Baileys Travel is a successful chain of travel agents which has been trading for nearly thirty years. However, the marketplace has become increasingly competitive and Chris Bailey, founder and owner, recognised that change was required if the business was to remain successful and continue to grow and prosper.
From a Customer Experience perspective, he identified the following opportunities:
- The team had become set in their ways
- The experience his customers were receiving was very transactional
- The staff were not taking the time to ask questions, to get to know their customers and to really build the relationship
- The business was not doing anything differently to any other travel business, indeed many others were offering a higher level of Customer Experience
ME were engaged to help Baileys Travel move the culture on and to achieve the following:
- Help the team understand the importance of delivering a great Customer Experience
- Provide them with the tools, techniques and knowledge to enable them do this
- Coach and support them to take the theory and learnings and develop this into actions and deliverables
- Ultimately, increase sales and profitability as a result
Firstly, we undertook a phase of Discovery: Mystery Visits to the stores, Mystery Calls and time spent talking to the staff and customers. This gave us a very clear picture of exactly where the business was at that time.
We know from our experience, that if we are to develop an organisation and its culture, we need to engage every single member of the team. We achieved this through our Hearts and Minds Workshop. An interactive, informative and relaxed one day Workshop, aimed at helping the team to:
- Understand what Customer Experience is
- How it differs from Customer Service
- Why it is important
- How it will benefit the business
- How it will impact on them and the role they play in delivering a great Customer Experience
The session is a mixture of power point slides, videos, group work, debates and practical exercises which take the delegates out of the classroom and onto the high street to witness the reality of how some organisations deliver Customer Experience
For any organisation to be successful, they must have a clearly communicated and understood Vision. We worked with Chris and the team to help them create a Vision for Baileys Travel. This Vision would very much provide the strategic and operational direction of the business going forward, and provide real focus for the Customer Experience strategy.
With the Hearts & Minds sessions completed (for every single members of Baileys Travel) and the Vision in place, all staff were on the same page, understood what we were trying to achieve and why. We were then able to move on to the ‘how’.
The next stage of the process was to undertake a Journey Mapping exercise. This is very much about seeing the business as the customers sees it. Looking at every single touch point, every single interaction, every single part of the process a customer undergoes when doing business with Baileys. This drove many, many ‘light bulb’ moments and highlighted a number of opportunities to improve the Customer Experience.
One other key element we included in this program was that of Recovery. In terms of driving customer loyalty, putting things right when they go wrong, is incredibly important. We helped the team to understand the business impact of this, and also how to recover situations, ensuring the customer is left feeling great and remaining loyal to Baileys.
By combining the findings of the Discovery phase, with the learnings of the Hearts & Minds session and the Journey Mapping and working with Chris and his team, we were able to pull together a plan for the business. This was broken down into various pieces of work, with different members of the team becoming involved and taking ownership.
We were then able to help the team prioritise and also provide guidance and coaching to help move the work on and to give the staff confidence in what they were doing and how they were doing it.
- Mind set across the entire team has changed considerably
- The business is far more customer focused
- The team understand the importance of Customer Experience
- The team know how to deliver a great Customer Experience and also have the tools and techniques they need to support them
In the 6 months following the programme, the owners have reported a double digit increase in sales (ahead of trend) and a ‘significant’ increase in profit levels.