Source Unsplash: Credit Elizabeth Dunne

What brands can learn about customer obsession

From an airport lounge

Virgin Atlantic is well known for it’s exceptional customer service, The Marketing Society member Ruth Fittock spoke to Head of Clubhouses Rami El-Dahshan in the latest in the Power of Entrepreneurial Thinking For Brands podcast, about the secrets and strategies behind their best-in-class approach to customers.

Do a proper shift

Everyone at VA does a proper shift in the clubhouse, they don’t just walk the floor, they start at the same time as everyone else and put in a full shift.  Everyone in leadership from the CEO down. Everyone puts the time in to really understand the customer experience, through living it.

Real relationships come from empowering people 

Staff are empowered to spend proper time with customers, to have real conversations.  They are trained, yes, but they are also highly motivated because it’s a great place to work with real progression opportunities- they keep hold of the great people.  Staff are empowered to relate to customers in their own way, and are encouraged to ‘dial up themselves’.

Empower the local team to deliver the best experience possible

There is some consistency across the clubhouses, but each team is empowered to create an experience that suits their locale.  Think about what’s in season, provenance- these are the new cues of luxury too.

Act like a very small big company

Loyal flyers share their stores, experiences back with the brand because Virgin Atlantic feels like a brand that’s easy to talk to.   When you feel like you have a personal relationship- that’s where the loyalty comes from, they want to continue to build on that relationship. 

Feedback is a gift

Rami reads every piece of feedback every day, and follows up on anything interesting- positive, negative or just different, including recently responding to someone asking where the chairs in the San Francisco lounge were from- try to have a dialogue with your customers, that’s what builds the relationship, that changes the dynamic.  

Listen to the full episode for more, including insight on modern luxury, missing lamps and how to get the off menu-champagne next time you’re in a lounge!


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