7 Customer Service Rules from Richard Branson, CEO of Virgin

Sir Richard Branson, CEO of Virgin, is known for success and customer service. Branson owns over four hundred companies and is estimated to be worth $4.2 billion dollars. Now in his sixties, Branson’s business ventures range from airlines, telecommunications, formula one, cosmetics and space exploration just to name a few.

What’s not well known is Branson’s keen eye for customer service success.

7 Customer Service Rules from Richard Branson, CEO of Virgin image richard branson customer service tips

With billions of dollars in profit and businesses that stretch into nearly every aspect of the human experience, it’s plain to see that Richard Branson knows a thing or two about achieving success.

Branson’s 7 success tips to live by can be an excellent template for an exceptional customer service vision for any organization.

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Richard Branson’s 7 Customer Service Success Rules To Live By

1. In Customer Service, Saying “Yes!” is Fun

Branson didn’t achieve the success he has today by saying “no” at opportunities to do new things, be bold in how to approach projects, and meet the needs and wants of customers. He often defies the conventional wisdom, pushes the envelope and decides to say “yes” and try new approaches to how to do business when others would simple say “no”.

Too often we treat our customer interacting teams as gatekeepers, deciders of the yes or the no when it comes to customer needs. Rather we should be helping our people be a concierge to customers, assisting and caring for customer needs.

2. If You Are Going to Dream Up Customer Service, Dream Big!

No matter what the project, Branson’s companies are created around saying “yes” to what other companies don’t. He wins customers by making customer service, value, and experience the focus on his organization. He then sets the bar high, higher than what others are doing or think is possible of achieving. Customer service isn’t just for phone, Internet, or TV companies.

Whatever type of business you’re in, exceptional customer service is an opportunity to set yourself apart from the crowd.

3. Having Fun in Customer Service is Fun

As with most successful individual, Branson is constantly asked for “the secret” to his success. His response? There’s no secret. Hard work, smart work, and above all have fun while working. Branson’s been known to say that if you have fun, work hard, that money will eventually come. He’s also shared that when you stop having fun with what you’re doing, it’s time to move on.

Ultimately, we all have a choice. You can endure work, or you can work and have fun while doing it. It’s really up to you do decide. Choose to have fun. Choose to relax. Choose to loosen up and enjoy the moment, it only lasts once.

4. Always Take Risks – Calculated Customer Service Risks

Irresponsible? Reckless? Branson’s been called this…and not a few times. But it’s best to see Branson as visionary at always seeking to push the envelope. One time success can be attributed to luck. Multiple successes come from evaluating risks, then putting all your energy into making your vision happen.

Great success doesn’t come without taking risks. The key is taking the right risks.

5. Live for Each Customer Service Moment

We need goals. We need aspirations. Both inside work and out. Branson says that even dedicating 80 hours a week to a business still allows for a few hours of fun. Don’t forget, people can have fun at work too. Great customer service is making personal connections. Encourage people to have fun, be themselves. Making personal connections requires us to be personal. What better way to connect with customers than to learn about your customers, what they like, what they do, find similarities and build on that.

Some of the best customer service professionals I’ve worked with were never the most experienced or the most knowledgable. But they were the best and personally connecting with customers, each and every time.

6. Always Give Respect to Customer Service

An early lesson Branson learned is that in business, everyone commands respect. Any person could be a potential future customer or partner. The way you treat them could affect your business future. Give people respect and your reputation will thank you.

7. Give Back in Customer Service

Success in business means money. Money is the bottom line. But satisfaction doesn’t come from money. To feel the ultimate satisfaction from the work you do, you’ll need more than money. You’ll need to have a worthwhile, positive, emotional connection with what you do.

Give back, remember that no matter what we achieve, we all received some help along the way.

Imagine a Customer Focused World

In Branson’s book, Screw it, Let’s Do It: Lessons in Life and Business, Branson shares life experiences that show that attitude and daring to try when others just accept the status quo is a key to achieving greatness.

What would our lives be like if all customer service teams were centered around being bold, trying new approaches, and connecting with customers in a different way?

Discuss This Article

Comments: 16

  • bahareh sanjari says:

    I think is it impossible for me to be a very professional customer service manager same Sir Richard Branson?? anyway I think these advices can help me in my job, but I work in an insurance company in Iran and I have so much questions about my customer service department.so I want to know is it possible to have Sir Richard Branson’s email? thank you very much

  • I think that Branson’s approach is to take the dry, corporate-ness out of the process of creating a customer experience. Sure, you have to run a business, but when it comes to connecting with people, whether employees or customers, it’s about making a personal connection.

  • syed md haidar ali says:

    Honourabel excellency,
    Sir, Richard Branson I’m going to open a school by using ur name, sus as “sir Richard Branson IT School” If u have any complain u must give me update. on my mail. God bless u.

  • Amber King says:

    These are good tips. I like most how he sited to give respect to customer service. Respect is vital to customer service, we should do it not because we are obliged to, but because we want to.

  • Cheryl says:

    I believe that Branson has hit the nail on the head. Customer service and the success that follows is all about relationship building.

  • Doug Kessler says:

    I wish Virgin businesses lived by these.
    Ever try to contact the virgin media support people?
    I’m afraid these tips are lies.

    • Yes, unfortunately, customer service isn’t perfect. Products break, systems fail, people mess up. The lesson in the end is to hope to inspire and re-emphasize so that with every change, every update, the product, service, and people are getting better for the customer.

      I don’t think the tips are lies. But coming from someone who leads a customer service team and organization, it doesn’t always end up perfect. You have to keep working at it until you can transform the entire organization.

    • Karen says:

      Ridiculous service…worst follow up…n worst phones. So tired of hearing I do apologize and I understand ur being upset. They pound this into every customer service rep because the phones r so crappy n trying to get a person on the phone in the rt department is ridiculous. After my month finished up I’m done with this piece of crap company!!!!!

  • Wulan Meilanie says:

    Yes, the tips are not lies at all! I agreed 100% with Flavio Martins, I have been working in customer service for more than 7 years and I like my job so much. “Always give respect to customer service” well, Doug,did you give them a respect?

  • Nigel says:

    I use Virgin media, & to be honest it is the worst customer service I have ever encountered. The customer support is so bad & they do not understand a word you are saying. As soon as my contract is up we will be using some other company. Do not use Virgin. Richard your people don’t know how to say yes. You should go back to the coal face & see what a shower you have working for you.

  • sue may says:

    I recently changed from sky to virgin, what an bad choice customer service is appaliing I am still trying to resolve issues from the original installtion, repeated phone call emails lteers all go unansewered

  • sue may says:

    they advice 5 working days to resolve a complant but even though they admit to having rec’d my complaint on 27th july and the complaint has been allocated to a julie brockbank, no answer no courtesy call and I have now been on the phone for 28mins and still cannot get an answer or speak to her

  • Phil Bourne says:

    I have great respect for Sir Richard and his ethos for customer service. Its just a real pity that this doesn’t seem to get down to the grass roots at Virgin Media. My broadband has been hopeless for over a week but you can’t get in touch with customer services.. and the self help pages…(when they load) … just go round in a loop… I can’t even find an address to cancel my contract. Oooo but if you go onto their new customer web site… you are met with a chat person instantly… but they can’t ‘deal’ with existing customers!

  • Karen says:

    Hate this company’ phones n service r horrible. Done with them when my month is up!!!!

  • britt says:

    I am so stunned by the complete and utter uselessness of the customer service. Such a nonchalance of not making an effort and turning the term “customer service” into rubbish. I feel completely held hostage by them. I guess Branson can afford something better than Virgin Media. He is probably using BT.

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