The lost art of customer service I've reached the stage of my life when it infuriates me when people don't bother to return calls or emails or follow up on enquiries. Having spent two decades in communications it puzzles me why companies spend millions advertising their products but then make it so difficult for customers to actually buy those products. I recently tried to open a Tax-Free Savings Account with a well-known insurance company that has now ventured into the retail banking field. Turns out they have a pretty favourable interest rate, the best of the bunch apparently. I thought it would be a simple exercise to open an account, considering I already have medical aid and car insurance with this same company. Fool that I am! After a couple of tries I gave up. Apparently the easiest way to do it is to download the app. This seems to be the 'go to' response to any enquiry these days: "Have you got the app?" If you respond in the negative, they instantly

Why quality content remains king

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is one of these things that so many know about but aren’t sure exactly how it works.  While there is much you can do to your website to help search engine crawlers, quality content is what will build your brand and promote engagement. Why? Because you’re talking to people , not machines.   You can’t fake quality People find your site or page because they’re looking for answers, i.e., quality information that is presented in readily-digestible format. Google and other search engines are wise to tricks and shortcuts that people use to optimise their pages. Quality content, however, is always given the green light and, most importantly, appreciated by visitors. If you provide original and interesting content, easily absorbed and understood, visitors will stick around. They may even come back for more and tell their friends. Why? Because you’ve delivered content they value . SEO checklist Good content is easy to read and understand. Write for the aver

Consumption confessions

I'm not sure exactly when I realised that so much in life revolves around consuming, but since this realisation occurred to me, its a dilemma I simply cannot resolve. As someone who worries a great deal about the future of the planet, I know that much of the trouble we find ourselves in has to do with our relentless consumption of goods. Producing anything requires precious resources. Like many, I was horrified to discover that creating a single pair of jeans uses thousands of litres of water. I have bought more pairs of jeans in my lifetime than I care to admit. It gets worse because I make my living through marketing. Which means I spend a lot of time crafting communication for the purpose of selling things to people , either a product or a service. And with the money I earn -- I consume more. I confess: I'm someone who enjoys a bit of 'retail therapy' as a leisure activity. New clothes, shoes, DVDs, books, etc etc. Big stuff too; I dream about buying cars all the t