Requirements for driving in France – Breath Test Kits

On 1st July 2012, a law was introduced in France: all drivers had to carry a breath test kit in their car. Find out why and if or how that law was implemented. Read more about the driving requirements in France.

Kouign-amann vs Lardy cake

Kouign-amann is a beautiful, buttery, traditional Breton cake. During the current lockdown, unable to travel to Brittany, we have found an alternative: the British lardy cake. Read on.

Exporting a UK-bought LHD car to France

Is it possible or indeed practical to buy a LHD car in the UK, originally registered in Poland, and then import it to France? Are there guidelines to be followed?

Driving in France

In recent years, travelling across to the continent and driving in France has become increasingly easy for Brits, but there are laws and regulations to bear in mind while driving abroad.

Mushroom picking in France

In France, mushroom picking, or “la cueillette des champignons”, is practically a national sport during the Autumn season. However, there are guidelines to follow before wandering through the woods.

Martin Jarvis - helping website owners get more traffic and win more businessI was disappointed when booking our January crossing to France with Brittany Ferries, as I thought that the price (£263 for 2 adults plus a car) was a bit steep for this quiet time of the year. This price already included our Club Voyage discount, which apparently saved us £96 on the normal fare, but did include an overnight cabin on the outbound leg.

I was so disappointed, in fact, that I felt compelled to Tweet about it. Twitter is not my usual vehicle for grumbling about things – usually I just rant to Nadine and then calm down after a while. Here’s what I tweeted…

Even with club discount still paying £260 (2 adults + car return + cabin 1 way) Portsmouth-Caen in Jan. Expensive non Brittany Ferries?

Job done, I thought. Got it off my chest and perhaps gave my Twitter community the opportunity to tell me where I can get a better deal next time.

To my surprise, and to their credit, Brittany Ferries started following me on Twitter AND sent me a personal reply. Here it is…

@MartinJarvis Hello Martin, are your timings flexible? Generally afternoon sailings are cheaper southbound, and morning sailings northbound.

Now, I already had a vague idea that the price structure worked out like this, and we generally do try to get the best combination of price and convenience when booking, so the content of this reply didn’t really give me anything. However, I was struck, and impressed, by the fact that Brittany Ferries are taking social media seriously enough to be keeping an eye on what is said about them on the web, and that they respond quickly and effectively to head problems off before they cause real damage.

This is a very important lesson to all of us who run businesses…

“It does matter what people say about us on the web. If they say good things about us we should be passing that on to as many of our followers as possible. If they say bad things about us we should be trying to address those issues quickly and effectively, nipping them in the bud so that the bad news stops right there. Do you really want your customer’s disappointment with your product to go viral and spread to thousands of others. What damage could that do to your brand?”

Tackled correctly, bad news can be turned into something positive for your business – but you need to act quickly, you need to be honest, and you need to offer good information and advice (and an apology if necessary). Most important, though, is that you need to be aware of the things that are being said about you and your business. There are a few tools around that pro-actively alert you when your key phrases are mentioned (try Google Alerts, for example), or for Twitter you could simply search for your terms on a regular basis and deal with any that require it.”

So, well done Brittany Ferries for being on top of this… although I really would like to pay a bit less for my regular crossings.

Let us have your own views on the use of Social Media for monitoring what your (potential) customers are saying, and whether you have been affected – positively or otherwise, from something said about you.

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