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La Ville Cafe & Restaurant

I was first introduced to La ville Cafe ( WebsiteTwitterFacebook ) by Zamil , the place is pretty new and the it has a lovely indoor and outdoor setting. One of the good thing about the place beside many is the wifi, the owner Tariq is a mac head who is a fan of apple products, he has an iphone app in the making and wil be providing ipads for to use at La ville pretty soon.

Do you remember TV show “Cheers” Bar “where everybody knows your name”?

Or the TV show Friends?

La Ville Cafe is becoming our hangout. We have hosted various Jotweetups and few more Tech events such as “Social Media cafe

This is me enjoying the fast wifi and abusing the bandwidth 🙂

La Ville Cafe has a great chef. They offer great items such as Fettucini Alfredo, Hamour fish plate and fancy sandwiches. I have even asked for BBQ stuffed baked potato with chicken and it is the only place in Jordan that makes it upon request 🙂 . Their Shisha’s are new and made upon request which makes it a class A experience.

Great seating, great lighting, great LCDs and they are working on getting a large screen for the World Football Cup

This is at the Social Media cafe event

At a Jotweetup meeting

JoTweetup

La Ville

Yummy

JoTweetup

Best Shisha in town at La ville cafe

So for all of you Tech Heads I would like to invite you to visit La ville Cafe and experience the luxurious setting of a fancy Cafe & restaurant with superb wifi and delicious menu and did I mention best Shisha in town? 🙂

La Ville cafe & restaurant
Al Madina Al Monawara Street
Amman, Jordan
Tel: 06-5821882 / 0795777789
http://www.lavilleamman.com

Credit where credit is due: Photos were taken by Kinan , Jansait & Ali

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Nemr Abou Nassar talking about Tourism in Jordan

Nemr Abou Nassar did a comedy standup show in Amman which attracted around 1800 people.

I was fortunate enough to attend the show. This is his first extended visit and beside his jokes he brings up an interesting topic of how Jordan is under marketed and how the people and government are doing a poor job promoting tourism in Jordan, watch the video:

Little incident at the McDonald City Mall

This is an old post from my personal Blog

Little incident at the McDonald City Mall

Posted by Khaled on December 26, 2009

I took my kids along with my brother and his son to City mall to play at the kids playground thingy. Well after a couple of hours of torture we went to the food court to have a bite. Of course the kid’s favorite is McDonald. So I went to buy them happy meals, and here is how things went:

Me: I want this and that and that and this.

Cashier girl: Your total is 10.950 JD

* So I took my money out and I had two 20JDs and four 1Jd, so I handed her 21JD*

*She took the money and did not give me my 10JD back*

Me: I gave you 21JD

Cashier girl: No, you gave me 11JD.

Me: Could you check the cashier Machine and make sure.

*She does and show me 11JD*

Me: OK, looks like one of us could be mistaken here, could I speak with the Manager?

Manager: Yes may I help you.

Me: We have a situation here, my total was 10.950 and I gave her 21JD while she says I gave her 11JD. Either ways one of us has made a mistake, could be me could be here….

Cashier girl: LA WALLAH, HE GAVE ME 11JD.

Me: Ma’am, I’m not saying you have done anything wrong, I’m just saying one of us has done an accidental error.

Manager: Please get back to your cashier.

Me: So, could you check after you close your tonight and see if you have any cash over and if you do have 10JD to give me a call.

Manager: By all means, will do and not to worry thank you for coming.

*Handed him my business card*

Went back to my table to enjoy my meal with my kids and in my mind I was thinking, GOOD FAT LUCK! but felt good about the procedure I followed to report my problem and I think I have done a good job staying calm.

Then my phone rings only 15 minutes later and it was the Manager on the other line asking me to go back and talk to him.

He has done quick money count at that cashier machine and found out an extra 10JD and check with the security camera as well.

I’m so proud of the way this young manager handled this situation. And I want to applaud him  for such professionalism & caliber.

Do I sense hope for Customer Service in Jordan? or is it only available in internationally franchised establishment?

I’m contacting Armoush group to send recommendations to the young manager Mr. Mohamad Salim Alhadoub at McDonald City Mall.

How to Train Staff in Great Customer Service

How to Train Staff in Great Customer Service
By Ann Palmer

In the current economic recession, organizations may be tempted to cut back on training their staff in customer service. But consumers are becoming more demanding, and whilst prices are being slashed to get them in the door to buy, it is customer service that can be the real difference. This article provides valuable tips and advice on how to train your staff in great customer service.

People want more than just a transaction. They want to have a good experience. And no matter how good the product or service or how competitively priced it is, organizations really are missing a trick if they don’t provide excellent customer service to close the deal, to win repeat business and to build customer loyalty. We all know how long it can get to get new customers, and the sad truth is that poor service can lose them very quickly indeed. Losing customers in this way is sheer negligence.

So what IS great customer service? We’ve all experienced it, although it seems to be the exception rather than the norm. It’s providing what the customer needs, but more importantly it’s about leaving them with a good experience. It’s about how they FEEL, not just what they buy. Customers tend to want four things:

  • To feel welcome
  • To feel valued
  • To be understood
  • To have their needs met

Where to Start

Actually first things first. People buy people, not just products and services. Every great salesperson will tell you that. And if they are going to serve customers, you need to recruit the right people in the first place. People who can put themselves in the customers’ shoes. People who can demonstrate core skills of listening, building rapport and empathy. Positive, energetic and enthusiastic people with a ‘can do attitude’. Then the training can begin:

  1. First comes the induction process, where new hires learn all about the company and its values, as well as its products and structure. They learn who their customers are and who does what in the company, so that they know who to go to for help or to resolve a customer complaint. They are introduced to a ‘buddy’, who can show them the ropes
  2. Product knowledge is key. Staff need to understand the features and benefits of a range of products so that they can help customers to buy what’s right for their needs. If you have a Training Department, great. If not, then think really carefully about who has the skills to pass their product knowledge on, because not everyone can train others effectively
  3. Communication skills development is critical. It isn’t enough to have product knowledge; staff need to know the basics such as how to greet the customer (with a smile, even if on the phone, and using their name where possible). First impressions make a huge impact. Be sure to establish and communicate clear and measurable standards for this e.g. answer the phone within three rings; answer correspondence within 48 hours; show the customer to a table within a minute of arrival; take the customer to the supermarket aisle to find the product they’re looking for; offer a hot drink as they arrive at the hair salon etc. Effective questioning and active listening skills can be learned, so that staff can find out what it is the customer actually needs, rather than what they think they want. Help them to pay attention to body language as well as the spoken word. And positive language training helps too. Rather than talking about what the company can’t do, control the conversation and identify what it CAN do. And don’t confuse the customer with jargon; check their level of understanding so that you can pitch your language accordingly. Practice building rapport by mirroring and matching communication styles to build relationships.
  4. Train people in the end to end process, not just the bit that they are responsible for. Explain the why and how as well as the what. Show them how to do things right first time. Every time. And supervise them closely until they have demonstrated competence
  5. Training in service recovery or complaint handling is vital. When things go wrong, think of it as a golden opportunity to win the customer. Customers realise that mistakes happen, but it’s the way that companies deal with them that can really make or break the relationship. Even if the customer is aggressive, don’t be defensive, as that will make things worse. The first step is to offer a sincere apology, as that will usually take the heat out of the situation, even if you’re not at fault. Apologising for the impact of what has gone wrong is showing real empathy. Then find a way to fix it. See what you can do to offer service beyond the norm. Take ownership and follow through until the issue is resolved to the customer’s satisfaction. If you say you will do something, do it, then let the customer know you did it. And go one stage further; follow up later to make sure that everything’s OK. Remember that you want them to be singing your praises to everyone they know, and turning a complaining customer into a delighted one really is achievable, with just a little effort
  6. Encourage everyone to look for opportunities to go the extra mile each and every time

Beat the recession. Let great customer service be the norm in your organization.

This post was copied from this source: http://ezinearticles.com/?How-to-Train-Staff-in-Great-Customer-Service&id=2047773

Tourism in Jordan. What does it lack?

Tourism in Jordan lacks Service!

I was in Kuwait doing my paper work. The Company messenger was driving me around from one government building to another and he was gracious enough to drive me to the airport.

We had this conversation (his name is Raed):

Raed: I was born in Kuwait and I love it, are you sad you are leaving Kuwait?

Khaled: I’m OK, I mean I can always come back by obtaining a visa from airport. it is not a big issue for me. you should visit Jordan it is such a beautiful country we have Petra, Aqaba, Dead Sea & Wadi Rum.

Raed: Yes, I’m also a diver and I belong to Kuwait diving club. We go to Sharm twice a month.

Khaled: you should visit Jordan, the weather is great, we have great security and Aqaba is considered one of the best diving spots worldwide.

Raed: Yes, I actually been to Jordan 4 years ago, we heard it is a safe country and family oriented. So the club has selected a conservative bunch and we tried Jordan to see if we can change from Sharm to Aqaba.

Khaled: GREAT!

Raed: At one restaurant in Amman, the owner came and spoke to us and he was complimenting Kuwait and remembering his memories back in the old days. At the end when we left we tried to leave him a big tip, but he refused! which was shocking to us. Wow! this is the first time we witness such a thing. In Lebanon, Egypt and Syria it is nothing like that. We were impressed.

Raed: Then while smoking Shisha at some cafe in Amman, a young boy came to us trying to sell us chewing gum. He was such a young boy and he wouldn’t take No as an answer, so we told him how much would the whole box cost? Which was around 5JD. We paid him 5JD and told him to leave us alone. He took the money and vanished. Then 5 minutes later he comes back telling us: My dad told me to give you your money back. If you want to buy fine, but we don’t take charity. Which shocked the heck out of us.

Raed: We fill in love with the country. Safe, great weather, people with ethics and not after your money….

Khaled: Yes, Jordanians are like that.

Raed: Then we arrived to Aqaba and checked in at a 4 star hotel. While in line waiting to check in the front Desk guy started screaming at us: MOVE YOUR CASES OUT OF THE WAY NOW! MOVE THEM! YELLA!
Which was very disturbing to us. We never face such rudeness in neighboring countries. The service got from bad to worse at the hotel, which made us cut our trip short and go to Sharm.

Khaled: When was that?

Raed: 4 years ago.

Khaled: No, things has been better since then.

Raed: It is a shame, we were planning to shift our bi-monthly diving groups from Sharm to Aqaba, but not with such service. We don’t mind spending the money as long we receive the service we look for.

What a shame. Jordan has the Potentials, but lacks the right implementation.

Maybe, it is time to invest in Non-Jordanian employees to give the right service!

Boarding in 30 minutes….

Peace

Those darn Angry Customers!

A happy customer is essential to every business, not only do they spend more when they are happy, they refer more customers to your business. On the other hand, Angry Customers will waste your time & efforts and stress down your employees, then talk bad about your business. You will not only loose the customer but also loose all the potential referrals ho would have got you.

What makes a customer angry?
The customer becomes angry the product or service that they purchased from you did not meet their expectations, or it was not delivered on time or in perfect condition, or maybe the rep that they dealt with was rude and/or incompetent.

What type of angry customers are there?

1. The Spartan – This type of client is angry about anything and everything, and they think that it’s all your fault. Everything’s a battle with them, hence the name.
How To Deal With Them: Let them know that you understand their anger, and that you can empathize. Try to use the same words and body language that they do; basically, they don’t currently see you as a person, but rather a corporate face, so if you can emulate them to the point that they see themselves in you, they’ll start acting more civilized.
2. The Mind Changer – The mind changer repeatedly changes their shippingpreference, wants to start and cancel a service, or wants to change the color or size of a product. They just can’t figure out what they came to you for, and they’re upset that your business doesn’t have the limitless flexibility to satiate them.
How To Deal With Them: Reason with them and let them know that it costs you money when they keep changing their mind. Try to shift their focus onto what they’ll be getting rather than how much it costs–the reason they keep changing their mind is almost always money.
3. The Business Owner – This guy owns his own business, and it runs quite a bit better than this business you’ve got here. Why, in his company, customers are treated immediately and the prices are fair. And he knows what you paid for that thing–give him that price, or he’s walking! Nevermind that as a business owner, he should know how difficult it is to deal with bad clients and make a profit.
How To Deal With Them: Talk business with them. Explain that it doesn’t make you a profit to make customers upset, and that there’s a very good, business sound reason for everything that you do. If you’ve made a mistake, own up to it, and remind them that all businesses make mistakes, it’s how they deal with them that matters.
4. The Talker – The talker is possibly the worst type of client to have,because they may be friendly as the dickens and all around OK, it’s just that they’ll talk and talk for hours. Often they’ll tell you about their pets, or give you a sob story to explain why you shouldn’t charge them what you charge everyone else.
How To Deal With Them: There’s just no way to be polite and brief. Tell them you’ve got to help other customers, and you’ve got to go, and thank them. If you’re on the phone, use any pause after you say this to say goodbye and hang up. They’ll get the message. You should never lie to these customers, because they’ll be severely offended if they’re able to catch you in said lie.
Is there a hidden agenda?
YES! notice that with a really angry person, even if you can “fix” the problem, the person still acts in angry or nasty ways? Why is that? Well, actually angry customers want several things. Yes, they want the problem fixed, but they also want to BE HEARD, TO BE LISTENED TO, and to have their upset and emotional state recognized and acknowledged.
The solution is to follow this general rule: When faced with an angry customer, FIRST focus on acknowledging the feelings and upset of the customer. Once the customer starts to calm down as a result of having his or her feelings recognized, THEN move to solving the problem. You’ll find that this will save you a lot of time and energy.
Here are few tips when confronted with an Angry Customer:
1. Don’t take it personally.
Understand that most angry customers aren’t angry with you personally, but rather with the situation in which they currently find themselves. They may be frustrated and, until you hear them out, you have no idea why.
2. Let them vent.
Part of being good at customer service is letting the customer feel that he has the floor. Let him tell you the entire story. Take notes if it is long or involved. Only after the customer has felt like he has said his peace should you attempt to solve his problem. Make sure you are actively listening to what he is saying and what he is not saying. Sometimes you can tell more about what would satisfy a customer by paying attention to what your customer didn’t say or by the nonverbal cues your customer gives out -than you can by the words he chooses.
3. Ask for clarification if there is something that you do not understand.
Better to ask what may seem like a dumb question then to start off on the wrong path to solve his problem. If you begin by answering a question he didn’t ask, the anger will only intensify. Make sure you know what it is that happened and perhaps what he wants done about it before you begin.
4. Validate your customer.
Sympathize and empathize with your customer as much as possible. Tell him you are sorry that he is so frustrated. This is not the same as admitting fault or accepting blame for the situation. It just further lets your customer know that you are there to help him and are interested in his welfare and not just the company’s bottom line. Otherwise your reactions to his anger or your responses to his statements may serve only to fuel the customer’s anger.
5. State back to the customer what you heard him say.
To make sure you didn’t misunderstand, state back to the customer what you heard him say is the problem. This way you can clear up any last minute details before you get into the answer with him.
6. You don’t have to have all the answers.
Saying “I don’t know.” may be the correct answer to the customer’s question. One of the worst things you can do is to pretend to know the answer only to find that it won’t work for the customer. Be honest and tell the customer you will have to find out for him and call him back. Ask him if he can hold if the answer is within reach. Make sure you follow up with the customer when you said you would!
7. Share your commonalities with your customer instead of focusing on the differences.
Identify with him by bringing out something that you both have in common. Perhaps share a short story about something similar that happened to you.
8. Tell your customer what you can do for him.
If you can do exactly what your customer wants, fantastic! If you can’t, have another proposal ready that would be a good fit for your customer. If you feel it is warranted (and if you can), offer a freebie or a discount on another product to show good faith.
9. If your suggestion doesn’t appeal to the customer, ask him what he would like you to do and see if you can accommodate him.
Sometimes your customer may not even know what he wants from you. Stating this may help your customer realize that they are being unreasonable. Or perhaps your customer will come up with a way that will work for him that you would never have thought of on your own.
10. Explain why you may be limited in what you can do.
If it simply isn’t possible to do what he wants or if it is just too costly for your company to do this, explain that openly and honestly with your customer.
11. Thank your customer for bringing this to your attention.
If they have brought an issue to your attention that will allow you to better meet the needs of your other customers, this is a good thing for you to know! Thank your customer for allowing you to provide better service or a better product to your customers. They will appreciate knowing that not only did you help them with their problem, but that they were the catalyst for a positive change in your company
And always be polite!
Well, would you believe me if I told you that you could learn some techniques that would turn this person in to a happy customer? It’s true!
Many times what an angry person really wants is someone who will listen and do their best to help. They don’t necessarily need someone to say the “right thing” or someone who will “solve all their problems”. They just need you to listen and do your level best to help them get what they feel they deserve.
Now we interrupt this communication advice for a message from reality: *BIG DISCLAIMER* Nothing in communicating with human beings is certain because every person is different and their moods change from day to day or even minute by minute.
Nothing works 100% of the time, but these tips will help you increase your chances of creating a connection with this person and enable him walk away feeling that you honestly did you utmost to help him!

Make the angry customer want to come back again
A customer complaint can be a vehicle for customer retention. If you handle the customer appropriately and apologize effectively you can turn a negative into a positive.
Never counter angry customers with your own anger: Remember that the simple mathematical principle of ‘minus into minus is plus’ does not hold good in the case of human relationships. You have to face a confrontational situation by dousing the irate customer with a sprinkling of your cool behaviour and by trying to give due respect even though the customer might be yelling and swearing at you. You must resolve to stay calm and try to satisfy the customer even in the most difficult situations. It is only by expressing respect that you will win him over.
Khaled

We suck at Customer Service and here is how to improve!

Jordan has great assets in terms of tourism. You name it (History & Culture Tourism, Eco & Nature Tourism, Religion & Faith Tourism, Leisure & wellness Tourism, and Fun & Adventure Tourism) we have it all.

What we lack is the right service! we are known for our Jordanian frown. We don’t usually smile although we mean good. We don’t beat around the bush, we give it to you straight. We need to learn the etiquettes of customer service.

Some people claim it is a culture handicap, some say it’s bad management. I on the other hand not into stereotyping business and believe with a little bit of education we can all learn something new.

Customer service is vital for any business today. Excellent customer service is the key to gaining new customers and customer retention. After all, for every happy client you have, he or she will tell three people; but, an unhappy customer will complain to 10.

You can offer promotions and discounts to bring in as many new customers as you want, but unless you can get your customers to come back, you are wasting resources. Good customer service is all about creating a happy experience for your customers. Happy enough to send out positive feedback about your business.

It is not good enough to sell a product or a service, you need to create a relationship to guarantee that the customer will keep coming back, not to mention referring new customers to your business. How do you go about forming such a relationship? By remembering the one true secret of good customer service and acting accordingly; “You will be judged by what you do, not what you say.” If you truly want to have good customer service, all you have to do is ensure that your business consistently does these things:

1- Be reachable, visible, and available:
I used to wait on tables back in the days, the first rule is to greet the customer once they are seated in 40 seconds or less: “Hello, my name is Khaled Welcome to (Hotel California), I will be with you shortly” . You have to acknowledge your clients with a smile, a simple hello, or a short greetings. Another thing for business owner, is to be available whenever the customer is asking to meet with them.

2-Listen:
Allow your customer to vent out and let them speak their mind uninterrupted. Wait till they say all there is to say. Pay attention to every little detail, show them that you are listening by making the appropriate responses.

3-Don’t promise unless you WILL deliver:
Reliability is one of the keys to any good relationship, and good customer service is no exception. Think before you give any promise, because nothing annoys customers more than a broken one. Give yourself an extra time to allow for surprises.

4-Deal with complaints emotionLESS:
“You can’t please all the people all the time”. Maybe not, but if you give the complaint your attention, you may be able to please this one person this one time – and position your business to reap the benefits of good customer service.

5-Help even if there is no *CASHING* sound to it:
The other day I needed to buy a mobile charge, while dropping off the taxi I did not have the right change, so I went around the nearby stores (which all happen to be mobile stores) and asked for change. The first two stores claim they don’t have change for a 5JD while the 3rd store gave me the change with a smile. After paying my Taxi who do you think I would go buy the charger from?

6-Empower your staff to be (helpful, courteous, and knowledgeable):
I think that is one of the major issues here in Jordan, we need educated our front office staff and provide them with the right tools to make a decision to solve issues with our customers, or even empower them to cross sell our products & services. Talk to them about good customer service and what it is (and isn’t) regularly. Most importantly, give every member of your staff enough information and power to make those small customer-pleasing decisions.

7-Take that extra step:
Make it easier for your customer. Don’t just answer their question, offer any extra information and suggest better options. We are not robots, customer sometimes come for the interaction and the atmosphere. If a customer asked: “where is a good place to eat around here?” engage in a conversation, ask him what type of food is he looking for, offer options and propose your favorite.

8-Always throw in something on the House:
Make them feel they had a “winner” experience. A happy customer is as happy as the experience is, no matter how much money he paid. Whether it’s a coupon for a future discount, additional information on how to use the product, or a genuine smile, people love to get more than they thought they were getting. And don’t think that a gesture has to be large to be effective.

If businesses in Jordan would follow these simple rules consistently, businesses will flourish (Scout’s honor).

Here are few tips answering negative comments online:

1.Read, take a deep breath, and only answer when your emotions don’t affect the message.

2.Acknowledge up-front that the customer has a point, a simple sorry will do.

3.Provide details that let the customer know you read their review, automated or canned responses to negative reviews are worse than no response at all.

4.Provide details on how you are improving or changing because of their review and what they could expect in the future.

5.Invite them back to your business or to try your services again in the future as you will continue to improve with great feedback.

6.Thank them for their feedback.

7.Provide your full name along with contact information at the bottom of the message to make yourself available.

Source

For etiquettes on answering the phone:


1) Answer all incoming phone calls before the third ring.
2) When you answer the phone, be warm and enthusiastic. Your voice at the end of the telephone line is sometimes the only impression of your company a caller will get.
3) When answering the phone, welcome callers courteously and identify yourself and your organization. Say, for instance, “Good morning. Cypress Technologies. Susan speaking. How may I help you?” No one should ever have to ask if they’ve reached such and such a business.
4) Enunciate clearly, keep your voice volume moderate, and speak slowly and clearly when answering the phone, so your caller can understand you easily.
5) Control your language when answering the phone. Don’t use slang or jargon. Instead of saying, “OK”, or “No problem”, for instance, say “Certainly”, “Very well”, or “All right”. If you’re a person who uses fillers when you speak, such as “uh huh”, “um”, or phrases such as “like” or “you know”, train yourself carefully not to use these when you speak on the phone.
6) Train your voice and vocabulary to be positive when phone answering, even on a “down” day. For example, rather than saying, “I don’t know”, say, “Let me find out about that for you.”
7) Take telephone messages completely and accurately. If there’s something you don’t understand or can’t spell, such as a person’s surname, ask the caller to repeat it or spell it for you. Then make sure the message gets to the intended recipient.
8) Answer all your calls within one business day. I can’t emphasize this one enough. Remember the early bird? The early caller can get the contract, the sale, the problem solved… and reinforce the favorable impression of your business that you want to circulate.
9) Always ask the caller if it’s all right to put her on hold when answering the phone, and don’t leave people on hold. Provide callers on hold with progress reports every 30 to 45 seconds. Offer them choices if possible, such as “That line is still busy. Will you continue to hold or should I have ________ call you back?”
10) Don’t use a speaker phone unless absolutely necessary. Speaker phones give the caller the impression that you’re not fully concentrating on his call, and make him think that his call isn’t private. The only time to use a speaker phone is when you need more than one person to be in on the conversation at your end.
11) If you use an answering machine to answer calls when you can’t, make sure that you have a professional message recorded, that does the same thing as tip # 3, and gives callers any other pertinent information before it records their messages. Update your answering machine message as needed. For instance, if your business is going to be closed for a holiday, update your recorded answering machine message to say so and to say when your business will reopen.
12) Train everyone else who answers the phone to answer the same way, including other family members if you’re running a home-based business. Check on how your business’s phone is being answered by calling in and seeing if the phone is being answered in a professional manner. If they don’t pass the test, go over this telephone answering tips list with them.
Khaled