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A mother has spoken of her despair at not being able to find any shoes that fit her son, who porn escort was born with a rare deformity.Jack Duncan-Hale was born with cleft feet, which appear as though they are split down the middle, with his toes protruding outwards to the sides.Due to the extent of his condition, the four-year-old cannot wear ordinary footwear. Jack girl sex video has three toes on each foot which vary between a size 12.5 and 13.5, and he needs specialist footwear which is individually moulded for him. 
Jack Duncan-Hale (with his mother, Kim) was born with cleft feet, which appear as though they are split down the middle, with his toes protruding outwards to the sides
The four-year-old has three toes on each foot which vary between a size 12.5 and 13.5, and he needs specialist footwear which is individually moulded for him.He has now outgrown a pair of orthopaedic shoes he was given when he was much younger, and needs specially made footwear so he can walk and play.But Jacks desperate mother, Kim Hale, cannot afford to pay the £2,000 she has been quoted by a specialist cobbler.Ms Hale, of Podsmead, Gloucester, said: I have been trying to do everything and I am just going around in circles.He has no shoes at all. He did have orthopaedic shoes but he cannot wear them any more as they dont fit him.
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You have to see his feet to believe it – this is such a rare condition.When he was younger it didnt really affect him but now he is walking a lot more his feet swell up.She is now appealing to the public to help her find an alternative.  He needs special shoes but I cant get funding anywhere. My GP has done everything he can and the school I cant thank enough because they have been trying their hardest.Cleft foot is a rare congenital anomaly that causes the affected foot to have missing toes, a V-shaped cleft and other anatomical differences.The condition is generally thought to have a genetic cause. It can occur by itself, or with a cleft handIt is very rare, affecting fewer than 1 in one million babies.To help with the familys problem, email david.shepherd@glosmedia.co.uk
Jack has now outgrown a pair of orthopaedic shoes he was given when he was much younger, and needs specially made footwear so he can walk and play 

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Funds that promise a mix of capital appreciation and a healthy income from the UK stock market have been by escort bayan far the most popular investment vehicles bought this year by investors. And research released in the last few days suggests that vip eskort their popularity as an alternative source of income should continue as many of the companies that these UK equity income escort funds hold increase the dividends they pay to shareholders.Analysis conducted by financial information group Markit indicates that the top 350 bayan escort listed companies in the UK will push up their dividends on average by a modest 4.4 per cent this year to £74.5billion. But more encouragingly, as far as income seekers are concerned, dividends will advance next year by a healthy 9.3 per cent.
Confident: Ex-Invesco manager Neil Woodford now has a £3billion fundThe biggest payouts in absolute terms, says Markit, are expected from blue-chip companies BP, GlaxoSmithKline, HSBC, Royal Dutch Shell and Vodafone. Between them, they are forecast to pay out dividends in excess of £21 billion. These companies form the foundation of most – but not all – UK equity income fund portfolios because of their sheer size.This positive outlook for company dividends means investors in most UK equity income funds can now expect a yield approaching four per cent from their holdings – attractive when set against typical savings rates of one per cent or less although, of course, investors are putting their capital at risk by investing in equities. 
More…
UK savers are overcharged: Star fund manager Neil Woodford slams his own industry
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Reinvest your share dividends at low-cost. Sign up online to share dealing service
Although Markit’s overall analysis is positive, it points to the existence of ‘significant headwinds’. These include a strong pound that continues to depress the earnings of many leading companies with overseas operations.It also says some of the country’s major supermarkets, including Sainsbury’s and Morrisons, are likely to follow Tesco’s lead and cut their dividends as they feel the heat from discount retailers such as Aldi and Lidl.There are currently more than 100 funds that invest in dividend-friendly UK companies. Many have built successful investment records stretching back years including Artemis Income, Rathbone Income and Royal London UK Equity Income. Some have established a phenomenal record of increasing income payouts to investors year in and year out with City of London Investment Trust leading the way. It has increased its income payments in each of the past 48 years. Go global for growth in dividends Investors looking for income from equities should not restrict themselves to the UK stock market. They should spread their wings by considering a global or international income fund.Markit’s latest research suggests that 85 per cent of companies that form the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index – America’s 500 largest listed firms – will pay dividends this year, the most for 17 years. It also says dividends in Europe – excluding the UK – are expected to rise this year by nearly 8 per cent.Darius McDermott of fund broker Chelsea Financial Services in London says global equity income funds offer income investors a ‘compelling alternative’. Among his favourites are Artemis Global Income, Legg Mason Global Equity Income and Newton Global Income.Laith Khalaf, senior analyst at fund broker Hargreaves Lansdown, says investors should also consider global investment trusts with longstanding records of annual dividend growth – the likes of Alliance, Bankers, Brunner, Foreign & Colonial, Scottish and Witan.Unlike unit trusts or investment funds, investment trust managers can control the dividends they pay. This means they can hold back income in the good years to pay out in more challenging times. A relative newcomer is Woodford Equity Income run by ex-Invesco Perpetual fund manager Neil Woodford. Over the summer, the fund’s launch attracted £1.6billion from investors hoping that Woodford will replicate his winning formula at Invesco.Money continues to pour in – the fund is now valued at just over £3billion – and Woodford is confident that next year it will deliver a yield of four per cent. Unlike many of his rivals, Woodford only holds one of the five biggest dividend payers – GlaxoSmithKline – in the 66-stock portfolio.He prefers instead to build his fund around companies he held while at Invesco – tobacco giants such as British American Tobacco, Imperial Tobacco and Reynolds American and pharmaceutical stocks.He says: ‘I like companies that will not be impacted by the cyclical nature of the economy and are in charge of their own destiny. In the UK we’ve had 12 months of good economic growth but I worry about the sustainability of this recovery.‘Companies that rely on domestic earnings are going to struggle – by that I mean retailers and leisure companies.’ He also believes that dividends at both BP and Shell could come under increasing pressure if the oil price remains subdued.Gavin Haynes, managing director of Bristol-based financial adviser Whitechurch Securities, says Woodford’s commitment to building a well-managed defensive portfolio is ‘best suited in the current challenging stock market environment where company earnings are under pressure’.Ryan Bransfield, head of UK dividend research at Markit, says income- hungry investors need to be sensitive to ‘concentration risk’ – a feature of the UK dividend market. He adds: ‘The top five UK-listed dividend payers account for almost one-third of all income delivered to shareholders.’A way of avoiding this is to consider a UK equity income fund with a focus on higher yielding stocks outside the mainstream FTSE 100 Index.Jeremy Lang, manager of the Ardevora UK Income Fund, says: ‘Blending stock selection and looking beyond the traditional big dividend payers can provide more sustainable and balanced income streams. There are plenty of interesting ideas beyond the FTSE titans.’ 
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Holland struggled to a 3-1 victory over 10-man Kazakhstan in a European Championship qualifier on Friday.Defender Renat Abdulin gave 127th-ranked porn Kazakhstan a shock lead at the Amsterdam Arena with a powerful 17th-minute header from a poorly-defended corner and the Netherlands escort had an anxious wait until the 62nd minute when substitute Klaas Jan Huntelaar leveled.A deflected 82nd-minute shot by Ibrahim Afellay, escort bayan who started his first international in nearly two years, put the Dutch ahead before Robin van Persies penalty in the child porno last minute of injury time secured the three points and coach Guus Hiddinks first win in three matches since taking over from Louis van Gaal after the World Cup.
The Dutch players celebrate Robin van Persies goal that secured three points for Holland
Leroy Fer (left) celebrates with Van Persie after the Manchester United strikers late penalty
Ibrahim Afellay points to the sky in celebration after putting his side 2-1 up on the night MATCH FACTS Holland: Cillessen, van der Wiel, de Vrij, Martins Indi (Fer 81), Blind, Sneijder, de Jong (Huntelaar 56), Afellay, Robben, van Persie, Lens Subs not used: Krul, Verhaegh, Bruma, Veltman, Clasie, Narsingh, Wijnaldum, Klaassen, Promes, ZoetGoals: Huntelaar 62, Afellay 82, Van Persie 89Kazakhstan: Mokin, Miroshnichenko, Dmitrenko (Gurman 72), Vorotnikov, Abdulin, Suyumbayev, Dzholchiev, Bogdanov, Karpovich (Korobkin 79), Shomko, Khizhnichenko (Nurgaliev 90 1) Subs not used: Pokatilov, Konysbaev, Tagybergen, Zhanglyshbay, Beisebekov, SidelnikovBooked: Abdulin 33, Dmitrenko 55, Shomko 89Sent off: Dzholchiev 64Goal: Abdulin 18Referee: Matej Jug (Slovenia) In the end, it was a good result, said Van Persie.In other Group A matches, the Czech Republic beat Turkey 2-1 in Istanbul and Iceland won 3-0 in Latvia to give both teams their second straight qualification victories and keep them at the top of the group.Umut Bulut gave Turkey the lead in the eighth minute, but defender Tomas Sivok levelled seven minutes later when he headed in a corner. Borek Dockal gave the Czechs victory with a neat finish just before the hour mark.Latvia held Iceland goalless for more than an hour before Gylfi Sigurdsson opened the scoring in the 66th minute and Aron Gunnarsson and substitute Rurik Gislason completed the comfortable victory.The Dutch win took the Netherlands to third spot in Group A. Hiddinks team takes on Iceland on Monday in Reykjavik, Kazakhstan hosts the Czech Republic and Turkey travels to Latvia.In Amsterdam, Hiddinks decision early in the second half to bring on Huntelaar produced the breakthrough his team badly needed after going behind to what was almost Kazakhstans only effort of the match.
Klaas-Jan Huntelaar (centre) celebrates with teammates after scoring Hollands equaliser
Renat Abdulin (left) scored for Kazakhstan, giving them a shock lead at the PSV Stadium on Friday night
Arjen Robben chases the ball during Hollands Euro 2016 qualifier with Kazakhstan in AmsterdamThe Schalke striker could have leveled only two minutes after coming on if Van Persie had passed to him unmarked in front of goal, but the Dutch captain instead flashed a shot across goal from a tight angle, prompting an angry response from Huntelaar.In that position, I had every right to shoot, so I thought the reaction was a bit over the top, Van Persie said.Huntelaar grabbed the equalizer anyway when he headed in an Afellay cross.Two minutes later, the match turned when Baurzhan Dzholchiyev was sent off for a tackle from behind on Afellay, depleting the defensive wall the Kazakhs had erected in front of their goal.
Robben (right) evades the challenge of Kazakhstans Dmitri Shomko during the match on Friday night
Van Persie (right) holds off Abdulin (left) during Holland and Kazakhstans qualifying clash
Robben (right) and Van Persie (left) react after going a goal down against Kazakhstan on FridayIt was like handball. You go from left to right, left to right. You have to find the holes, said Arjen Robben, who was a constant threat on the right flank in his first international since starring as the Dutch finished third at the World Cup.Afellay did just that with a speculative shot in the 82nd minute that took a deflection in the crowded penalty area on its way past goalkeeper Aleksandr Mokin.Van Persie, who had repeatedly threatened Mokins goal as the Dutch laid siege to the Kazakh goal, finally got on the score sheet thanks to an 89th-minute penalty.We can be satisfied, Hiddink said. In the first half we put them under pressure and it is an unwritten law that if you dont score then you will score in the last 20 minutes.
Van Persie, scorer of Hollands third goal, runs with the ball during the first half
Jeremain Lens (right) vies with Sergei Khizhnichenko (left) during the Euro 2016 qualifier
Manchester United utility man Daley Blind appeals to the referee during the match in Amsterdam
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Actress Lynda Bellingham today defended her decision to stop chemotherapy, insisting she had not chosen to dieLynda Bellingham says she porno has not chosen to die, despite the fact she plans to stop having chemotherapy for bowel cancer.  The 66-year-old actress has porno spoken at length in the past fortnight about her diagnosis and treatment, since announcing her condition was terminal. Today she said she had taken the decision about chemotherapy while at her wits end with the pain and side effects of the treatment – and had wanted to get some control back over her life. Appearing on ITVs This Morning, she said: I havent decided to die at all, no.I just sat down when I was in pain – theres no getting away from it with chemo – the ulcers in your throat, the thrush, plus the fact Id had major, life-saving surgery for a perforated colon.When youre in terrible pain, you make decisions. She told hosts Phillip Schofield and Amanda Holden: I want my husband and children to see me off happy, contented.So I put the chemotherapy in a box.In this box, I could stop the chemotherapy after Christmas – Im determined to hang on until Christmas. If my quality of life fades after that, I want to be able to open the box, make a choice and stop the chemotherapy.She said before this, shed had no control over the decision – but had struggled with the idea of refusing treatment offered. I dont want to look ungrateful, she explained.
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The box [decision] is there to be used if I need it. If my quality of life remains as it is now [after Christmas], then why would I hasten my death? Yesterday, appearing on BBC Breakfast, she explained she had the option to resume treatment if her health improves. Its there on the table if I want it, she said. Lynda also admitted today there were times when she lay awake wondering about the future.Speaking about her new book, Theres Something Ive Been Dying To Tell you, she said: The book is for everyone – every single day people are going through this.As my oncologist says, the smallest cancer cell can outwit the brightest oncologist.Scroll down for video 
Lynda told This Morning hosts Phillip Schofield and Amanda Holden she had taken the decision to stop chemotherapy when she was in pain. Theres no getting away from it with chemo – the ulcers in your throat, the thrush, plus the fact Id had major, life-saving surgery for a perforated colon, she saidCancer Research UK   
Read more:
Lynda Bellingham: Be happy, and talk | Show Business News & Gossip | This Morning
Chemotherapy side effects : Cancer Research UK : CancerHelp UK

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Many of the leading figures at the IMF, including the managing director Christine Lagarde, chief economist Olivier Blanchard and the escort overseer of financial stability, former Spanish central banker José Viñals, are from eurozone nations.
So what they say about escort bayan the catastrophic reaction to the Great Recession and subsequent crisis among countries in the region cannot possibly be regarded as bayan escort driven by a europhobe agenda. The Fund’s findings ought to be of profound concern in Brussels, Berlin and Paris.
eskort />The eurozone is facing the twin problems of stagnation and deflation that led to a lost decade in Japan, from which it has never fully recovered. Moreover, the failure to deal with the region’s banking problems in the aftermath of the 2008 panic, when former French president Nicolas Sarkozy saw the crisis as one of Anglo-Saxon capitalism, has proved a mistake of Great Depression proportions.
Danger: The eurozone is facing the twin problems of stagnation and deflation
Details of Europe’s deepening problems are spelt out in impressive detail in the IMF’s World Economic Outlook report. Output across the region this year, at best, will be 0.8 per cent (after two years in negative territory) and 1.3 per cent next.
Even if those figures are achieved it will do virtually nothing to cure endemic unemployment at 11.2 per cent across the region and the grotesque levels of joblessness among a whole generation of young people.
Ever wondered why almost every shop, restaurant, hotel assistant in Britain speaks with a euro accent? It is because Britain, with its growing economy, offers jobs and hope.
And it could even get worse for the Continent.
Germany, the engine of the eurozone, is stuttering because of a lack of demand for its manufactured exports from its neighbours, the slowdown in Asia and the loss of business confidence as a result of geo-political tensions with Russia.  
More…
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France cannot even get Brussels to agree its national budget, because the deficit is way above the 3 per cent of total output level.
The Fund’s Global Financial Stability report tells of a totally dysfunctional European banking system.
This has been obvious for a long time.
The Fund was warning two years ago of a €200billion black hole in the balance sheets of the major banks. Nothing has changed.
An IMF survey of 300 banks in the advanced world found that a quarter of them, mainly in the eurozone, do not have adequate capital buffers to support lending expansion of 5 per cent a year.
In the eurozone, 46 per cent of banks with 60 per cent of the assets are unable to support recovery.
Work on shoring up the banking system in Europe is now in the hands of the European Central Bank.
It has recruited the staff but finds it all but impossible to get the work done. The Bundesbank, a powerful force within the ECB, disputes the whole concept of the ECB as a bank regulator even though that is the case in both Washington and London.
Few people in Germany, including the Constitutional Court, much like the idea of the country shoring up the whole of Europe’s broken banking system
One of the lessons of the Great Recession is that the governments showing the most progress are those which were willing to put to one side anger at the role of the banks and financiers in the creation of the crisis and move to bail them out and recapitalise.
The US and Britain led the way, but Spain and Ireland followed and both nations are now showing some signs of emerging from the danger zone.
Banks supply the credit that is particularly important for smaller and medium-sized businesses, the bedrock of all economic systems, but they cannot go directly to the money markets in the manner of Siemens, Volkswagen, Danone or Lafarge. Until Brussels wakes up to this, the eurozone economies  are doomed.
Out of Africa
The woes of London Mining almost certainly have more to do with the slumping price of iron ore, rather than the ebola crisis in Sierra Leone.
But it is a poignant reminder of what the tragedy of the ebola epidemic threatens to do to the African economy, until recently one of the most dynamic regions on earth.
The World Bank estimates potential regional impact of $32.6billion by the end of 2015.
It may not be a happy outcome  for banks heavily exposed to Africa which include Standard Chartered, HSBC, Barclays and Bob Diamond’s Atlas Mara.
Nouveau riche
When we talk of the G7 we think of the world’s seven largest industrial economies: the US, Japan, Germany, France, the UK, Italy and Canada.
The IMF’s World Economic Outlook report points out that if you add up the GDP of the Brics –  Brazil, Russia, India and China – together with Mexico, Indonesia and Turkey, you get a total output of $37.8trillion against $34.5trillion in the existing G7.
Out with the old.

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Pension Passport: Pensions Minister Steve Webb
Pensions Minister Steve Webb has thrown his backing behind Money Mail’s calls for a Pension Passport.
This is Moneys newspaper sister publication Money Mail has consistently highlighted the plight of savers whose retirements are blighted after they take the wrong pension deal.
Such an error can cost them thousands of pounds. We believe a Pension Passport would mean fewer people lose out like this.
A simple, easy-to-read document, it would be packed with details about the size of savers’ funds and the number and type of pension pots they have.
Other information such as marital status or health that could impact on the size of their payout would be included.
This passport could then be taken to a free guidance session or an independent financial adviser to help them find the best retirement income. It has been a centrepiece of our Stop The Great Pensions Rip-Off campaign, launched this year.
Today, in an article for Money Mail, Mr Webb said the Department for Work & Pensions was already talking to providers about making sure the information they send to retirees was ‘consistent and easy to understand’.
 
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He said: ‘Amazingly, the average Briton has 11 different jobs in their lifetime.
‘Even a financial expert would have trouble keeping track of 11 different pensions and understanding the retirement income they could expect from them, so what hope for the rest of us?
 
‘A Pension Passport which consolidates this information would be a welcome step, and we are already talking to pension providers about making sure that the information they provide to savers is in a consistent and easy-to-understand format.’  
From next year, savers will be able to cash in their entire pension pots.
They will be given a free session of guidance to help them decide what to do with their money.
But this will be worse than useless if they do not have the correct information.
Such confusion would be prevented with a Pension Passport.
Mr Webb today has also called for savers to receive proper compensation for administrative mistakes made by pensions firms. It follows our investigation into pension blunders published last week.
Earlier this year, Martin Wheatley, the chief executive of City watchdog the Financial Conduct Authority, said that the regulator was closely considering the idea.

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A coffee fanatic has travelled more than 150,000 miles in a bid to visit every Starbucks in the world.Rafael Lozano, from Houston, Texas, has spent more than £100,000 getting to 11,733 outlets in six continents.But the coffee chain fanatic actually prefers an artisan blend, and when hes not on his mission to visit every store, he can be found at independent shops.
Full of beans: Rafael Lozano pictured outside a Starbucks in Myeongdong in Seoul, South Korea, on his mission to visit every outlet in the world
Coffee high! Rafael, pictured outside Starbucks in Roseville, California, has spent more than £100,000 getting to 11,733 outlets in six continentsRafael said: Its such a fun project. Even though people think its a bit crazy Im going to carry on. I want to tick them all off the list. 
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The 42-year-old started his project in 1997 when there were just 1,500 Starbucks in four countries.As the chain expanded rapidly, Rafael visited the UK four times and jetted all over the world to try and keep up with new openings.In every company owned shop he drinks a caffeinated drink and snaps a selfie or a picture of the storefront.
Caffeine buzz: Rafael pictured outside the coffee chains branch in Apgujeong Rodeo in Seoul, South Korea
Make mine a grande! Rafael pictured in Myeongdong in Seoul, South Korea, as he travels the world visiting every StarbucksBut since the global coffee powerhouse started shutting branches, the computer programmer has been racing to visit stores before their closure and once drank 29 cups in a day.He also undertook a 25,000-mile round trip to make it to 40 stores after he heard about their closure last minute.His project has also lead him to Hawaii – where he stayed for 30 hours without ever visiting the beach – as well as Egypt, Kuwait and Lebanon.Even though his project excludes franchised stores he is 4 per cent short of reaching every Starbucks in the United States and Canada alone.And Rafael has accepted that he might never complete the challenge as the huge multinational will outlive him.
Pictured in Memorial City Way, Houston, Texas, Rafael has been travelling the world visiting Starbucks since 1997
Rafael, pictured in Hongdae Gallery, left, and KEB Uljiro, Seoul, South Korea, right, thought it would be fun to visit the worlds Starbucks
Too much coffee! Rafael takes a nap outside Starbucks in Willow Park Village, Calgary, Canada, on his round-the-world trip
On a mission: The adventurer, pictured outside Starbucks in Indiana University, Bloomington, IndianaDespite the uniform branding the firm is known for, Rafael sees the unique features of every one.His favourite is the branch on Duddell Street, Hong Kong because its décor mirrors the style of a traditional Bing Sutt tea house.Rafael, who has legally changed his name to the one word moniker Winter, said: Originally it was just a hypothetical question.I wondered: Would it be possible to visit them all?.Most people would leave it as a hypothetical question but I figured, why not?
What a buzz! Rafael lies in a small garden outside a Starbucks in Sogong, Seoul, South Korea, on his travels
Rafael, who has travelled more than 15,000 miles, pictured outside Starbucks in Apgujeong, Seoul, South Korea
Rafael Lozano, from Houston, Texas, has spent more than £100,000 getting to 11,733 outlets in six continents, including this one in Mokdong Paragon, Seoul, South KoreaIt seemed entirely possible and as it meant travelling round the country it became a lot of fun.I became a freelance computer programmer around the same time, and although it wasnt to pursue the Starbucks mission, it certainly gave me more freedom to carry on with the challenge.They reached their peak in 2007 when they opened more than 290 stores a week and it used to consume all my free time.Then they had an implosion when they announced the closure of 600 stores and since then the growth has slowed dramatically.So Ive been desperately trying to get to all the ones due to close before they are lost forever. 

Club service advocate stand things

It’s smart to be asking about building up repeat business. After all, its common knowledge that it costs a company more to get in new customers than to keep the ones it has.While there are tricks that businesses can employ, like loyalty cards or campaigns, the bottom line is that those who enjoy dealing with your firm are going to come back for more.
To build up solid relationships with potential buyers youll need to understand what it is that makes them happy – and use that information to increase the frequency of their visits.
TURNING THE CORNER: ASTON VILLA
Fans: Aston Villa FC now takes better care of its fans
British football was once notorious for its lack of attention to
customer service. Fans will always be loyal – so why make the effort?
But rising ticket prices mean that football enthusiasts are now more careful about how
much they spend following their team. Modern fans also have a much wider
range of entertainment choices, putting football clubs in a more
competitive environment.  Aston Villa FC is tackling these
challenges by making its small 25 seat contact centre the hub of a
revolution in the way the club communicates with fans.
Our contact
centre staff are now genuine ambassadors for the club and they
appreciate that even a simple phone call is a connection between a
supporter and their club and that they can make that experience
special,” says Nicola Keye, Aston Villa’s head of consumer sales.
We’ve
been taking this a stage further. So if we know that a fan has enquired
about tickets for a particular match or about coach travel or a stadium
visit and we have some information that we think would interest them,
we pick up the phone and call. We hope that, for many fans, getting a
call from Aston Villa gives them another positive connection with their
club. Aston Villa is a great example of a business that has looked
forward, recognised that it needed to change, and put customer service
at the heart of its new direction.
An important factor in repeat business is to never take customers for granted.
Once
they buy a product or a service from you, theres no promise they will
return – which is an important aspect of running a
sustainable small business.
Follow the tips below to ensure your service is top notch.What do your customers want?According to Vodafone research, businesses of all sizes say that customers are more demanding than ever.
They’re armed with more
information than they’ve had before. They then communicate and share
that information through rapidly expanding social media communities.
They also have more options, more choice, and their expectations of the
service you provide are rising all the time. As Sue Morris, of Vodafone UK, points out: If there’s one thing that definitely has changed over the
last few years, it’s how much busier people are. Everyone is constantly
switched on.
People have less time, which means they demand more of your
business when they need to get in touch. What does this mean for the customer service
industry today?
What are the biggest priorities? In my opinion it’s
three things. In such a fast paced environment, speed and efficiency
are prerequisites, large or small businesses both have to deliver great
service regardless of channel – in person, on the phone or online – and
on every occasion the goal is for customers to come away saying “that
was easy, it worked, and I’m impressed”.How to keep your customers happy: top tips
Vodafone has come up with five areas that small firms can focus on to improve customer service:CUSTOMER SATISFACTION: THE RESEARCH
No company
can always get it right the first time, every time. The key to customer
satisfaction is often the way in which a business responds when things
arent going well, rather than when they are.
In
fact, this area is so key that when it comes to defining a progressive
company the most important factor, according to YouGov research for Vodafone based on the views of 1,000 staff members and managers, is customer satisfaction.Interestingly,
while employees in progressive companies viewed customer satisfaction
as the most important factor for creating a successful business in the
Vodafone study, those who said they didnt think that they worked for a
forward-thinking company believed their firm rated it as far less
important.This
suggests that their attitudes are different – companies that arent
progressive are not focused enough on their customers and more concerned
with internal processes.
1. Stay focused on the basics
A lot of talk today is about ‘connected’ consumers.
Both
large and small businesses are likely to respond with more and more
emphasis on social and digital communication. As research shows,
however, the vast majority of people still want to communicate by phone,
email or in person.
So make sure your customers are always able to contact you on their terms.
For
most businesses this will mean keeping these core elements as the
bedrock of a progressive multi-channel strategy.
2. It seems obvious, but ask your customers for feedback
Above all customers want their issues resolved satisfactorily. Companies that do this well know their customers inside and out. They
solve problems successfully because they know what both delights and
irritates their customers at every single stage of their journey.
To
help you achieve this goal, it’s well worth considering investing more
of your time gathering detailed customer feedback. Large businesses can
consider new systems that gather real time feedback via interactions on
mobile phones, for example.
Small businesses can compete by gathering feedback and intelligence via social media. TOP TRICKS
Loyalty ProgramsCustomer loyalty programs can be a gift and a curse. If done correctly they fuel repeat purchases, potentially turning a passerby into a loyal brand advocate.
Stand for somethingA study by the Corporate Executive Board found that of those consumers who said
they had a strong relationship with a brand, 64 percent cited shared
values as the primary reason. If you want loyal customers, you need them
to care about you.
3. Use social media to do more with less
In
customer service terms, social media is often talked about as a new
channel that will need to be implemented to address new demand. It can
also help you understand what your customers feel about you.
But
could it also help you drive new efficiencies? Used as part of your
overall service mix, social media has great potential to cut costs
within your customer service operation. For example, by diverting some
people away from your phone lines.
If
you run a small business you can consider taking this a step further,
using social media to build an in-depth customer service capability that
will help you work around your limited capacity to take calls. 4. Do what you can to break down walls
Great customer service is carried out by individuals who feel like they have full responsibility for resolving issues.
Organisations that do it will also make sure each individual is focused on the customer experience.Equally,
great customer service is characterised by a seamless experience
regardless of whether it’s delivered in a shop, on a PC or on the phone.

Consider how you’re
going to do this better by breaking down the barriers that exist within
your company. Can you do more to help staff share knowledge and insight?
Job shadowing across departments or areas of the business might be a
good start.
Making
sure managers spend time on customer service issues is even better.
5. Take
it one step at a time, and set those expectations
Whether you are
thinking about adding new channels like social media right now, or
simply have them on the to-do list, the key thing to remember is to take
it one step at a time. The social media world in particular is very
accepting of experimentation.
Make
a small start, gather feedback along the way and refine your efforts as
you move forward. And remember, just like your stores or your phone
lines, social media doesn’t necessarily have to be 24/7.
It’s
ok to set expectations. Some of the biggest companies in the world
confine their social media customer service to office opening hours. If
that’s the way you prefer it, it’s ok for you to do so too.
Source: Vodafone
Accept responsibility and take ownership After
delving a bit deeper into Vodafones research, it emerges that, for customers, really
excellent service boils down to companies taking
responsibility in the event that something
goes wrong.
While collecting information for its report, respondents were asked to rate
the quality of their last experience with a firm.
Out of the people who were delighted, those individuals said they felt the person handling their enquiry cared and accepted responsibility.
Therefore, for successful customer service success:
Above all customer service needs to satisfactorily resolve the issue
In doing so it needs to be highly responsive and minimise the effort the customer needs to put in
It needs to be delivered by staff with the expertise, understanding and authority to resolve the issue satisfactorily
It needs to take full, un-qualified ownership of the issue: avoiding passing customers from pillar to post. Poor customer service: the real damage Vodafone research has also revealed just how devastating poor performance can be on a business:
Poor
service means you lose customers – 85 per cent say they actively avoid
companies they’ve had a poor customer service experience with
Poor
service leads to lost revenue – 80 per cent spend more with companies
that they’ve had a good customer service experience with
Poor
service also means you miss opportunities – 62 per cent actively avoid
companies which friends have told them offer poor customer service (and
with 76 per cent of those receiving sub-standard service telling at least one
other person, this means most of us have a pretty long black list)
The impact of poor service on the bottom line is significant.
According to Ovum, The Cost
of Poor Customer Service: The Economic Impact of the Customer
Experience 2009, all told, it’s estimated that UK companies lose £15.3
billion annually as a direct result.SPEND TIME MAKING YOUR EXISTING CUSTOMERS FEEL SPECIAL
One
of the most common mistakes small-business owners make is to focus so
much time on attracting new customers that they scrimp on the effort it
takes to create loyal customers.
The boss: John Fox
Liberty SIPP managing director John Fox works believes making customers feel special is an important part of good customer service.He explains: Good customer service is
the bedrock of all successful companies. If you offer it, customers stay
with you and, crucially, recommend you to their friends, family and
colleagues. This, in turn, creates new customers.Its
often the little things that matter more to customers than the big
things. For example, one of our staff once sang Happy Birthday down the
phone to a customers young daughter. Little things like that can really
make a big impact. People remember them and a bond is created that can
last many years.Another member of staff, Helen, once received an envelope addressed to “Helen
Harrison Pretty Perfect Pension Person” after she had spent a long time
on the phone explaining to a client how his pension payments could work.
Liberty
SIPPs 4000th customer was recently sent a large bouquet of flowers,
which she – and her financial adviser – both appreciated.In
the financial services world, weve found that good customer service
goes hand in hand with personal customer service. People like to know
that they can speak to someone at any time, and not just any person but
someone who knows all about their situation.Give back
Rewarding customers doesnt have to be expensive – even very small gestures will be appreciated.
Plus, research shows that when these gestures come as a surprise, they are even more powerful.Remember a time that someone did something nice for you unexpectedly; the act probably wasn’t all that unusual, but the fact that it came out
of nowhere left a bigger impact.Make it personalIn
a study from the Journal of Applied Social Psychology, researchers
found that waiters could increase their tips by 23 percent by the simple
act of returning to tables with a second set of mints.The personalized service received made them enjoy their experience so much more.

Markedly — was clear

London (CNN) — More than a decade after the Iraq war, when one million people took to the streets to protest against intervention, British lawmakers have again been grappling with their consciences.
In 2003, then-Prime Minister Tony Blair won a vote authorizing the use of force as part of a U.S.-led coalition to overthrow Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, but the wars chaotic aftermath left a bitter legacy.
Last year British Prime Minister David Cameron lost a vote to bomb the Assad regime in Syria amid public opposition to another war. Political commentators said the failed vote by Washingtons long-standing ally put a brake on President Barack Obamas plans to punish the Syrian leader for allegedly using chemical weapons on his own people.
However, the task of Obama in building a coalition is likely to be made easier after Cameron easily won Fridays vote, by 524 votes to 43, authorizing the airstrikes against ISIS targets in Iraq. The opposition Labour Party supported the action against the Islamic militant group, despite doubts of some lawmakers on both sides of the House of Commons.

Weaken ISIS, strengthen Al Qaeda?

PM: ISIS not Muslims, but monsters

Cameron responds to Haines beheading

Opinion polls also suggest backing for action has grown following the release of videos showing the beheadings of western hostages. In August opinion was evenly split (37-36%), according to one YouGov poll, but is now markedly more in favor (53-26%). Polling by Comres conducted before the death of British hostage David Haines also found similar backing for airstrikes: more than half of those who took part in the survey backed action — a rise of 5% in a month.
Cameron recalled Parliament after Iraqs Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi requested British military support in its battle against ISIS. Fighter planes from France and the United States have already started bombing in Iraq, but unlike in those countries the convention in Britain is for lawmakers to vote in Parliament before action is taken.
Veteran political commentator Robin Oakley said MPs were more in tune with the public than a year ago. The degree of ISIS brutality has changed a considerable number of minds.
People who previously had doubts are now convinced that there is no alternative but force. Voices will be raised: some MPs believe that bombing ISIS may radicalize the population in areas that it controls. Local people who never liked the al-Maliki government and who may have been suffering ISIS may now offer it their support.
Oakley said it was the brutal videos that had likely won over lawmakers — in contrast to the Syria vote. Last year Labour couldnt support the action because MPs felt there was no conclusive evidence that al-Assad had used chemical weapons against his own people.
MPs will worry about mission creep when there is no obvious aim apart from to eradicate ISIS. Military action may destroy the leaders but it cannot eradicate ideas — so the fear among lawmakers is that this intervention could be counter-productive.
Outside Parliament, there were also doubts about the military action. Protests took place in central London on Thursday, organized by Stop the War. The groups spokesman Ian Chamberlain said that while it was important to listen to public opinion, once people start to see the results and start to reflect, I believe support will fall.
Public support for military interventions in Afghanistan collapsed after the results of the bombing became clear. Bombing increases sectarian hatred of the west, and its obvious that military intervention doesnt work. You cant destroy terrorism by bombing infrastructure. It just brings more terrorism.