Monday, July 9, 2012

SimpsInns take gold at 2012 DRAM Awards


It’s official. SimpsInns landed the gold medal at last week’s glittering DRAM Awards at the Grand Central Station Hotel in Glasgow. The Ayrshire family business picked up the 'Benromach Award for Success' at the ceremony themed on the Olympics.

SimpsInns owners, Malcolm and Karen Simpson, were delighted to have come out on top when up against such stiff competition.

“This is unbelievable news,” beamed Malcolm Simpson after scooping the top award. “To receive recognition for all the hard work means everything to us. Although SimpsInns is enjoying a busy period of accelerated growth at present, the family business ethos we started out with remains at the heart of everything we do today.”

“Special mention must go to all our team for without their dedication and commitment we would not be receiving an award like this. It is also for our loyal customers, which we are fortunate to have built up over the years and who continue to enjoy the SimpsInns offering.”

This time last year SimpsInns operated The Gailes, Irvine and the Old Loans Inn, Troon but later this year they will have five very distinctive venues.

The Irvine husband and wife team recently bought The Riverside Inn, just south of Ayr on the outskirts of Minishant. The original farmhouse building is now a quaint restaurant and bar set on acres of unspoilt countryside. The new owners introduced brand new menus with some great new dishes and the ever popular Simply SimpsInns menu.

Better still, there is an introductory 2 for 1 meal offer currently running at The Riverside Inn where all are welcome come and sample the latest SimpsInns venue and take advantage of this great promotion. (see www.theriversideinn.co.uk for further details).

Last October The Waterside opened in Seamill, West Kilbride and has proven a great success with people travelling from far and wide to enjoy the stunning water’s edge location and great food on offer.

Later this year the £2million Si! Cafe:Restaurant:Bar development will open at the site of the former Golf Hotel on the Kilwinning Road in Irvine. Si! will be a contemporary build with a distinctly European/Mediterranean theme. Downstairs will house a vibrant, yet informal, bar and restaurant while upstairs will be the Italian restaurant.

Such growth within the privately owned company means the owners also had to invest in new people. First off they added to their senior management team. Kevin MacGillivray, the highly regarded chef formerly of the Marine Hotel in Troon, joined SimpsInns as the group’s Food Operations Manager, while Adam Cosgrove joined as Operations Manager after a number of high profile hospitality roles in Glasgow and Arran.

Plan B have been providing online support for Simpsinns businesses for a number of years now including provision of content managed websites, suport for social media activity and the integration of the Bookassist booking engine for accommodation reservations.


Downloads and Links

Gailes Hotel Website
Old Loans Inn Website
SimpsInns group website
Riverside Inn Holding Page



Thursday, July 5, 2012

Customer Service Matters Most

What makes you leave a service provider? Well it normally takes a lot because the hassle and time involved in shifting bank accounts, or Broadband, or telephone makes it so scary that you end up putting up with the poor service as better than the thought of losing your connection, or direct debits or incoming payments.

The opposite is however also true and we use social media and customer review sites more too often to criticise bad practice rather than promote good service. I know I do.

So when you get something as exceptional as the service I've just received then you really should share it.

Yesterday I received a text from my business mobile company O2 in Irvine saying that I now had access to a Guru named Stuart. Great idea I thought. This morning I got a postcard from O2 in Irvine giving me more detail and advising that I now had access to Stuart via a mobile number or an email address. Great reinforcement of a great idea!


Now for two weeks I've been trying to figure out how I could synchronise my Google Apps for Business. driving me absolutely nuts and I spent seriously eight hours, maybe more, trying to fix it.

So with nothing to lose a quick email to O2 Guru Stuart; the first reply suggested that he couldn't help as it would require changes to certain things that he couldn't fix. Five minutes later however a phone call saying that he had reread it and would come back to me if there was anything he could find.

Another five minutes passed and an email arrived with a techy type link but with easy to follow advice on what I'd done wrong. Ten minutes later, mild punching of the air and a fully synchronised communications network now working between Google Mail, iPhone and outlook on the the laptop.

Now when BT next phone me up from a call centre somewhere asking me if I'd like to switch my mobile, landlines and telephones back to them what do you think my response will be?

Almost without exception I have found the support from O2 Business to be exceptional. Exceptional may be hyperbole or not but customer care is only tested when things are going wrong. It's how you handle the negative issues that determine all of our future relationships with a client or supplier. When things go wrong with O2 - and they have - the ethos is let's sort it together.

So here I am feeling better about myself this afternoon because I'm praising someone! Feels great! And if it gets up the line to O2's customer service team then even better because Stuart in Irvine has made my working day, week prhaps even my month infinitely smoother than it was looking at ten o'clock this morning.