silver tray with word "Communicate"

From pasta to pensions

8th July 2016

I’ve been working in the retirement and employee benefits industry now for just over a year. Prior to that I was a restaurant manager for a leading Italian restaurant company. Perhaps you’re wondering what the link is there? Communication.

As a restaurant manager, communication is the single most important skill you can have. It will keep your customers, your staff, your head office and your suppliers happy. If you’re able to utilise and manifest strong communication links with each of your stakeholders, you will continually come out on top.

My pet hate, as a customer, is not being communicated with. When the dish I ordered isn’t available or it’s taking a long time to come out, why doesn’t somebody come to speak to me? I’m often bewildered and frankly annoyed by this. It’s not the fact there’s no carbonara left, it’s that you didn’t do something seemingly obvious – tell me! Also, while I’m on this subject, an extra helping of integrity wouldn’t go amiss.

My graduate training and subsequent time working as a restaurant manager taught me how to communicate, as well as the dirty dozen of how not to communicate. Our training was focused on putting the customer first and I’ve brought this sentiment into retirement communications.

There’s also the old saying, it’s not what you do, but the way that you do it, and superannuation could do with some more servings of creative communications. We’re communicating more and more but are we being creative about it? I was surprised at a recent conference that design wasn’t mentioned when we discussed communication. Do we like to see our carbonara “thrown” into the bowl and served to us? Customers are drawn in by the ambience of the restaurant, the eye catching designs of the menu, the smile of a waiter – we need to apply the same theory to super communications.

I’ve found this ‘creative led’ style of communication ingrained into the work we do at AHC – we put our clients first and we speak to them with integrity. We are after all, in this together and the relationships we build start with talking, develop with ongoing communication and strengthen through integrity.

Sometimes we could just do with an extra spoonful of parmesan. Super is about achieving la dolce vita for retirement after all.

Vicki Smith

Support Consultant

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