This Unstoppable Woman is ‘old school’ (not ole skool as that’s just bad grammar), I’ve always practised EXCEPTIONAL CUSTOMER SERVICE because that’s the way professionals work. The changing of time has seen this prerequisite for business, become more of a sound bite and a non-essential element for products and services across the globe.
However, I’m so glad there are still some die-hard businesses who have credibility and focus, and hold exceptional customer service at the very core of what they do and given that there’s no way I’m travelling for at least another 6 months following the current pandemic, I was reminiscing recently about a trip I was supposed to take some years ago.
I was due to fly out to Orlando on 7th November 2016 to spend a few relaxing days exploring the wonders it had to offer before attending the 4-day JT Foxx Family Reunion event that weekend (10-13th Nov 2016). I was due to meet JohnTravolta, 50 Cent and other endless celebrities and high level business individuals, which was my annual trip to ‘feed’ from those who are more successful than I am.
“If you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room”.
Unfortunately, the sinister (my own words) turn that the US Presidential elections had taken over the last few weeks leading up to it, led me to decide that it would be better for me, as a Black British woman, to remain at home and watch from afar. Flights, accommodation and the event ticket were already booked and sorted, so I only really needed to get on the plane at London Gatwick.
I remember when we were booking the flights, my daughter found a cheaper flight with another airline but I said no. Virgin Atlantic is the only way to travel and the extra cost is definitely worth paying, so we did.
When I decided that I was going to cancel the trip I called Virgin Customer Services, and they confirmed that I had up until the day before departure to change my flight for anywhere in the world with a £150 charge per ticket for the change. However, I couldn't decide where or when to go and my plans for 2017 included attending an International Leadership Conference in Jamaica and a trip to New York around Easter time. I was undecided and the day to change was fast approaching.
I called Virgin again and explained the situation...”No problem Miss Warmington, we can cancel your existing flight and you can ring when you’re ready to re-book. Just use your existing booking reference to make the new booking. Get in touch before 21st August 2017 (A WHOLE YEAR AWAY) and it’ll be fine. We truly understand your position”
No fuss. No quibble. No attitude.
I immediately took to Twitter after finding a quote from Richard Branson which said “Clients do not come first. Employees come first. If you look after your employees, they will look after your clients”. Well he obviously looks after his employees extremely well and they in turn looked after me.
Whilst I don't have employees myself, I am an employee of my own business and I make sure that I look after me very well. I pay myself on time. I eat properly (and sometimes dine out at some lovely places) plus I ensure my hours of work are good for myself and my family. Needless to say, responses from my clients and customers are always positive and encouraging.
Adding value and making a difference is my main mission on this journey called life and thankfully, I seem to be delivering on my goal.
Unstoppable Women remember, Exceptional Customer Service is vital for success so just do what you do best.....go that extra mile.
Have a fabulous week xx
NB: This blog is a whole 4 years after No.45 was elected....fingers crossed it won't be repeated as 2020 has been crap enough already!!!