Sir Richard Branson, CEO of Virgin, is well-known for his business success. What’s not known is his unique approach to delivering exceptional customer experiences.
Branson owns over four hundred companies and is estimated to be worth $4.2 billion dollars. Now in his sixties, Branson’s business ventures range from airlines, telecommunications, formula one, cosmetics and space exploration just to name a few.
What’s not well known is Branson’s keen eye for customer service success.
With billions of dollars in profit and businesses that stretch into nearly every aspect of the human experience, it’s plain to see that Richard Branson knows a thing or two about achieving success.
Richard Branson’s 7 Customer Service Success Rules To Live By
Branson’s 7 success tips to live by can be an excellent template for an exceptionalcustomer service vision for any organization.
1. In Customer Experience, Saying “Yes!” is Fun
Branson didn’t achieve the success he has today by saying “no” at opportunities to do new things, be bold in how to approach projects, and meet the needs and wants of customers. He often defies the conventional wisdom, pushes the envelope and decides to say “yes” and try new approaches to how to do business when others would simple say “no”.
Too often we treat our customer interacting teams as gatekeepers, deciders of the yes or the no when it comes to customer needs. Rather we should be helping our people be a concierge to customers, assisting and caring for customer needs.
2. If You Are Going to Dream Up Customer Experience, Dream Big!
No matter what the project, Branson’s companies are created around saying “yes” to what other companies don’t. He wins customers by making customer service, value, and experience the focus on his organization. He then sets the bar high, higher than what others are doing or think is possible of achieving. Customer service isn’t just for phone, Internet, or TV companies.
Whatever type of business you’re in, exceptional customer service is an opportunity to set yourself apart from the crowd.
3. Having Fun in Delivering Customer Experiences
As with most successful individual, Branson is constantly asked for “the secret” to his success. His response? There’s no secret. Hard work, smart work, and above all have fun while working in customer service . Branson’s been known to say that if you have fun, work hard, that money will eventually come. He’s also shared that when you stop having fun with what you’re doing, it’s time to move on.
Ultimately, we all have a choice. You can endure work, or you can work and have fun while doing it. It’s really up to you do decide. Choose to have fun. Choose to relax. Choose to loosen up and enjoy the moment, it only lasts once.
4. Always Take Risks – Calculated Customer Experience Risks
Irresponsible? Reckless? Branson’s been called this…and not a few times. But it’s best to see Branson as visionary at always seeking to push the envelope. One time success can be attributed to luck. Multiple successes come from evaluating risks, then putting all your energy into making your vision happen.
Great success doesn’t come without taking risks. The key is taking the right risks.
5. Live for Each Service Moment
We need goals. We need aspirations. Both inside work and out. Branson says that even dedicating 80 hours a week to a business still allows for a few hours of fun. Don’t forget, people can have fun at work too. Great customer service is making personal connections. Encourage people to have fun, be themselves. Making personal connections requires us to be personal. What better way to connect with customers than to learn about your customers, what they like, what they do, find similarities and build on that.
Some of the best customer service professionals I’ve worked with were never the most experienced or the most knowledgable. But they were the best and personally connecting with customers, each and every time.
6. Always Give Respect to Customer Service
An early lesson Branson learned is that in business, everyone commands respect. Any person could be a potential future customer or partner. The way you treat them could affect your business future. Give people respect and your reputation will thank you.
7. Give Back to Customers
Success in business means money. Money is the bottom line. But satisfaction doesn’t come from money. To feel the ultimate satisfaction from the work you do, you’ll need more than money. You’ll need to have a worthwhile, positive, emotional connection with what you do.
Give back, remember that no matter what we achieve, we all received some help along the way.
Imagine a Customer Focused World
In Branson’s book, Screw it, Let’s Do It: Lessons in Life and Business, Branson shares life experiences that show that attitude and daring to try when others just accept the status quo is a key to achieving greatness.
What would our lives be like if all customer service teams were centered around being bold, trying new approaches, and connecting with customers in a different way?