Monthly Archives: March 2016

Putting the Fun Back in Customer Service

A few weeks ago, I read an interesting article about how bricks and mortar retail stores in North America have been losing the battle against online retailers. In the Information Age, online retailers have the edge of easy browsing, fast and free shipping, and customer reviews – all from the comfort of one’s own home.

If traditional retailers are going to be successful, they must step up their game and think outside the box, so as to not lose their customers. It’s been suggested that one of the ways that retailers could do so is to make visiting the stores more fun. People truly want to go out and have a memorable experience, and at the same time, companies need to improve customer loyalty and retention. For example, Chapters / Indigo has cozy seats for customers who love to read, while some grocery stores have cooking demonstrations to entice customers shopping for food and kitchen products, and a few clothing stores and restaurants invite local bands to play music for the customers.

Given the fact that bricks and mortar retail stores in North America are losing customers and online retailers are becoming more effective and prominent, bricks and mortar retailers have to learn to entertain and bring more fun into the experiences they are delivering. I encourage everyone to look out for the fun retailers… they are the ones whose employees seem the most passionate, provide great customer service, and make it worth a trip outside of the house.


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Sunnybrook Hospital Shows Its Sunny-Side of Customer Service

A few months ago, I wrote a blog for North York General Hospital, praising how wonderfully its employees treat patients. Today, I would like to offer the same praise to Sunnybrook Hospital.

A couple of months ago, my father got into a bad car accident. He is an older gentleman, and I was somewhat concerned about the interaction between the EMS workers and himself would be handled, as he was very upset and more worries about picking up his sister (who was waiting for him) than his own well being. Thankfully, his injuries were not serious, but given his age, he was quickly taken to the hospital for precautionary purposes.

Upon arrival he was quickly registered, to see a doctor despite it being a busy Friday evening. When it was my father’s turn to be checked out, the doctor was cool, calm, and organized. He took my father in for an examination, which was followed b some x-rays. While we waited for the x-rays, the doctor came into the waiting area to check up on us, and see how my father was handling the wait. A short time later, after by father complained about a noise in his ears, he was immediately reexamined. Again, the doctor who took a look at my father remained calm, pleasant, and perhaps most importantly…patient throughout the entire process, as he understood that my father was shook up by the car accident.

In addition to the EMS workers and doctors, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the outstanding team of nurses who work in Sunnybrook’s Emergency Department. While the Department was not as busy and chaotic as on a show such as ER, the staff are certainly busy and running around while always clearly being concerned and focussed on the well being of all patients. Whether it was a few words of encouragement for my dad, finding a chair for my aunt, putting a bandage on my dad’s arm, or assisting the needs of other patients, these nurses are quite pleasant, friendly, and clearly very caring.

Whether it’s the EMS teams who transport patients to the facility, the nurses who do a lot of the care work, or the doctors who must deal with older patients, Sunnybrook Hospital shows its sunny-side of customer service by treating each patient as an individual and treating each patient very well.

Sunnybrook Hospital
2075 Bayview Avenue
Toronto, ON M4N 3M5


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NorthWest Auto Collision is the Master of Repairs

Many years ago, through family connections, I got in touch with John, who is very reputable in the auto-collision business. John and his business partner Rob own a shop close to where I live, and both of them have worked with a team of on-site specialists for over 35 years. Their team has a high level of experience and are always ready to deliver professional and quality collision repairs.

Every time work needs to be done on my own, my wife’s, or my father’s car, John does an excellent job of coming up with cost-effective ways to do repairs. For example, he would use after-market parts and used parts to do the repairs rather than the more expensive OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) parts. I recall a few years ago, when my own and my wife’s cars were damaged in the ice-storm, when John was able to do the repairs for a reasonable price by using different parts that in no way impacted the look or operation of the vehicles, while saving me considerable money.

Aside from saving money, John is one of these people in business, who truly cares about the well being of his customers. Just a few months ago, when my father got into an accident, John was able to quickly arrange a car rental and tow truck to the scene of the accident, making things a lot easier on my dad. Whether during regular business hours or in the evenings and / or weekends, John is just a phone call away, and always willing to be of assistance.

John’s business partner, Rob, is a great mechanic, which is unfortunately becoming a lost art. Rob could sit in a car, drive it around, and after hearing a certain noise, he would diagnose the specific problem and quickly get to work on fixing it. Rob too, uses good quality but reasonably priced parts, which he obtains through a trusted network of contacts and suppliers that he has built up during his years in business.

As regularly mentioned by my postings, I always do my best to support small businesses, and John, Rob, and their team are masters of their craft that deserves high praise and recognition. They are genuine, take good care of their customers, and I highly recommend them to anyone who is in need of car repairs be it body work or mechanical.

John and Rob
NorthWest Auto Collision
961 Roselawn Avenue
Toronto, ON M6B 1B6


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