I have always admired Richard Branson and his business success as we all know is legendary. At the heart of his success has been his focus and single-minded commitment to have customer service as the key differentiator in all of his businesses. When asked about his success and the failure of a number of his competitors he points to the difference simply being customer service.
I thought it was well worth sharing his 7 secrets to amazing customer service that he talked about in a Forbes interview a while ago. These fundamentals never age:
1) Be visible – a good leader doesn’t get stuck behind a desk. Such a powerful point as leaders need to be very visible and great at leading by example. Branson is well renowned for spending time with his frontline team, taking notes of their suggestions and having these actioned. This sends a powerful message that he cares.
2) Express a passionate commitment to serving the customer – this has to come through at every level of the organisation. Consistency is the key as well.
3) Your employees are your greatest asset – the quality of the interaction that customers have will determine if they return.
4) Hire for attitude – not experience. This is where a lot of retailers still go wrong, they focus more on experience than attitude. I know you can’t train someone to have a good attitude.
5) Empower your employees – hire the best, train them and then let them use their imagination and creativity. This sends a powerful message that you trust your team.
6) Engage in social media with a genuine voice – Branson sends his own tweets.
7) Have fun – this is critical in a retail store where the experience should be enjoyable for both staff and customers. Branson is legendary in getting involved in company launches and events and this tells the team, it’s okay to get stuck in and have fun.
How well do you and your team match up with these 7 secrets?
Roger Simpson – CEO, The Retail Solution and Author of “The Ultimate Retail Sales Experience” With over 35 years’ industry experience, Roger Simpson is recognized as Australia’s #1 Authority on customer ROI in the retail industry and as a global expert on staff coaching, customer service, and selling skills.