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Aki Kalliatakis

Managing Partner at The Leadership LaunchPad
Location:South Africa


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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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

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

'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

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

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

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

Regaining balance after facing 'a Woolies wobble'

All South African businesses face a strategic 'wobble' on the recent Woolworths pattern. The good news is that balance can be restored through proper crisis management.

By Aki Kalliatakis 18 Sep 2012 07:29

Are we customer driven?

One of the most common questions I am often asked is, "Aki, where do we start with our marketing efforts?" It's a huge question, and I could probably take five days to answer it and still only scratch the surface.

By Aki Kalliatakis 3 Sep 2012 07:42

Spring... a blooming waste of time for most businesses

As a new season approaches, consumer-facing businesses confront their annual opportunity to spring into action, debug their operations and spruce up their service levels. But all too often the 'spring fling' turns out to be a blooming waste of time because the clean-out simply does not go far enough.

By Aki Kalliatakis 20 Aug 2012 09:59

Are your customer relationships also sustainable?

The word "sustainability" has come to be used in many contexts to describe our capacity to endure in the longer term. For our world environment, it is used to define how we are able to maintain and responsibly manage our limited resources so that they remain diverse and productive over time. And, of course, you cannot talk about sustainability without accepting that it also encompasses a principle of stewardship, or our ability to take care of needs.

By Aki Kalliatakis 8 Aug 2012 11:28

So who are you?

Who knows when the gloomy financial crisis of the past few years will in fact improve, or get worse? But I'm willing to put my head on a block and say that your customers have permanently changed the way in which they buy - whether you deal with consumers or other businesses. In fact, one of our clients, referring to the pressures they were under, recently said: "Now we are competing with everyone, from everywhere, for everything."

By Aki Kalliatakis 24 Jul 2012 09:42

Setting a sincerity test on service issues

CEOs should set themselves a 'sincerity test' if they wish to avoid accusations that they inhabit a parallel universe to their customers and fellow-citizens.

By Aki Kalliatakis 18 Jul 2012 09:28