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.
Read more
From Christmas to crisis for consumers

President Zuma may refer to challenges but as petrol, electricity and food costs go up and wages failed to match inflation, consumers and small businesses had better go into crisis mode....

By Aki Kalliatakis 16 Mar 2015 10:39

Do once customer-driven companies need to lose their customer focus?

Looking at all companies, at some stage in their history they were fantastic with customers - and then lost their way. We need to question whether the pressure to produce profit is so forceful...

By Aki Kalliatakis 11 Mar 2015 15:11

Would you tuck your customers into bed one night?

With Valentine's Day coming up and thoughts of love in the air, it strikes me that it's a good time for us to prove how much we love our customers...

By Aki Kalliatakis 12 Feb 2015 16:08

How to create a scene in a shop ... essential advice for SA consumers

Making a scene in a public place like a shop rarely comes naturally. Unfortunately, being meek and mild looks less and less like a viable option for customers who are aggrieved by shoddy products and services...

By Aki Kalliatakis 5 Dec 2014 15:29

Be afraid... Or maybe not

Despite my cynicism about Halloween being just another opportunity for companies to make more money, when we look at these special days from a marketing perspective, there are a few nice lessons that all businesses can learn.

By Aki Kalliatakis 28 Oct 2014 13:38

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

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

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

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

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?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Next >