Friday, 22 May 2009

Criminally bad customer service!

Those of you who follow me on Twitter will know I was nearly arrested at Leicester Railway Station today.

My crime? Refusing to pay a £5 supplement to use the First Class lounge.

The story: our (very old and outdated) East Midlands Train had been terminated on its way to Chesterfield due to engineering problems - which meant a whole hour's wait at Leicester. I had important emails that HAD to be sent and I needed to have someplace to utilise that hour - but my advance 1st class ticket apparently did not qualify me to use the lounge.

Now I accept that if I had arrived an hour early for my train or maybe wanted to dally in there and drink all the free coffee for a while I should be made to pay.


To add insult to injury, when I refused to pay and went in (bear in mind the place was completely empty apart from one man) the receptionist called the police and two officers duly arrived to apprehend me !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I explained the situation and invited them to arrest me, pointing out the publicity that action might incur, they then backed down and called the station manager who proceeded to give me a good old talking to about rules and regulations and people 'having to do their job properly'.

No problem says I, let me happily pay your £5 - in return for which I will Blog and Tweet about your crap customer service to the whole world.

So much for the East Midlands Train Service 'Passenger Charter' !!!

The problem of course lies in the staff training. So much time is clearly spent teaching them about rules, policies and procedures that they forget to tell them the REAL reason they are there: TO GIVE EXCEPTIONAL CUSTOMER SERVICE.

Shame on you Stagecoach, you have started to abuse your monopoly - because I have no other choice than to continue to use your shoddy, uncaring and downright rude crappy service.

Monday, 18 May 2009

Marketing Nuggets of Pure Gold for FREE!

What if you could increase your business takings by double in 7 days or less by spending virtually nothing on marketing?

Or how about generating over £220,000 in sales from a single webpage in 3 weeks or less again with hardly a penny spent marketing?

Or how about creating virtually zero cost marketing that generates literally a cash flow that can be switched off and on at will?

Do not miss a webinar which I will be hosting with zero cost marketing expert Alan Forrest Smith.

Alan has promised to reveal at least 5 gold nuggets of insider marketing strategies that you can copy and apply right now without having invested a single penny.

Alan tells me all of these strategies are scientifically proven and have worked time and time again in various business.

He told me if you want to survive recession, you need to be on this free webinar. After talking to him for 30 minutes... I believe him, so should you.

Do not miss what is looking like a highly charged, very powerful discussion on low investment, higher return marketing for 2009 with myself and Alan Forrest Smith.

Title: Rachel Live - with Zero Cost Marketing Expert Alan Forrest Smith

Date: Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Time: 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM BST

Space is limited.
Reserve your Webinar Seat Now at:

Looking forward to hearing from you on the call!

"It doesn't hurt to say no"

Actually yes it DOES hurt.

A flat & automatic NO suggests a few things:

Firstly, arrogance that you are better/busier/more in demand than the person asking.

Secondly, that you're not willing to negotiate under any circumstances - either now or in the future.

Thirdly, that you're a pretty rude person to be with/deal with.

And that's all very fine, except when it happens one too many times or with even just a few influential people or when your star starts to fade or simply when you wish to avoid Bad Karma.

And especially when you preach about the importance of 'Tribes' and 'Leadership'.

I saw the brilliantly charismatic social entrepreneur Tim Smit (founder of the Eden Project) speak at the Institute of Directors a week or so ago and he said that he ALWAYS accepts every third invitation. And as a result has found himself judging vegetables at a country show & speaking at a WI meeting as well as all the high powered events. Keeps him grounded apparently.

Yep we're ALL busy busy busy, but my advice would be: leave some space in your life & diary & heart to practice saying YES just once in a while.

Especially when it is to your biggest UK fan, who has so far sold thousands of copies of your books for you via raving about you to every entrepreneur she meets/speaks to at events - and who has just launched an events division and has invited you to come speak in London.

If you're wondering what the hell I'm on about, see Seth Godin's latest blog post "It doesn't hurt to ask".

Evidence a certain person has just lost sight of who is the customer.

I'm a twit

Yep I've now finally managed to get active on Twitter - you can follow me on RachelElnaugh - a little window into my wonderfully exciting life of watching Eurovision and being a mum of 5 - and of course the odd high profile business event thrown in...

Pacific Rubbish Island

Following hot on the heels of the last post about honey bees comes news of the Pacific Rubbish Island - basically a large area of floating debris mainly bits of plastic which gets swept around the world and then trapped in the doldrums. It's now at least as big as Texas!

A lot of this island is made up of grains of plastic broken up by the sea which outnumber plankton by 6:1 - yep that means fish are now eating it.

This is by no means a new story - the 'rubbish island' was first discovered in 1997 and has been growing every year, steps are now being taken to clear it - but just where will they put it all?

This is truly the legacy of mass consumerism.

Saturday, 16 May 2009

Who killed the honey bee?

A few months ago I had a conversation with contemporary shaman Judith Seelig (who I have talked about elsewhere on this blog) during which she was talking about the danger to the human race because the honey bees were dying out... Swarms being transported hundreds of miles to pollinate crops and hence being disorientated and destroying their natural sense of direction.

The danger is, without bees to pollinate crops, there will be no food and without food the entire food chain is destroyed. Humans would become extinct.

Therefore it was disturbing to watch BBC2's programme last night 'Who killed the honey bee?' which revealed that MILLIONS of bees are now dying - and that some beekeepers have lost 80% of their bees due to 'Colony Collapse Disorder'.

It would seem that Planet Earth is truly starting to break down...

Friday, 15 May 2009

Peace One Day

I was invited along to an event last night in London and didn't quite make the connection until I got there that this was for the amazing charity which managed to stop all war on 21 September last year - including the Taliban in Afghanistan to allow 3million children to be vaccinated for polio. You may have seen Annie Lennox and Lenny Kravitz performing at the Royal Albert Hall as part of the event.

Peace One Day is the brainchild of an incredible film director Jeremy Gilley, and this year marks the 10th year since he had the thought back in 1999 'I wonder if it would be possible to get everyone to stop fighting'.

Of course everyone said he could never achieve it (the Jeremiahs are never far away when you try to step out and make change happen) but since then he's gone out and got UN support from all 182 countries and involved lots of celebrities including Angelina Jolie and Jude Law as well as making peace happen one one day for three years now.

So mark this year's date in your diary 21 September - and if you can, get tickets for this year's Peace One Day event (which I think is on 20 September in London and 21 September in Washington).

And spread the word - Jeremy's aim is to touch every person on the planet with the message that peace CAN be achieved, even if just for one day.

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Marketing Magicians

I just wanted to let you know about an amazing event I have arranged at the British Library on 2 June 2009.

The theme is high return/low cost marketing methods and it's aimed at entrepreneurs who really need help in driving sales, WITHOUT spending a fortune in advertising...

'Marketing Magicians' draws together six hugely successful small business owners who have each built a £multi-million business based on the marketing methods they have employed.

We have entrepreneur Mark Attwood telling us how he built his skip hire business from £0 to nearly £8 million T/O in just three years - through the power of Search Engine Optimisation - and he owns no skips!!!

We have arch blogger Thomas Mahon - who built a client base of international clients and royalty simply through the power of a blog, despite being based from a workshop in his garden in Cumbria. (Although he now has an office on Savile Row!)

And we have the charismatic marketer Royston Guest talking about the power of referral marketing.

Other speakers include copywriting guru Alan Forrest Smith and empowerment coach Sue Stone.

For full details on the event please go to Marketing Magicians and enter the special code friendsandfollowers to get £100 off !!!

It's going to be an absolutely brilliant event and I hope you will be part of it.