Time to read: 3 minutes 47 seconds
We all recognise companies that give a good service. Apple, Marriott, GymShark and Virgin are just some of the respected brands that leave you with a good feeling. Customers are loyal and remember the excellent service.
My 14 year old daughter asked the other day if we could fly with Virgin Atlantic premium economy, and she has never even flown with them! According to her friend however, they were ‘AMAZING’, and so she wanted to fly with them too!
The Standards of companies like Virgin are so well known, that their high Standards are spread by word of mouth.
Many people feel that Virgin Atlantic is one of the best airlines to fly with, previously winning best in class at the British Travel Awards in the categories ‘Best Airline Business Class’, ‘Best Airline Economy Class’ and ‘Best Scheduled Airline Long Haul’.
Steve Ridgway, Chief Executive of Virgin Atlantic said:
“The travellers that voted clearly love flying with us, whether they are in Upper Class or Economy, which is a tribute to our people, our innovative products and high Standards in customer service.”
Whether it is Apple, Marriott, GymShark or Virgin, these companies practice DailyStandards™, each in their own way. It is clear however, when a company DOES NOT.
A DailyStandard™ is a basis, criterion, level, quality or rule, set from within the business or organisation and adhered to today, just today, and then one day at a time.
MY HOLIDAY WITH THOMSON
I had planned a holiday with my family to Portugal. Everything was booked, and I decided to check in the day before, for ease. I asked my Executive Assistant Sonja to check me in online. That’s when the problems started…
The booking reference was ‘incorrect’. The travel agents were called and they gave me the required reference. The check in online was tried again, but it still didn’t work. We had to call the travel agents again. We were told to check in through a different part of the system and were directed back to the website. We were also told we could pop into any local branch because they could also check in for us. After trying again, a message came up to say ‘this cannot be done right now due to a system error’. Sonja called the phone number on the Thomson website and was in a queue. Thomson stated that her call would be answered within 1 minute. 13 minutes later she was still holding, and so terminated the call.
Sonja called back a little later and again was told her call would be answered within 1 minute. After 7 minutes still nothing.
In an attempt to save time I went into my local Thomson branch during my lunch break. After once again going through all the details with me, they advised the system was down and I would have to check in at the airport. Apparently the travel agent on the phone should have known this, because it was a known problem.
All in all a lot of time was wasted for both of us! I believe these are poor Standards of customer service.
SO WHAT CAN THOMSON LEARN FROM THIS?
Every organisation is different, and all have problems. However, it is the way they deal with these setbacks that can make the difference between an average and a respected brand.
What basis, criteria, levels, qualities or rules are in place to help deal with problems as they arise?
Thomson knew there was a problem. An email could have been sent out to all employees and customers, a message could have been posted on the website. There was a variety of ways to avoid the problem being dealt with unprofessionally.
We teach the concept of Advanced Goodwill. This is the ability to provide such excellent Standards of service that your customers then tell others about you, becoming unofficial advocates for your company.
Many smaller organisations have yet to grasp this idea of advanced goodwill. Apple, GymShark and Virgin already follow this concept, with Marriott even encompassing it within their rules – the Spirit to Serve; which is all about daily standards.
HOW USEFUL WOULD IT BE TO HAVE YOUR CUSTOMERS THINK, FEEL AND SHARE ADVANCED GOODWILL ABOUT YOUR BUSINESS?
DailyStandards™ affect your psyche. Notice how you feel good about your favourite brands and about being connected to them. When your customers feel good about their association with your business, it strengthens their connection with your business. As a result, they become your advocates as they tell their friends and family how good your service is. This means your potential customers become excited and feel good about your products and services, even before they have used them. This ultimately and positively affects your bottom line.
Apple, the World’s Most Valuable Brand according to Forbes, state that it is not the discovery of the problems implying the system is not working, but the unearthing of problems which leads to ‘an opportunity to make concrete changes for the better’ I.e. they identify where their DailyStandards™ aren’t high enough, and they raise them in advance.
Whether you are in business, or in your personal life, Raise Your DailyStandards™ Today!