We all know that times are a little more difficult that they used to be. If you are like me, your costs will be rising every day yet your ability to do the same with your business charges is impossible because of competition.
In order to make any proper money these days you have to provide a great product or service, and you have to offer real added value for your customer along the way, which is exactly what we always strive to achieve at R&B Group.
Last week I was in Manchester (again, this really has emerged as the second city – sorry all you 0121ers that’s how it looks to me) to stage an awards dinner for a great regular client. We were lucky to be using a fashionable five-star hotel whose staff had been extremely helpful during the planning for this project.
Feeding the crew on events like this is always tricky. We usually eat at the same time as the guests, but more often we don’t have the same meal. Instead we often chose to pre-order a bar snack at the venue.
On this occasion two of the crew chose an Indian trio dish which came with a rather unpleasant onion bhaji. We didn’t exactly complain as we were being British but when the waitress asked if everything was ok we told her about the over-salted morsel. She was quite indignant and checked with chef, reporting back that she’d just tried one and they were fine. She kindly said we could have another but it would be just the same! We declined.
When the bill came it wasn’t really surprising to find the full charge included. What was a little shocking was the £6 charge per pint of coke and the 10% service charge on the whole lot!
Back in the office the following day I opened my mail to discover that R&B are not currently PCI DSS compliant. The scheme is connected with payment card security and requires merchants to demonstrate compliance or face increased service fees and possibly fines. Wishing to comply I read on to discover that there was a telephone number for a firm who could help me do the necessary. I rang it to find it would only cost me £11.99 for them to complete and submit everything required. Less than the price of a couple of cokes in Manchester, I reflected.
Remember, it’s all about providing great services and added value. You would need to look at the payment card paperwork to understand (just Google PCI DSS – you’ll be dismayed at the way this scheme has been administered) if £11.99 is likely to deliver either of these things. However, I have just completed it in about 45 minutes and as for the coke, I’m not sure what they could have done to make it worth that! The awards show, on the other hand, was tremendous value and the client has booked several more for 2012!