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It’s tonight!  And there’s just a few hours to go before The Cutting Edge’s Fantasy and Fairytale Bridal Evening at The Gallery – Ryehill Golf Club.

 

There are a few tickets left – why not come along and join in the fun?  If you would like a last-minute ticket, phone The Cutting Edge now on 01295 278910.  They can be reserved for you for collection on the door.

 

The tickets price is just £7.50, with a donation from each ticket going to support Tiago’s fund. Tiago is a 4 year old boy from Banbury with cerebral palsy – it is a wonderful cause!

 

Tonight the winner of the Bridal Princess competition will be announced – who is going to be the lucky girl who will win all her wedding hair and beauty treatment?  Come along and find out.

 

Included in the ticket price is:

 

  • Bucks Fizz reception
  • Refreshments
  • Hair and beauty demonstrations
  • Fabulous wedding displays
  • Close-up magician Richard Young will amaze you with his own special kind of magic
  • Each person will take home a wedding bag which includes a FREE pair of earrings worth £10!

All for just £7.50 per person.  Do come along and support this wonderful evening.  This event isn’t just for brides – if you are going to a ball or a prom perhaps, come along and find out how you can be a Princess for the night.

 

Reserve those last tickets now – phone the Cutting Edge on 01295 278910.  If you can’t come along, you can still donate to Taigo’s fund here.

 

 

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Pevensey Bay - birthplace of WORD-right!

Pevensey Bay - birthplace of WORD-right!

There’s nothing so controversial as Broadband Service Providers.  If you check out the forums, you’ll see they’re full of complaints and gripes.  That was us too until 2005!   Our broadband was provided by one of the major companies and we’d been with them for some time.  In all fairness, we didn’t have many problems until we moved to Pevensey Bay, just outside Eastbourne. 

Although a lovely place, Pevensey Bay is nothing if not windy and that’s when the problems started!  With every bout of high winds and rain, our connection dropped.  I’m sure we weren’t the only ones affected, but our provider was about as much use as a chocolate fireguard! 

In time, we found out the problem was with the BT infrastructure but, getting our provider to contact BT was a constant battle.  The problem was, if they called out BT and it turned out to be a different problem, BT would bill the provider for the call-out.  When we lost our connection for a fortnight and, despite constant phone calls (to an expensive premium rate number) and countless email ‘tickets’, nothing was done about it, we came to the conclusion they had to go! 

A business contact recommended we speak to Hasting-based company, Beaming.  I was given a phone number and told to phone Stuart.  What’s this … a broadband supplier with a phone number and a real person with a name?  And guess what?  Beaming does have real people, they answer their phones and what’s more, they do amazing things like … phoning you back! 

Needless to say, we’ve been recommending Beaming to everyone who’ll listen, ever since.  Of course we’ve had the occasional problem and lost service, but each time it’s dealt with quickly and professionally.  When we moved back to Chipping Norton, good old BT couldn’t be persuaded to connect our phones, let alone our broadband.  Stuart from Beaming stepped in and helped resolve the problem.  And because Beaming is big on communication, Stuart phoned us regularly on our mobile to give us updates on the progress.

Beaming’s service has been exceptional from day one.  Here’s a recent example of the Beaming customer care … we started to experience problems with our broadband connection one evening.  We tried calling, but didn’t realise Beaming’s technical support line closes at 9pm.  No problem!  We left a message, knowing it would be picked up and dealt with in the morning.  Imagine our amazement when Stuart from Beaming phoned us at 9.45pm … he was at home, but checked his messages before shutting down for the night.  He then went on to check our system from his end! 

That level of customer service deserves a great big bouquet and a sincere thank you to Stuart, Marcus and the rest of the Beaming crew from us here at WORD-right. 

So take it from WORD-right … if your broadband provider is not delivering  that level of service … try Beaming!  You’ll find real people (with names!) who answer their phones and care about their customers.  They’re a rare beast indeed!

Finding the right CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system isn’t easy.  Like many small businesses, we recognised the need for a system which would meet our individual requirements, not just here and now, but for the future. 

I cut my teeth on ACT in the days of DOS systems.  But as some of the WORD-right team works remotely, having a PC-based CRM wasn’t going to be easy to use or manage.  So after much deliberation, we decided to investigate online CRM packages. 

The word ‘minefield’ springs to mind!  There is a vast array of packages out there, with set-up fees ranging from a few pounds or dollars to several hundred.  I was dazzled by all the available bells and whistles, and in some cases, by the dazzling prices too! 

When I arrived at iport4business, I had worked out what bells and whistles I wanted from my CRM system, and which ones were just going to be an unnecessary added cost.  iport4business met all my needs, was easy and intuitive to use (even for little old me!), and … very important in these credit crunch times … had no set-up fee. 

But our decision to invest in the iport4business system wasn’t based on the cost or even on its range of bells and whistles.  So if we weren’t swayed by prices or ingenious features, what did prompt this buying decision?  That’s easy … good old-fashioned customer service … that’s what! 

After we’d set up our free 14 day trial to get familiar with the software, I had a few queries.  After all, this was a big decision for a small business, and I wanted to be sure the system worked for us.  Not only did I get an  impressively fast response from the company’s Airdrie office, I also received the first of several emails from the iport4business CEO, Chic McSherry! 

Iport4business counts many huge organisation as clients, both in the UK and ‘over the pond’.  Names such as Spar and Virgin Trains clearly demonstrate the stature of this international company.  Needless to say, I was very, very impressed at getting fast, chatty, and really helpful replies from the CEO himself.  

There is no doubt in my mind the world would be a better place to live and work if more companies took this attitude.  We’re probably one of the smallest tiddlers in the iport4business pond, but we feel welcomed, cared for, and valued.  That, for me, is what customer service is all about. 

So sorry Chic … if you find yourself knee deep in emails after this post, you’ll know who to blame!

When you book a service you’ve never used before and without a recommendation, you have to cross your fingers and hope for the best. 
Well, my fingers were crossed yesterday … quite unnecessarily I might add.

We booked a lunch party for my father’s 90th birthday at Southsea’s Royal Beach Hotel (http://www.royalbeachhotel.co.uk).  In true Scottish style, I also arranged for Daniel Del Piccolo, a Highland Bagpiper, to play both at the hotel and afterwards at the Nursing Home where my father now lives. 

From start to finish my father’s special day was everything we hoped it would be.  From our first enquiry, the staff at the Royal Beach Hotel were helpful and professional.  Davina and Sally from the hotel’s events team couldn’t do enough to make the day a success.  We were greeted like old friends and treated like royalty from start to finish. 

Birthday party announcement!

Birthday party announcement!

I have now quite forgiven them for aging me by several decades … whoops!  The display board in the hotel foyer announced MY 90th birthday party was being held in the Ark Royal Restaurant.  Needless to say this caused much hilarity and the board was well photographed by several members of the family! 

The food at the Royal Beach Hotel was first class (no small comment from a former caterer and restaurateur!) and the wines excellent.  There’s no doubt we’ll be treating ourselves to lunch there again at the next opportunity.  So a big thank you from the WORD-right team to all the staff at the Royal Beach Hotel, Southsea.

The highlight of my father’s day was the surprise arrival of Daniel del Piccolo.  In full regalia Daniel, a member of the Rose and Thistle Pipe band,  piped in the birthday cake and brought tears to an old man’s eyes. 

Daniel - the South Coast Piper

Daniel Del Piccolo - the South Coast Piper

I had no idea where I would find a piper for the event and found Daniel on a Google search.  We communicated by email and phone to tie up the arrangements for the day.  Daniel sent me a copy of his repertoire and even went so far as to learn to play ‘The Dark Island’ at my request. 

Daniel Del Piccolo is an incredibly talented young man!  Not only is he an accomplished musician, he is charming, helpful and a sheer delight to work with.  If you’re looking for a piper in the Hampshire or South Coast area, don’t hesitate.  Check out his website (http://www.southcoastpiper.co.uk).  He comes highly recommended!

Finally a big thank you to all the staff at The Regency Nursing Home who do so much to care for all their residents.  Everyone’s birthday is marked by a tea-party complete with cake.  They do a great job and it’s good to know there are so many dedicated professionals helping look after my Dad.

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