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Developing your people to enhance your customers experience
It’s a short week for me this week, so this week’s post is going to follow suit…
I guess I’m not the only one feeling a little deflated right now with the very sad news about the demise of our beloved "Tommy" Cook this week.
Among all the wretched and sensationalised Brexit news (which frankly I’m sick & tired of hearing about anyway) here’s a truly tragic tale of woe. I do wonder however if, like the debacle Brexit has become, there wasn’t something more proactive the big chiefs could’ve done a few years back, when it started to become clear that holidaymakers’ wanted to spend their off-work time surfing the net, rather than browsing through brochures in a local retail store looking for their next sunny break?
I’ve been quite moved reading about and watching the sad news unfold these last few days – there have been some genuine heartfelt stories being shared by Tommy Cook’s customers, staff AND suppliers, all talking so fondly about the love and passion and loyalty they’ve had to the brand over the years.
Indeed, I’m among them. Over 20 years ago, I had the privilege of working with Thomas Cook’s TV&Dot.com call centres in Falkirk and Peterborough on a culture change programme for their frontline teams and leaders, in my role as a freelance training consultant. I have wonderful memories of that year-long project, where everyone (without exception) acted like a true Brand Ambassador each and every day they came into work and hit the phonelines. It was truly a Great Place to Work, with an amazing group of staff to train and the support of an incredible leadership community, who really did lead from the front and won the hearts and minds of its employees (and its suppliers, like me) as a result.
I know it’s easy to get soppy when we reminisce and reflect on the good ol’ times in this way, although that’s what I urge those 22,000 employees worldwide to do right now, given how they must be feeling at this moment.
I really do believe that, in periods of adversity such as this, where everything appears so unsurmountable and fruitless, and the future looks so bleak, it’s important to spend a little while in restfulness and reflection. I’d encourage every Tommy Cookian (though there’s a message here for ALL of us this week) to simply just BE for now, rather than try and DO – we are human BEINGS not human DOINGS after all!
Take some time out to look through that rear-view mirror, rather than frantically trying to see through the front windscreen today – I’m sure it’s feeling rather dark and cloudy ahead at the moment anyway, isn’t it? Go easy on yourself - review just how far you’ve come and celebrate the successes, the fun, the laughter and the joy you experienced over the years.
Remember, we can’t go back and create a brand-new past (no matter how much we loved our ‘old life’) but we can certainly go forward and create a brand-new future!
So my message this week, articulated so perfectly by the words of Maya Angelou is one, not just for TC, but for ALL of us. We can ALL take heed of Maya’s wisdom by simply taking a break, learning to BE and not DO for a short while and resting to recharge our batteries for a bit. That way, in no time at all, we’ll be far more energised to get back on our sling-backs (or man boots) and get moving forward on our journey to (even greater) success.
Until next time – enjoy your break and keep FIT!
PS - Oh! and in case you’re interested, the reason this week is a short one for me is that I’m off to Devon for a loooong weekend for MY little break! It’s our annual ‘twinny’ get-together, although our twinnies & their siblings (9 children between the 6 of us) aren’t EVER allowed to join us now they’re all semi-grownups (or ‘chadults’ as I call them)
It’s an extra special twinny celebration this year because one of us turns 60 next week (and no, it’s not me - yet) so here’s to a GOLDEN weekend for us all, free of problems, free of solutions, free of cares - just as Maya Angelou taught us!
Marie has spent her entire working life within the frontline customer service and telesales environment - passionate about the industry, the people in it and their untapped potential! A highly respected and dynamic training professional and inspirational coach, she 'wakes and shakes' individuals to want to be better and achieve more!
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