten or twenty ten however you say it will be a year filled with new opportunities, life, love and success – in your job or at the bank.

Have a great year – to all the bloggers who share on this blog. I won’t call any names – I will get in trouble – check the blog roll. Love all of you. Keep posting! Make this your best year yet.