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Aki Kalliatakis is the Managing Partner of The Leadership LaunchPad, a business focused on customer loyalty and radical marketing. Contact him on +27 (0)83 379 3466, +27 (0)11 640-3958 or . Follow @akikalliatakis on Twitter.
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Aki Kalliatakis
When a store stick-up doesn't mean a price rise

Daylight robbery at shopping centres has become a big worry ... and I'm not talking about the mark-up of products and services due to the new season and high inflation.

By Aki Kalliatakis 15 Sep 2014 14:09

Aki Kalliatakis
Spring-clean your business

Spring is a great time to re-energise your business and a good time to reorganise and spruce up what your customers' experience. Here are six top tips to revitalise the experiences that they have...

By Aki Kalliatakis 2 Sep 2014 11:39

Aki Kalliatakis
The big gorilla sits wherever he wants to... or maybe not

The first time I ever heard the expression about where the big gorilla sits, I became irrationally angry...

By Aki Kalliatakis 14 Jul 2014 10:17

Aki Kalliatakis
Celebrate youth...they're the ones driving consumer-friendly change

Youth will have its day ... officially it's June 16. But the kids deserve more than 24 hours of fame...

By Aki Kalliatakis 11 Jun 2014 14:00

Creating viral hits
Creating viral hits

Adverts, especially funny adverts, are amongst videos on YouTube that are very popular and many marketers fantasise about how wonderful it would be if their advert became viral and trendy - and their company famous. In today's connected world, however, virality, popularity and fame may not be that desirable.

By Aki Kalliatakis 23 May 2014 13:06

To tip or not?
To tip or not?

Where does tipping staff end - I just stopped off at a garage next to the highway to fill up my Smart and grab some breakfast. Petrol cost me R360, plus a R10 tip, breakfast was R63 plus a R17 tip. I also gave the roaming car park attendant another R5 for "looking after my car."

By Aki Kalliatakis 9 May 2014 14:36

Aki Kalliatakis
Revive customer service over Easter

Easter is ideal for hatching a customer service revival across our retail and service sectors, as consumers unwrap little treats. Families have time to browse over holiday weekends; they are unhurried and receptive, creating an opportunity for shops and service providers to win customers.

By Aki Kalliatakis 10 Apr 2014 13:51

Tips to keep customers happy
Tips to keep customers happy

Ask people about the state of customer service, and there is a good chance that they will be able to tell you about at least five stories of terrible experiences - and not many positive ones.

By Aki Kalliatakis 22 Jan 2014 11:32

Big brother and big data
Big brother and big data

There is some good in this concept of analysing big data, but based on various experiences with large organisations, it is difficult to see much usefulness in this concept.

By Aki Kalliatakis 2 Dec 2013 10:13

Aki Kalliatakis
Keeping consumers in the shop, not online

Faced with the growing number of consumers who go into brick and mortar retailers, browse, price compare and then leave to buy online, retailers need to overcome this phenomenon and get back their business.

By Aki Kalliatakis 20 Aug 2013 12:56

Aki Kalliatakis
Forecasting retail shakeout

A shakeout in some retail, trading and service sectors is on its way in the second half of the year with business looking to pick up in the coming months. Following the shutdown or exit of undercapitalised competitors, survivors are planning to grow market share as they take up the slack left by casualties of the tough economy.

By Aki Kalliatakis 26 Jun 2013 14:46

Aki Kalliatakis
How to deal with delays, kill queues

The single most-cited source of frustration for customers is delays and long queues. Your company needs to take this seriously because when customers are kept waiting patience turns to frustration very quickly - and they then start looking for other things that have gone wrong.

By Aki Kalliatakis 16 May 2013 07:10

Aki Kalliatakis
Consumers could make mincemeat of suppliers

Food businesses and retailers be warned. Consumers are likely to make mincemeat of those firms that horse around with their food by misrepresenting ingredients and mislabelling products.

By Aki Kalliatakis 15 Mar 2013 16:10

Aki Kalliatakis
Play fair or run foul of consumer networks

Unethical trading practices are fast coming to the end of their shelf-life thanks to advances in consumer networking - unfortunately some of 'the usual suspects' have yet to wise up and risk a backlash from exploited customers.

By Aki Kalliatakis 23 Feb 2013 14:15

Aki Kalliatakis
Share the love or kiss customers goodbye

If your bank manager has never given you a hug, or if the waiters at your neighbourhood coffee shop has never recited poetry to you, you are among millions of consumers who feel unloved by the retailers and service providers who proclaim how much they value their customers but never get round to sharing the love... not even on Valentine's Day.

By Aki Kalliatakis 10 Feb 2013 07:15

Aki Kalliatakis
Play Santa - be nice to nasty retailers

Consumers who wish for a customer service revival for Christmas might like to go one better and lead the resurgence themselves.

By Aki Kalliatakis 14 Dec 2012 07:34

Aki Kalliatakis
'Hiking boot Christmas' on the cards

'Hiking boots' could feature high on the Christmas list of walkabout consumers this year as price hikes and sky-high petrol prices get them trudging round stores in a quest for bargains rather than little luxuries.

By Aki Kalliatakis 6 Dec 2012 06:04

Aki Kalliatakis
To hell in a handcart: Good news for smart businesses

Consumers who have never had it so bad are presenting service-led businesses with an unprecedented opportunity to stand out. Smart business simply has to offer respite from a perfect storm of rising prices, strikes, violence and failures of leadership.

By Aki Kalliatakis 21 Nov 2012 06:31

Aki Kalliatakis
Small businesses are fixing customer service

Anecdotal evidence suggests customer service has been 'broken' by the big business players. The good news is that small businesses are showing them how to fix it. Here is my sweet and sour view on the state of customer service at the end of 2012...

By Aki Kalliatakis 10 Nov 2012 08:23

Aki Kalliatakis
Will Sanral show how to handle the angry customer?

The Sanral road-tolling saga could provide the how-to or how-not-to guide on the management of angry, hurt and exploited customers.

By Aki Kalliatakis 5 Oct 2012 07:50

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