Customer Service - TELSTRA spreading the love........

You know, it's all about customer service. If you are in business and you don't understand that, you're doomed. I have been arsed about by phone services, utility companies, government departments, video-stores, take-away joints and I've almost never been impressed with the limp, stale rehearsed rubbish conversations the people on the end of the line have with me. In person, it's even worse. The snail-lazy waitress, the gossipy sales assistant, the interminably bright-looking but vacuous staff at mobile phone outlets...

I have so often wanted to bang their heads together, screaming 'the customer is always right. I am always right. You are a moron...and I know because I'm the customer and I'm always right! Got it?' 

I don't expect much. Just prompt attention, a smile and maybe some glimmer of understanding that I am an individual with individual needs. If you can't answer my question, try harder or find someone in your godforsaken business that can! Look me in the eye. Don't chew gum. Don't ever look at your watch while talking to me and if you answer your i-phone during our interaction I will seriously consider beating you to death with it.

And then, tonight, I was bowled over by the most over-the-top attention from a Telstra customer service operator. I'll say that again. A TELSTRA CUSTOMER SERVICE OPERATOR!

First up he greeted me with that tell-tale honky Californian accent with just a spicy flavour of something more exotic. He sounded like a cross between Brad Pitt, George Clooney and that kid in Slumdog Millionaire. It was a tantalising mix. He asked me how my day had been and then started complaining that his computer was far slower than the human brain. He was funny and had me in stitches. A Telstra consultant with a sense of humour, who would have thought!

I was momentarily tongue-tied. And then after continuing on to have a hilarious conversation about the human brain and how it is no match for technology....we got around to my query. He then talked me through the whole process of what he was doing, talking to himself but including me - 'I scroll down, press enter, screen....option....scroll down and press...yes...very good'. It was weird and entertaining and made me feel like I was right there in New Delhi, sitting on his lap! And here's the rub....he kept calling me 'Love' with a lilting, lingering rumble that made my belly turn.

He was so attentive, I felt that he had taken the job with Telstra just so he could talk to me tonight. He made me feel that important.

To top it all off...when we ended our business, I thanked him for being so very helpful and he said.

'Thank-you Miss, love you!' LOVE YOU!

And that was that. We will probably never meet again. It was like a Hollywood movie.

I went on to do the telephone survey that Telstra offers after a customer service call and I gave the call a big fat ten out of ten and when given a space to say something...I raved about the operator....maybe a little bit too much.

But Telstra has in the past been one of the most annoying services to deal with on the phone. This one little bright spark....lit up the entire company's reputation in my eyes.

It made me smile, giggle and share the story on social media.

Customer service, done well, can be amazing!!!

Me masquerading as Gwyneth Paltrow recently in the media Gwyneth Paltrow has been named both the most annoying celebrity and the most gorgeous. While that sounds isn't really. We find her annoying because she is so gorgeous and ....well....perfect.

She is tall and lean, not a skerrick of body fat, she's married to a cute and successful rock star, she has one shiny boy and one shiny girl, with cute names like, Moses and Apple. Gwyneth, of the whimsical name, eats organic, exotic super-foods like quinoa and agave syrup and ground cashew spread. She has a brilliant career as a movie star and still finds time to give her children foot massages before bed. She cooks and has her own successful line of cook-books, she has a snappy blog (GOOP) and she works out for two hours a day. She's the epitome of the woman who 'has it all'.

So last week I decided to quit gazing at Gwen from afar with my jaw hanging open. No more reading about the superwoman and staring at her impossible figure/skin/cheekbones/glossy hair etc. I decided to BE Gwyneth Paltrow. After all, if you are going to emulate a celebrity, why not go for one who might just be the most perfect mother, actress, chef, gym work-outerer...bla, bla, bla...

First up, I dyed my hair blonde. Going straight from dark brown, that might not have been the best idea. I am currently sporting some kind of fruit-bat orange mop...but it's a work in progress.

I estimate that I need to lose ten kilos to be at my absolute prime weight. The GP diet is actually scrumptious. I start my days with a green smoothie....carrot, celery, apple, cucumber, ginger and a good sized helping of spirulina and wheat grass mixed in. Lunch is grilled salmon and a salad of lettuce mix, grated beetroot and carrot, cherry tomatoes, avocado, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, dulse seaweed and crushed walnuts, drizzled with organic olive oil and a clove of raw garlic. Dinner is a quinoa extravaganza with an array of unpronouncable exotic vegetables. I drink coconut water and green tea and take supplements of Ginseng, chromium and Bitter Melon.

I bought a Tracy Anderson work-out DVD (GP's personal trainer) and I swear this woman is a sadistic maniac. The work-out is torturous but I get through it every day and feel better for it. I go for a forty minute walk every morning.

I've been  meditating and devoting more time to my own little kids...homework. doing some art and craft and all that Mumsy stuff.

I have spring-cleaned the house and organised myself a little better. I have been working on a new novel.

I am living the dream.

One week down...I'm feeling cleaner and more out Gwyneth ...I'm on your tail...

Tomorrow...I ramp up the blonde to the next level and add an extra kilo to my hand weights...I've shaved off two kilos already and for all those knockers of the big GP...I say...use her as an inspiration to improve your role models could do a lot worse.

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