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Should customer service be more about selling?


Redirecting the customer approach to a focus on selling is paying dividends for the fortunes of Amadeus t and resulting in happy staff and customers

Last year, Amadeus introduced a customer service programme that created a positive impact on both employees and customers and also saw sales soar. The new training programme for staff – named Service that Sells – encourages employees to find out what a customer wants and to make appropriate recommendations. The programme has led to team champions, healthy competition for prizes and overall greater customer experiences.

Introduced by Operations Director Tony Baldock, the Service that Sells programme has already proved to be effective for the company’s customers as it reduces the effort and time of decision making needed, so they get exactly what they want and in less time so have an enhanced and positive customer experience.

The programme has been running successfully in many venues including the NEC, the ICC, the VOX, Barclaycard Arena, Genting Arena, the Library of Birmingham, Cadbury World and Dudley Zoological Gardens.

When customers visit these venues, they engage with teams who are full of energy, and this is due to the training programme. Behind the scenes, the teams have been working hard to set up the programme in a fun and successful way. This has included one team turning themselves into themed hero squads to ensure everyone gets involved. The programme primarily has commercial aims – which is to be expected as part of a business – but the employees have also been having fun and enjoying the experience.

Employees are trained in various ways, all of which are made as interactive as possible with an element of fun included. From flipcharts to game cards and ten- minute focus sessions to button badges. Tony explains how this has boosted team morale and staff motivation, “The training pack really is a super tool. Alongside the flipchart the team leaders can use regularly, we have games that help explain to staff how their sales generate profit and the impact they can have on business.”

Tony is immensely passionate about the initiative and believes it has been effective for both employees and customers. “We really are living and breathing a retail and sales culture for the future and it has been an exciting journey that will long continue.” The programme also includes mystery shoppers who keep  an eye out for staff members who have the right attitude and always give the customer a great customer experience.

Amadeus presents many of the team with Love2shop vouchers. The rewards are given as incentives where a number of business areas reach or exceed their targets. “It’s wonderful to see the staff getting excited,” says Tony. “It’s a great motivation for them to get instant recognition. It shows others that you are rewarded for doing a good job and encourages them to immerse themselves into thee culture, which can only be good for our customers.” As well as shopping vouchers, employees receive other forms of instant recognition, such as a ‘pot of money’ for teams who achieve a certain growth target. All the winners of the instant vouchers are also added to a prize draw each quarter to win a big reward. Trophies are also awarded to teams who have achieved the biggest percentages of growth per quarter.

This healthy competition really does push the team and is a great incentive. “Moving programme is also going to include training in a realistic environment. It’s important to ensure your staff understand and feel part of the bigger vision of the caterer and so loyalty cards are being introduced to help them understand the impact. This will be visible to their customers who will feel they are dealing with someone who cares about their role within the company.”

Visitors to the various venues may also spot a number of the team wearing badges, which are worn to remind all of the vision and values of the company. With an overall focus enabling the teams to implement the programme in a fun  and engaging way, Amadeus has achieved great success. Customers can see employees going the extra mile, and for the teams they are rewarded for their hard work and made to feel part of the wider organisation. Correct resources, a can-do attitude , clear training and team momentum mean this programme has made a positive impact, especially for customers receiving a good experience.