Do your people ‘make’ your company? Do your people ‘make’ your Customer Experience’? Two very simple, yet interesting questions that have been very publically brought to the fore by British airline, Monarch. Their new advertising campaign caught my attention a couple of weeks ago – it did so because I found it extremely unusual. Not unusual in a bad way, but unusual because it spoke about one thing and one thing only – it’s people!
They don’t talk about their products or services. They do not talk about their pricing or how they are so much better than their competition – they talk about how ‘our people make us’. The description of their advertising campaign is as follows:
Our aim is to make your journey as stress free as possible and help wherever we can, from ensuring you’re seated comfortably to trying to smooth out bumpy flights. After all, it’s the little things that matter and make your flight and holiday enjoyable… and it’s our people that make this happen.
Our new campaign features four real Monarch cabin crew – Martin, Geri, Priya and Vasco, whose friendly faces you’ll see across various media. And of course, don’t forget to look out for them on your next flight!
Check out the new TV advert below…
I think it is really rather good – to see a well known brand publically recognising that the experience they deliver to their customers is essentially ‘made possible’ through their people is a wonderful message to hear – I only hope it is sincere! To see a brand leveraging the qualities of its people as a marketing tool is fascinating – it will be even more so to see if both customers and Monarch’s people themselves agree with the sentiment.
Should they do so, Monarch’s leadership will not solely ‘use’ their people to attract and possibly keep more customers, they will also recognise the efforts of their people in other ways. As I was preparing to write this post, a contact of mine, Paul Duxbury, brought to my attention something another organisation has done recently that also epitomises the importance of people in ‘making’ their brand and the experiences customers have with them.
According to their website, Specsavers is a Partnership of nearly 2,000 locally-run businesses (opticians), committed to delivering high quality, affordable optical and hearing care in the communities they serve. When talking about customer care, they state:
At Specsavers, we aim to bring you the highest standards of service and expertise. All our stores are locally owned by professional opticians whose priority is to offer the best in eye care. That’s why you’ll find this promise in all our stores:
“We want you to be completely happy with your purchase at Specsavers. If you have any concerns within three months of the date of purchase, we will put it right. No quibble, no fuss.”
Pretty simple, I am sure you will agree. Yet these statements and the subsequent promise seem to be backed up by a deeper understanding of the critical importance Specsavers people have in making it a reality. At the 2016 Specsavers Partner’s Seminar in Birmingham last week, John Perkins, Joint Group CEO of Specsavers said the following quite inspiring statement:
‘Each day, your customers write to me to explain how their local Specsavers – your team – has changed their lives – sometimes even saved their lives. Making this meaningful difference – helping people live a better quality of life, for less – is why we do what we do.’
Wow. John continued:
‘These are but some of the stories that inspire all of us to do the late nights and the early mornings – to come in on days off – to do whatever it takes. And for every news-grabbing, emergency clinical intervention, I know there are a thousand examples of everyday kindness played out in our stores each day. They might not appear on a profit and loss account or a balance sheet – but they are our bottom line.’
Wow again. Whilst this is not the first time I have written about a business leader who overtly understands the role people play in delivering the financial performance of the business, it does not make it any less powerful to see such a public display of recognition. John was not using his people in this case to win more business – he was acknowledging how his people make his business and their Customer Experience.
You can read the full article about the Specsavers Seminar here – it is worth doing so as the author describes a brilliant story of an apprentice, Amelia Kendrick, and how her actions demonstrate what John describes.
So, let me ask you the question again. Do your people ‘make’ your Customer Experience? As you ponder the answer, let me ask three more questions:
- Have you ever acknowledged the work your people do in ‘making’ the Customer Experience?
- Would you use your people to advertise the fact that they ‘make’ you?
- Do you believe the work your people do every day ‘is’ your bottom line?
I have and will always say that you CANNOT deliver a Customer Experience without your people – people who believe in what you are trying to do, to the point they are the strongest advocates or ‘fans’ of your brand. I only hope that those who are not recognising the contribution their people make will continue to be inspired by the actions of those who are increasingly doing so.