Skip to content

‘If we address a complaint well & involve the customer in the solution, it brings them closer to the brand’

If we address a complaint well, and even involve the customer in the solution, it brings customers closer to our brand, according to the founder of Virgin Group, Richard Branson, who says that “The kind of service that customers want today is unscripted and authentic.
At Virgin Hotels, Miss Ricky’s Diner, a restaurant within Virgin’s downtown hotel, all customers wants is service that’s delivered by a compassionate employee and tailored to the customer and the customer’s situation.

Branson states that they take an informal approach to customer service at all our Virgin brands including Virgin Airlines. By contrast, the Asian airlines have service standards that are extremely high, they deploy incredibly young, pretty flight attendants who they seem to turn around every three years or so. Hence, they can deliver very well to scripted lines but not the kind of personalised service customers want today.

Customers expectations have changed, there is increased sense of urgency, responding to customer complaints properly today means responding quickly. The customers expect their complaints be heard properly in the first place, and right away irrespective of the channel they reach out via; they’re often complaining via social media and we have to be paying attention. All successful businesses have millions of followers on say Twitter. We need to be very active at monitoring comments on Twitter. It’s hard work, but it’s the direction the world has gone. Such complaints also require high place of response.

Every complaining customers can be turned into promoter and a lifelong friend
Every complaint is a chance to turn a customer into a lifelong friend, according to Branson. He says that at Virgin they take every complaint very seriously. They listen to feedback all the time, from employees and from customers, constantly analyse if they have addressed a complaint well, and at times even involve the customer in the solution. This brings customers closer to their brand.
A passenger once suffered through a questionable curry dish on a Mumbai to Heathrow flight of Virgin Airlines and once wrote a hilariously devastating culinary critique; Branson responded not with defensiveness but by inviting the passenger to help Virgin Atlantic improve its menu.

 The customer who complained about the curry is now on our advisory board for food for Virgin Atlantic, and as per Branson he really does contributes.“Employees can’t give great customer service without a great toolbox. They need to be enabled and empowered to deal with complaining customers.

We at worxpertise are expert in designing the customer complaint management program and enable the employees with tools to handle the complaint delivering personalised CX and ensure increased CLV by turning complaining customers to friends.

The content in the blog are inspired from an article “Richard Branson: How Virgin Avoids Delivering Stepford Customer Service” By Micah Solomon, Senior Contributor, Entrepreneurs. (published on Forbes.Com on Aug 10, 2016)