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Written by Delwin Keasberry Friday, 29 March 2013 17:34

Greetings Readers. Back in February, I was invited to meet Ambassador David Lee Carden, the United States Ambassador to ASEAN. Rano and a couple of others from the newspapers were there as well. We had about an hour's worth of dialogue with the Ambassador; I wish we had more time! He spoke about his journey and role, about food security, the impact of the depletion of natural resources, the importance of water, animal welfare, the significance of the youth, agriculture, trade, the economy, education, etc.

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What I really appreciated was the fact that throughout the session, no question was off-limits. The session was fast-paced, frank, thorough and thoughtful. To get a sense of the dialogue, check out this link to Storify; Ambassador David (@USMission2ASEAN) took and responded to questions via Twitter a couple of days prior including the following.

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Written by Delwin Keasberry Thursday, 21 February 2013 12:04

I just had to share this.

A Pep Talk from Kid President to you.

Written by Delwin Keasberry Monday, 12 November 2012 23:59

Greetings Readers! I was brainstorming a couple of weeks ago about how to up the ante of my social media interactions. One of my ideas was to literally "check-in" and "like" stuff. I worked with a graphic designer and today I picked up my customised social media gear. Watch this space.


Written by Delwin Keasberry Wednesday, 04 April 2012 19:36

Greetings Readers! Recently I scrolled through my Foursquare logbook of places visited over the last year. I tend to frequent the same places over and over again. I do like discovering new places and visiting places I have never been to before but my Foursquare timeline tells me there are only a few places I go back to over and over again...and they tend to be coffee shops, cafes and / or restaurants. What this means for those locations is that I am a happy and satisfied customer. More than that, I am a repeat customer which means I am likely to recommend those respective places to friends and family. And we all know that word-of-mouth trumps high-budget marketing any day.

A key reason why I go back to these places is because of the level of customer service rendered, which leads me to this post - Seven Tips to Happy Customers. This is an account of things that make me go "yup, I am definitely coming back here".


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1. Newspapers. One of the first things I look for when I go to a cafe or coffee shop is the newspaper. Let me explain. Everyone loves a little bit of downtime, i.e. time where they can just take a break from the rest of the world. One of the things I do when I have a bit of downtime is to read something. Anything. I will read menus, labels, magazines, tweets, anything...but especially newspapers. I am using newspapers as an example here, but it could be anything which shows your customers that you want them and are ready for them to feel at home. If they feel at home, it means they are comfortable. If they are comfortable, they will come back.

2. Remember Faces. Do not be afraid to say to your customers "Hello. We have not seen you in a while. Where have you been?" It tells the customer that you have noticed they have been missing. In essence, you are telling the customer, "Hey, we miss you". This is a simple one, but it is often the simple things that matter. Mind your tone here by the way. "Where have you been?" and "Where have you been?!" are two very different things.

3. Serve from the Right. I used to work as a waiter in a cafe back in Adelaide. Up to that point, I had never waitered before so I agreed to work for peanuts as long as they agreed to train me. One of the first things they taught me was to serve from the right of the customer, i.e. I would take their order, serve them and clear the tables from the customers' right (or my left). This is based on the assumption that most people are right-handed which makes it more natural to move towards or turn towards our right. Try it with your customers. See what happens. Just make sure you do not ever spill the coffee.


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4. Don't be over Familiar. We have all experienced it. We all know of that one store where the waiter or waitress believes that you guys are soulmates. They are over-polite, over-friendly, over-helpful, over-everything! They linger on at the table and maintain eye-contact for a little longer than they should. Of course, there is a time and place to be friendly and to 'remember faces', but always always try read your customers. It is always better to be invited in for a conversation than for things to get a little awkward.

Written by Delwin Keasberry Monday, 05 March 2012 20:14

Greetings Readers! The Nation's eight legislative council meetings are currently underway. Last week, the local papers announced that there would be an open day on Saturday 3rd March 2012. I locked it into my diary. I have never been before so I did not know what to expect. I have watched and listened to many Parliamentary meetings back in Australia so I went to the Saturday session half expecting lively discussion, questioning and debate. I suited up (note: strict dress codes apply) and sat in for the said session. I have been researching about the history and expectations of Brunei's Legislative Council since. Here's a good place to start.

Another great place to start is on Twitter. Asides from #HBT2012 (the Hassanal Bolkiah Trophy), a lot of the buzz across the past few days has centred around the 8th Legislative Council sessions. The Brunei Times and their reporters have been current and speedy with their updates from within the sessions through hashtag #LegCo8.

Some screen shots of discussions to date.






Join the Conversation on Twitter - search hashtag #LegCo8.

Some photographs from the inside





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