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Words That Should NEVER Be Used On a Professional Resume…

Was it your Mother or Grandmother that used to say?:

“Never say never!”?

Well now it’s White Now saying it!

Here are some words that I suggest should (dare I say?), NEVER be used in a professional resume and some of my reasoning as to why:

“Various”…

As an adjective, “various” really is a bit of a nothing!  It doesn’t add any oomph or pizazz to a resume!  “I worked on various projects” or “I’m conversant in various software programs”.  It really doesn’t mean much at all.  In fact, I invariably make various noises out-loud when I read the word various on various resumes!

The next time you’re thinking of using the word “various”, ask yourself this:  ‘What’s the difference between:
– Worked on various projects, AND
– Worked on projects?”.  If you reach the same conclusion that I did, “various” will soon be in your deleted items folder!

Thinking the above through a bit further, what’s preferable is that you SPECIFY the projects that you worked on.  Reading the above doesn’t really tell the reader anything about you at all, but if you said that you had work on projects that have included (for eg): a $4.5m refurbishment; the acquisition of 3 other licensed premises and the development of a 10 year, 4-phase business plan that is currently in its second phase; then the details are far more impressive than having done some various projects.

“Visionary”…(or “Transformational”)…

It’s funny how some words seem to be so very “in” and visionary is one of those in-words that has stuck around for a while now.  What does it actually mean to be “visionary”?  More importantly, how do you PROVE that you’re “visionary” in whatever it is that you do?

Personally I’d much rather see something in a resume about how you can demonstrate that you have developed a plan (a vision), articulated it to your team and delivered it to the stakeholders…….which resulted in blah, blah blah (Insert:  $XXm increase in turnover/savings; % greater visitation rates; reduction in injuries; improved brand recognition; etc; etc).

“Expert”…

This is another one of “those” words.  You know, the one that sounds great in theory, but in reality makes you sound like a bit of a tosser as it makes the claim that you’re ‘brilliant’ in a particular area.  In fact, you’re so good in that area that you’re an EXPERT.  And yet when the resume-reader digs further there is absolutely no supporting evidence.

Doctors that possess a doctorate in a particular field have a right to declare themselves an ‘expert’ in their specific area of expertise, but unless you’re a Doctor of something, I would argue that it is immensely difficult to prove that you’re an expert in anything, except maybe being a little bit full of yourself.

“Seasoned”…

As a bit of a foodie, my first impression when I read this in a resume is that you mean that you have been salted and peppered to perfection.  Once I get that somewhat disconcerting thought out of my head, I tend to wonder what a “seasoned” anything might look like other than possibly……old?  Is this the image that you want to portray?  If so, why not just say that you’re old or maybe, to put that in a more positive light, talk about your ACHIEVEMENTS that you can demonstrate throughout your career and let the reader draw the conclusion about whether you’re old and ready to be put out to pasture or experienced with the necessary skills and, more importantly, demonstrated track record that the reader just has to get you in for an interview to speak to about the job?

“Results Oriented”…

This one always makes me smile as people all too often talk about being “results oriented” and yet at no point in their resume (or often cover letter as well), do they provide SPECIFIC DETAILS of the results that they have achieved.

Achievements have to be QUANTIFIABLE and should ideally correlate to the job that you are applying for – let’s face it, employers are generally approaching the recruitment process from the viewpoint of, “what’s in it for me?”.  They want to see what you’ve done in your past, how successfully you did it and then they want to picture you doing the same for them!  If this happens, you have a far greater chance of being invited to an interview.

Employers also don’t want to have to think too hard about how your achievements align to what it is that they have advertised for – so make it easy for them!  Use the words that they have used in their adverts and edit your resume to respond to the main points that they are looking for.  And most importantly, make sure that you can back these up if and when you get invited to an interview.

Finally, remember:  your achievements are what separate you from the resumes that the reader reads before yours and all those that s/he is going to read after.  One GM does pretty much the same as another GM, as does one Cleaner from another.  What makes one GM/Cleaner/DM/CFO/Marketing Manager/<insert role title here> different from another is what they ACHIEVED whilst they were in that role.

“Very”…

Surely there is an adjective that you can find to go in front of whatever word it is that you want to emphasise that is going to give you more impact than “very”?  Just about anything would be very much better than “very”!

“It was a very successful financial year” OR “the success of FY14/15 can be measured by the following exceptional results:  Revenue +$6.2m.  Expenses -21%.  EBITDA +19% and an overall nett profit of $7.6 million”.  You choose…

“Synergy”…

This was a buzz word about 8 to 10 years ago and at the time, was fresh, current and when used appropriately, even clever!  However nowadays it has been overused to the point where it has lost its impact – “responsible for the synergy of the department”; “developed a synergistic work environment” and “amalgamated two venues due to their synergy, resulting in a win/win for all parties”.  And incidentally, “win/win” is a bit (a lot) cliched nowadays too!

“Out of the Box”… (or “Creative”)…

If you were genuinely “Out of the box”, you’d have thought of something a little more “out of the box” to write down.  ‘Nuff said!

Here are some other words to avoid:

Love – “I would just love to work in an organisation…blah, blah, blah”.  And I’d LOVE to be in the Bahamas doing anything other than reading resumes.  But I’m not, so let’s stop the lovin’ and focus on the facts and achievements.  Capisce?

Great Communication Skills - says who?  YOU?  Prove it!!!

Try - as the great Jedi Master, Yoda so famously said:  “Do.  Or do not.  There is no try”…

Detail Oriented - I once had a recruiter say to me about these words on my resume, “You know what this means don’t you?  That I am going to look for errors and won’t necessarily concentrate on the content as much as I should?”…

Skillful…  Capable…  Innovative…  Experienced…  Team Player… References Available on Request…  Creative…  Highly Motivated…  Capable…  Skillful…  Pro-active…  Salary Negotiable…

Hopefully the above has given you some food for thought and possibly even put a little smirk on your face.  Ultimately there are no specific ‘right and wrongs’ when it comes to the use of the above words and others like them.  There is however, in most cases, a better way for the sentence to be structured for greater impact (you know, for more “Ah!” moments rather than “ARGGHHHHH” ones)!

Best of luck with the writing of your resume and please remember – if you would like us to have a look over yours, please give us a call at the office on 02 9807 1806 to discuss how we can assist.

 

Should Work and Annual Leave Be Combined?

The ‘age old’ question and one that ultimately comes down to personal choice!  But summing it all up in the first line hardly makes for a good blog read, so here are some considerations around the question:

“Should work & leave be combined?”

1.  What is the purpose of your leave?
This may sound silly, but are you going to take some time off because you’re due at a conference in the Bahamas and thought that you would tie in a bit of RnR?  Or are you stressed out at work and looking to take a break so that you can remember what your husband/wife and kids look like?  If it’s the latter – then the answer is pretty self-explanatory:  Go on leave and LEAVE work at work!  Ideally you should be looking to unplug your computer, email and phone completely so that you can fully recharge.  And remember this:  whilst we all like to think that the world will come to a crashing halt without us sitting at our desk, the reality is that for a week or two (and probably a lot more), nobody will miss you and the world will keep on turning!  It’s also worth noting that you are far more likely to be more productive and more pleasant to be around once you’ve had a chance to fully recharge!

2.  Is it your business or are you working for someone else?
I guess this really comes down to expectations, but if it’s your business it is that much harder to get downtime and often it is extremely difficult to switch off everything unless you are fortunate enough to have someone back in the “office” to hold the fort.  That said, even business owners need a chance to unplug, unwind and recharge so it makes sense to take some proper “TIME OUT”.  If it is your own business, there are often tax and cost savings by being able to include part of the travel and accommodation on the company bill rather than your own personal bill, but in the long run – if it’s your company, it’s your money anyhow!  So you really need to weigh up what is going to give you the biggest bang for your bucks – saving a few dollars or recharging your batteries?   The call is yours…

As for employees – it is important to remember that you are entitled to time off and you are under no obligation to tie your personal life in to your professional life.  That said, as with all relationships – a bit of ‘give and take’ goes a long way and if a combined work/leave trip works for you (and your family) financially and it provides your employer with the result that they require, then everyone is happy.  Just remember though – generally the purpose of a HOLIDAY is just that – to have a HOLIDAY and that you taking time off to recharge and get away from the daily grind of work will more often than not, give you the energy, enthusiasm and clarity to come back to your job and kick some goals.  So don’t be afraid to (politely) tell your employer that you are unable to combine work and leave if you feel that you need a break.

3.  How does your family feel about you working whilst you’re away with them?
This is a tough one because we all too often lie to ourselves saying, “it’ll be ok, I’ve only got a couple of hours worth of work to do”, only to still be doing that work at 5pm that afternoon having started before breakfast and having missed lunch!  We also tend to say to our peers and bosses that our family doesn’t mind us working, knowing full well that they are completely and utterly over our extra workload.  If this is the case, then the reality of the matter is that for the sake of your sanity, your marriage, your family – make an effort to SEPARATE your work and leave commitments.  Make the time to spend quality time (ie.  being present in the moment) with those that you go on holiday with, because whilst the majority of us need a job to feed us, ALL of us need people around us – particular our family and particularly once we give up work!  You’re a long time dead, so why not make the most of being alive?

4.  Is the opportunity worth it?
What I mean by this is – if the offer to travel to exotic and interesting locations, paid for by your employer is something that you would otherwise never be able to do, then you’d be mad to miss the opportunity as traveling is a great way to open your mind, change your beliefs and grow your knowledge (not to mention, become more understanding of other races and cultures) – all of which will serve you well in your career.  Work-travel may also assist you with promotions and career development, so again the opportunity to grow in your role, earn more money or network in other markets has to be weighed up and there are no standard “right” or “wrongs” – you have to do what is best for you (and those around you) at the time and based on the information that you have at hand.  If career, work and income is the driving force at the time, then your decision will be based on that.  If family, relaxation and recharging is of more importance (at the time), then a holiday completely away from work is what’s in order.  Often it is just that – “time based” and other times it’s based on your motivations (which incidentally often change with time too)!

So I conclude as I began.  Ultimately it comes down to personal choice and circumstance!  Your decisions are just that – YOUR decisions.   Just make sure that you are making them with your eyes wide open!

Flexible Work Arrangements Attract Highly Skilled and Experienced Applicants!

When White Now placed an advert on www.whitenow.com.au and SEEK on behalf of a client looking for an Office Assistant 3 days per week, the client received 345 applications! The good news was that there was a large percentage of high calibre candidates which made the job of choosing a short list really tough, but ultimately led to a great result because it was such a strong field.

So why was this such a popular job?  Well, this client recognised that whilst work is an important part of life, people have other commitments and interests that are equally important and if all these things can be accommodated or balanced, they are going to have happy, committed employees!

Lots of employees enjoy working and WANT to work, but also have family commitments or interests they want to pursue. There is a HUGE market of ‘return to work’ Mums and Dads, semi-retirees, part time students etc that have valuable skills and experience, often at a much higher level, who still want to contribute to a workplace that they can enjoy and add value to.  Just not necessarily in a full time or 9am-5pm capacity.

How can you tap into this great resource?  Take a look at the roles that you have and think a bit ‘outside the square’ about the way work is done and how you can build flexibility into your workplace. Offer school hours or the flexibility to take time out during the day to attend school activities and make the time up later.  Can work be done remotely (from home) on some or all days, or after hours?  Ask an employee ‘how can we make this work for you?’ and negotiate a mutually suitable arrangement.   And don’t forget to ask yourself, “is job-sharing an option?”

Offering a flexible workplace can often open up the the job to a larger pool of higher calibre employees to chose from.  And often these employees come with a high level of commitment and and work performance because they have a great work/life balance.  Flexibility in the workplace can also be a great retention tool.  Offering your existing employees more flexibility maybe one reason that will keep them working for your organisation rather than them looking elsewhere.

Next time a vacancy comes up, take a different look at it:  how can you incorporate more flexibility and attract a whole new candidate pool?

Service with a Smile

In the hectic lead up to Christmas, we missed getting our hands on one of the Aldi “Three Bird Roasts” and so in a mad panic, I called Jenny and asked her if she had any bright ideas.  Her response in an understandably matter-of-fact style was along the lines of “DERRRR, have you called Tanya and Paul at RPT Promotions?”.IMG_0155

“Ummm…..  No”, I replied somewhat flatly as my brain clicked in to gear and asked itself ‘now why didn’t I think of that in the first place, EJIT?’, (followed by a couple of expletives).

Anyhow, a call was placed to Tanya and was met with Tanya’s message bank, where I explained my predicament and went back to work.  Not even 15 minutes later, the lovely Tanya was calling me back with Season’s Greetings and instructions for how to get a hold of Paul.  Two minutes later I was dialing Paul’s number which was answered with Paul’s always happy & bubbly English accent.   Once again I explained my stupidity and with a wry laugh and an eagerness you had to hear to believe, Paul was making arrangements for one of his Turduckens to be delivered to Gladesville RSL (in close proximity to my home) for me to collect.

I thanked Paul profusely and he promised to call me back to confirm when the delivery would occur and off he went.  24 hours later he was back on the phone, as promised, to let me know that the Turducken was en-route to the RSL Club as planned.  He couldn’t have been any more obliging if he had tried.  What I didn’t realise at the time was that Paul and Tanya were in the middle of one of their BIGGEST Christmas’ ever!  They had orders stacked up to the rafters and were right in the thick of the logistical-challenge of getting everything delivered to the right place at the right time before Christmas Day!

The reason that I didn’t know just how crazy things were for P&T was because Paul made me feel like I was the only customer that he had, even though I was only after one item and it was probably (if I’m totally honest) a bit of an inconvenience.  But Paul went out of his way to ensure that I would get my Turducken with a short lead-time, so that my family could enjoy their Christmas Dinner and BOY, OH BOY did we ENJOY IT!!!…

The pictures speak for themselves, so let me just add that we all thoroughly enjoyed the Turducken, so much so that we will be placing our order with Paul and Tanya EARLY next year for Christmas 2015!

IMG_0154 IMG_0156 And let me also add that we are all extremely grateful to them both for being such a pleasure to deal with and for making our Christmas Dinner so very special this year.  Thank you both so, so much…

An Exceptional Man with an Inspirational Story

Here at White Now we are provided with opportunities to work with a range of amazing people and incredible businesses, including a large numberIMG_0835 of RSL Clubs.

After speaking with the exceptional, Geoff Evans (pictured here) who has served as a Commando in East Timor and Afghanistan, we couldn’t help but be moved by his own story and more significantly, what he is personally doing to make a difference.   So we asked Geoff if he would write an article for us as a ‘Guest Blogger’.

(To read Geoff’s personal story, click on the image above, on his name or you can click here).

___________________________________________________________________________

Spare a thought for the thousands of Homeless Veterans sleeping rough at this time of year.  The Australian Defence Force has deployed 67,000 troops to various conflicts since the Vietnam War.

Homelessness was a significant issue for Vietnam veterans and their families, and sadly, is endemic among younger veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.  In the shadow of the centenary of the First World War, up to 3,000 diggers remain homeless on any given night.

What can you do to make a difference?

IMG_0825

In March of 2014, RSL LifeCare established the Contemporary Veterans Homelessness and Assistance Program (CVHAP) in Narrabeen, NSW.  Homelessness itself is a symptom of war caused mental illness, such as PTSD.  To the right of the spectrum is suicide, to the left: alcoholism, drug abuse, depression and other problems.

We currently have 24 veterans and two families enrolled in the program, but we have been reduced to accepting only the most severe cases.  This is not due to lack of accommodation, but rather through lack of funding to provide the necessary wrap around support services that make the program work.  These include everything from providing tooth paste and furniture, to transport, case management and a toy or two for the children.

Since publicising the existence of the program just a few weeks ago I have taken requests for help from right across Australia.  The common and sad refrain is that currently we can only provide housing at Narrabeen.  As younger veterans have children and other commitments they often cannot leave their locality, and so they remain living in cars and on the streets.  We have to do better.

We have also seen growth in our services to veterans and families who are at risk of homelessness.  This can occur when, for instance, a young veteran leaves the military without an illness or injury being accepted by the Department of Veterans’ Affairs.  If they are unable to remain employed, as is often the case with mentally ill veterans, they lose their income.  Homelessness can quickly follow.  We are working to try and keep them in their homes.  Entire families are at risk, and its proving a growth industry for us, as a decade of war collides with an inadequate repatriation system.

For those of us working with these remarkable young veterans it is soul destroying toIMG_0820 watch them suffer for want of funding.  All veterans entering the program suffer from mental illness, most enter with an intense sense of shame as well.  They were our nations finest, help us help them.

If you can help, please visit the RSL Lifecare Page Here… (and scroll down).

Our Most Recent Resident: Case Study
Veteran X is 38 years old, and has served in Iraq and Afghanistan on multiple tours.  He entered the program in mid-November 2014 and is our 22nd resident.   Veteran X was still serving in the Australian military when he was admitted to hospital for treatment of PTSD and related alcohol abuse.   Whilst he was in the hospital, the Australian Defence Force medically discharged him from service.  This meant he was no longer entitled to a Defence house, and accordingly, his family was evicted while Veteran X was in hospital.

Tragically Veteran X’s relationship could not withstand the terrible strain of Veteran X’s condition and his circumstances.  Veteran X’s marriage ended and his wife and children moved into their grandmother’s house.  Sadly Veteran X no longer had access to his children.  Veteran X has described to me the sense of utter desolation and helplessness he felt.  “I just couldn’t believe this could happen to me” he said. “I devoted my entire life to serving the Nation, I was good at my job and I had a career”.  A few weeks after his marriage failed he attempted suicide.

Many months later, as Veteran X approached the date of his discharge from hospital, he literally had nowhere to go.  Like most of the young men and woman in our program he would have been living on the streets.  Fortunately he met one of the young veterans we’d previously placed in the PTSD program, who gave Veteran X our details.  Veteran X was initially quite a challenge, but we are a peer led program, and other veterans who have walked the same path took him under their wing.  He has come such a long way; he has joined our AA support group and will shortly start a training course.  A remarkable young man, like the rest, all he needed was a chance.  A testament to his hard work and the program’s success: Veteran X spent Christmas Day 2014 with his children.

Head Hunting Vs Advertising

head-hunterSo what are our thoughts at White Now on ‘Head Hunting’ for candidates versus Advertising your vacancy?

Both certainly have merit and we would recommend using a combination of both.  You may know of some people in industry that seem to be perfect for your role and may very well be, but what about those you don’t know of?

‘Head Hunting’ usually involves ‘tapping’ potential applicants on the shoulder and asking them if they would be interested in the vacancy.  It may seem to be an easier and quicker option to fill your vacancy.  But what about all that talent out there you don’t know about?  By ONLY head hunting, you are missing out on a whole pool of potentially great candidates who may just be the perfect fit for your vacancy.

At White Now, we would suggest using both methods.  If you have some candidates in mind that you think would be great for the role, then they can certainly be approached to apply, along with opening the role up via advertising and therefore getting a wider range of suitable candidates.

Its the best of both worlds and give the opportunity to compare candidates and get the BEST possible pool of applicants!

Closing Dates on Position Vacant Ads – to Include or Not to Include?

closedA common question we are asked at White Now is whether or not to include a closing date on a Position Vacant ad and our recommendation, is not to.  The reason for this is to gain exposure to the widest possible pool of applicants and not limit your possible applicants.

The majority of applicants will apply within the first two weeks of placing and advertisement and will be actively looking for a new role.  But what about the applicant who is on holidays and not checking the Internet for those two weeks, who just might be the perfect applicant? You just missed out on them!  What about the applicant who is not necessarily looking for a new role, but casually keeps an eye on job boards to ‘see what’s out there’ every couple of weeks or so, they might be the perfect applicant, but they missed seeing your ad!

Not all applicants check job boards every day.  Not all applicants are actively looking, but might be inspired by the perfect job they just happen to see.  You want to have the best possible pool of applicants to chose from, so you need to give your position vacant the best exposure possible to reach ALL those possible applicants.  Ads can remain on www.whitenow.com.au for up to 30 days, with applications coming directly to your nominated email address.  You can start assessing applications before the ad expires and then add in any additional suitable applicants as they apply with little disruption to the recruitment process.  This ensures you have ‘spread the net’ wide and given your position the best chance of reaching the best pool of applicants.

It is always your choice to include a closing date, but remember, it may just eliminate the BEST candidate !

 

Are you CRAZY or CLEVER to you use an 18 year old to run your Facebook and Social Media strategy ?

crazy

Are you considering putting on someone to look after your social media ?
Are you wondering what type of person would be best to run your social media ?
Are you looking for advice on what type of person to hire ?

When I hear the following words come out of one of our clients’ mouths,

we have a great 18 year old who loves Facebook and said that she is very keen to run our Faceboook page”

………I shake in my ugh boots and hope that they have really thought seriously about this decision.

Being very aware of how to effectively run a company’s social media strategy, my immediate priority is to make sure that I am advising clients in the best possible way to ensure that they are positioned to highlight their brand in the social world in the smartest and most professional way whilst making sure that they eliminate any possible risks that may leave themselves open or liable for legal action or bad PR.

The decision on who should manage your social media channels is not actually ever about the age of the person, but what skills, experience and dedication they bring to the table. When saying ’18 year old’, I don’t mean the age, but really I am trying to make a point that so many people think that the younger the person, the more socially savvy they are. They may be socially savvy with their friends but are they socially and business savvy ???

With this in mind, we ask our clients the following questions about the person that they want to hire or appoint to look after their social media;

“Does this person have the experience and skill set that includes all of the following?
1. complete understanding of the legislation and regulations surrounding your business;
2. complete understanding of your business’s overall values and business strategy;
3. superior communications skills that are both mature and social so that they can reflect your brand;
4. depth of experience using higher level customer service skills and etiquette;
5. the ability to handle your business’s public relations and/or media relations in sticky situations;
6. the ability to manage a complaint so that it does not escalate, whilst ensuring that your brand stays true;
7. the ability to manage a crisis at any time whilst thinking on their feet;
8. a level of humour that can appeal to all followers without offending anyone;
9. the ability to understand and interpret the analytics and measurement tools that come with social media;
10. the ability to turn opportunities into business revenue;
11. the ability to turn prospects into customers;
12. the ability to work within and in line with a social media strategy;
13. the maturity to separate business from personal ‘Facebooking’;

We then ask “is this the person you would trust to stand up in front of the whole of Australia with cameras and microphones in front of them and let them talk about your business whilst being fired questions and complaints about your business with no notice at all ?”

If your social media person does not come with these skills you could be setting yourself up for a legal or a public relations nightmare.

It’s actually not about what age the person is at all. I just wanted to make a point that just because a person loves Facebook or says that they are great with Facebook, does not mean that they can represent your brand professionally on the world stage.

We have so many examples of sticky situations or possible PR nightmares that have arisen that had to be handled with the expertise of highly effective, aware and savvy marketing/customer service people. We have been able to save many businesses from disasters by assisting with social media strategy. Trust me, you need a person who can truly represent your brand professionally.

DO NOT HIRE SOMEONE JUST BECAUSE THEY ARE ACTIVE FACEBOOK USERS. Use the list above to see if your social media person has ALL of these skills !

You can call us at Social Media Now for advice any time if that helps on 0417 223 286.
Socially yours – Jenny (Social Media Now)
www.socialmedianow.com.au

Can YOU Choose a Family That Really Deserves 5 FREE PASSES to enjoy a day with THOMAS THE TANK ENGINE ?

NOMINATE A FAMILY TO BE GIVEN A SPECIAL DAY OUT WITH THE KIDS

EVERYONE deserves a bit of fun and happiness, but unfortunately some families just don’t get enough of either! Trainworks, at Thirlmere have teamed up with White Now to provide an opportunity for TWO deserving families to enjoy a “Day Out with Thomas”. You choose who we send !

WHAT THE GIVEAWAY IS:

- FIVE (5) Tickets per Family for TWO (2) Families to attend “A Day Out with Thomas” on either Saturday 30th July OR Sunday 31st July 2011
- One (1) ‘Showbag’ of Thomas The Tank Engine Toys per Family

(Note: Trainworks is in Thirlemere NSW, near Picton. Families must be able to make their way to Thirlmere for the day)

HOW TO NOMINATE:

  1. Click on comments under this blog (bottom right hand corner under text)
  2. Complete the form (please note: name and email fields are mandatory so that we can contact you)
  3. In the text box, tell us about a family that deserves a ‘Day Out with Thomas’ at Trainworks and WHY you believe they should be considered. (You don’t need to name the family if you don’t feel that it is appropriate.)

Together, we can make a small difference to families in need by putting a smile on their faces for just a couple of hours!!!

So please, tell your story about your nominated family in a COMMENT BELOW NOW ….!!!!

If you would like to find out more about the day, click on the following link here: http://www.trainworks.com.au/event/event/a_day_out_with_thomas

On Friday, 15th July 2011 one representative from Trainworks and one from White Now ! will choose the two most fitting nominations. Contact will then be made with the individual that nominated them via email so that plans can be discussed regarding collection of tickets and the showbag for each family. Tickets are not transferable & may not be redeemed for cash. A total of ten tickets & two showbags will be donated. This is not a game of chance

Follow the WhiteNow Wizard on Facebook on www.facebook.com/wizwhitenow

Listening to Customers

listening

I recently purchased the NEW Colgate Sensitive Pro-Relief Toothpaste that has been advertised widely.  Having sensitive teeth, the ad totally hooked me and the next time I was looking for toothpaste I decided to give it a go!

When I first went to use the product I was unable to open the ‘tamper-proof’ cap, so went to my husband for help.  In the end, we had to take to it with a knife and cut the secure cap off!  Rather extreme for toothpaste!

I thought that this was so dangerous and ridiculous that I decided to contact Colgate and let them know.  If we had this much trouble, how would someone like my 84 year old mother in law, with arthritic hands and living on her own, ever get the cap off?!  I went onto their website and found the ‘contact us’ section and sent them a polite email describing the problems I experienced.  I quickly received back an equally polite email that essentially ‘fobbed’ me off. Oh well, I thought, I won’t be buying that product again, regardless how good the toothpaste maybe, it’s just too hard to get to.

I forgot all about it and returned to another brand of toothpaste with any easy-access cap.  This week I received a parcel in the post from Colgate.  Seems I must not have been the only one to comment on the cap and they have redesigned it and sent me a tube to trial plus a questionnaire to answer.

Well today I tried the new cap which is still ‘tamper-proof’ but I am pleased to say VERY easy to open and access the toothpaste inside!

All of this really impressed on me how important it is to listen AND respond to customers.  I felt great that my comments had been heard and acted on and my further opinion was then sought.  I am sure I was one of many people who made comments about the cap, but if no one had said anything and had just never bought the product again, Colgate would have been left wondering what the problem was – the toothpaste?  the taste? packaging – WHAT?!  By receiving and acting on the feedback they have been able to make a small change and thererfore, hopefully retain customers and gain new customers, when they spread the word.

So, the moral of the story is to firstly let companies/organisations know if you find a problem with their product or service so they can take action – its then up to them.  Secondly, if you are that company/organisation receiving that comment, WELCOME it with open arms and see at as the opportunity that it is to make your service or product even better!  I will now continue to buy Sensitive Pro-Relief Colgate!