The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

Service Without The Script …

I’ve written a lot about customer service over the years.

Or specifically, bad customer service.

And the ironic thing is the worst examples tend to be organisations who literally say they’re in the ‘service industry’.

I suppose that’s why I loved how Claridge’s hotel train customer service to their staff – especially their belief in moments of stubbornness – because while they set incredibly high standards and ways to deal with situations, they always leave room for their staff to act in ways they feel is in their guests best interests … even if their guests don’t realise it yet.

And for me, that’s where customer service becomes it’s most powerful.

Where it moves from service to care.

Not just in terms of the obvious things, but reading between the lines.

Where it goes beyond just anticipation, but true consideration for the other party.

In many ways, it’s the ultimate demonstration of loyalty …

Not expecting it from your audience and instead, providing it to them in return.

Proof that they matter.

Proof that they care.

Proof they need each other.

Recently I saw an amazing example of this.

Surprisingly it came from a Chief Executive Officer.

More surprisingly, it came from a Chief Executive Officer of a football club.

And even more surprising than that, it came from the the youngest Chief Executive Officer in the entire football league.

Now to be fair, it’s the CEO of Barnsley Football Club … a club that is known for how much it values its community and fans.

But even that doesn’t quite capture what Gauthier Ganaye – the Barnsley CEO – did.

Read the letter below … then next time you’re with a client who talks about customer service or social listening, show them it and ask them how they’re going to demonstrate how much they value their audience, rather than just saying it in their corporate mission statement.


PS: For the record, he – nor Barnsley – promoted this, the receiver was the one who made sure this act of loyalty, compassion and service got to a bigger audience.

19 Comments so far
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This is so good it makes me want to support Barnsley.

Comment by George

My comment looks flippant. It was not meant to come across like that. I think this is a fantastic bit of management.

Comment by George

Everyone knows you wouldn’t be like that. However if Billy or Andy wrote it …

Comment by Rob

fuck you campbell you fucking judgmental twat.

Comment by andy@cynic

To write a spontaneous letter is one thing. To write it in a way that coveys genuine care and consideration is another admirable quality all together.

Comment by Lee Hill

I agree. Deciding to write is only one of the amazing things about this story.

Comment by Pete

Good point Lee … it’s more than just writing the letter but how he did it. For such a sensitive subject, he handles it with real grace and compassion.

Comment by Rob

That he did this without wishing to seek publicity is further measure of the man. I wonder how many other soccer team bosses would do the same. The sadly deceased Leicester City owner sounds like he would have been one. Not many more.

Comment by Pete

Yes, the Leicester City owner certainly seems that he was like that. Such a sad story on how he died.

Comment by Rob

That’s more caring management than I’ve received from my actual manager.

Comment by Wayne Green

Same. Are you listening Rob?

Comment by DH

he only hears the sound of fucking freebies. you should know that by now.

Comment by andy@cynic

This is lovely, always thought see the real company when it believes no one is watching, as Leeds fan I feel a can’t even be flippant about Barnsley
Now Forest, that’s a different matter

Comment by Northern

I forgot you are a fan of a team that cheats to equalize against Forest … admits they cheated and then say we should stop complaining about it.

Comment by Rob

So stop complaining!!!

Comment by Northern

thank fuck you didnt write this because it would be 10000 times longer, go off topic 50 times and end up being about the importance of planning. and be 4 years out of fucking date.

Comment by andy@cynic

Rob did write the post didn’t he?

Comment by Northern

The bigger the entity, the more powerful a touch like this can be. I like to imagine Ben van Beurden, Royal Dutch Shell CEO, sending a handwritten letter to a bicyclist in Mexico.

Comment by Paul Macfarlane

ill have whatever the fuck youre having.

Comment by andy@cynic

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