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Viewing entries tagged with 'service'

How to put the cuss in customer service

Posted by Philip on 9 August 2016, 4:00 pm in , , ,

If you want to lose customers and infuriate people, here are some ideas, based on my own, real-life, recent experiences with Parallel Imported, Pass the Parcel and Window Treatments. I won't be going back to any of them — I'd recommend you join me.


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NASC from a client’s perspective

Posted by Philip on 3 September 2015, 6:06 pm in , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

This week the Needs Assessment and Service Co-ordination Association (NASCA) held its national forum. According to its website, "NASCA provides leadership, assistance and peer support to NASC agencies throughout Aotearoa/New Zealand. NASC services are contracted by the Ministry of Health or District Health Boards to serve people with disabilities, people with mental health issues and older people needing age-related support."

I was invited to present the keynote plenary session on the first morning, providing a client's perspective. This, I explained in my introduction, was interesting given my well-known disdain for the NASC process. I assumed therefore, that I hadn't been invited to give a pep talk  — instead, I offered some critical analysis, drawing on the following model:

  • curiosity  — an eagerness to gather information and be open-minded
  • skepticism  — the comitment to question the information gathered
  • humility  — the willingness to change one's view

I asked my audience to embrace this mindset, as well as promising to do the same.

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To choose the life I want to lead: submission to the Productivity Commission's Inquiry into More Effective Social Services

Posted by Philip on 19 July 2015, 1:51 pm in , , , , , , , ,

This is the submission I made recently to the Productivity Commission's Inquiry into More Effective Social Services, in response to Chapter 11: Client choice and empowerment. Submissions closed in June. 

I am Managing Director of Diversity New Zealand Ltd. I am recognised in New Zealand and overseas as a social and creative entrepreneur with fifteen years’ experience as a professional, award-winning comedian. My company works to develop capacity in individuals, teams, organisations and communities in the areas of leadership, diversity, complexity and change.

I use Individualised Funding (IF) to manage my support.

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NEW! Organisational development using online and offline technology

Posted by Philip on 25 October 2014, 11:52 am in , , , , , ,

Form with tick boxes — Often, sometimes (ticked), seldom, neverLong time no blog! I've been busy working part-time at the New Zealand AIDS Foundation; getting ready to wrap up the fourth year of Be. Leadership and recruit for the fifth programme in 2015; and developing a new way to work with organisations to help them improve what they do.

A couple of months ago the GM of an organisation I helped set up in the 90s contacted me about doing a two-hour session on customer service at an annual staff hui. I told her there would be little of value I could achieve in two hours, but that I had an idea of how to gather data beforehand to use at the session.

The solution I proposed 


To ascertain how the team could work together more effectively with the people who access its services.

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Customer service from good to great — it's the small things

Posted by Philip on 24 April 2014, 12:55 pm in , , , ,

woman serving customersLast night I went to Q Theatre to have drinks with a couple of friends. After I ordered another glass of merlot from the bartender, a server went to the bar to deliver it. She checked who it was for and, when told it was for me, asked the bartender for a straw.

I was so impressed that I thanked her. She almost brushed the praise off, saying, "Oh, I remember you from a couple of weeks ago. You were sitting over the other side."

The fact that she remembered me was one thing, hardly startling given I have certain distinguishing characteristics. But coupling her recognition with the recollection that I used a straw indicates to me a true dedication to great service.

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If you're wondering what GOOD customer service looks like...Hallensteins

Posted by Philip on 17 May 2013, 6:42 pm in , , ,

So, after my last post about bad customer service, if you're wondering how hard it is to get it right, here's an email conversation I've just had with Hallensteins' web team: 

From: Philip Patston [DiversityNZ.com] <philip@diversitynz.com>

Date: 17 May 2013 18:17

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Air NZ blows its brand, yet again

Posted by Philip on 16 May 2013, 4:26 pm in , , ,

On the back of talking to the NZ Herald about this little furore created by Air New Zealand, I thought I'd share my story...

Last Friday two colleagues and I were booked on Air NZ 461 from Auckland to Wellington. My power wheelchair malfunctioned before we checked in and, because of the time taken to try and fix the problem, we arrived three minutes late to check in and, of course, the flight was closed.

As we explained to the ground staff member at the special assistance desk the reason why we were late and enquired whether an exception could be made, we were "told off" by the staff member for being late and, we felt, rudely told we would be transferred onto the next flight. This flight did not have an airbridge, adding further inconvenience as I had to be fork-lifted onto the plane from the tarmac.

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Health Minister needs to ensure quality of residential facilities: Green Party

Posted by Philip on 9 May 2013, 12:00 pm in , , , , , , ,

Another example of the National Party's complete disregard for a civil society. Shame on you Tony Ryall. Such a dishonourable response.

Big ups to Kevin Hague for taking a stand.


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Lack of outrage...but they're only disabled and vulnerable

Posted by Philip on 6 May 2013, 6:26 pm in , , , , , , ,

It's hard to understand that the allegations against Parklands, a residential facility in Pukekawa, south of Auckland, run by Linnaire and Neil Joslin for over a decade, have attracted such little public outrage.

The Joslins have probably received hundreds of millions of public money to allegedly abuse hundreds of disabled young people and adults.

Child Youth and Family have been referring youth-at-risk to the Ministry of Health Disability Support Services funded facility. The facility has been a dumping ground for disabled people too. 

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Losing it: appalling disability customer service

Posted by Philip on 13 March 2013, 7:43 pm in , ,

Today I spoke to Health and Disability Commissioner (HDC) staff about disability, diversity and customer service. Ironically I just wrote this email to the needs assessment service:

A needs assessor called Megan called me on Monday and agreed to email me with a needs assessment form and to make a needs assessment appointment the same day. She still hasn't.

I've been communicating with Taikura since mid January and I am absolutely fed up with the appalling lack of customer service and the lack of respect I believe underpins it.

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