Personalised tech

How to personalise tech

April 25, 2018

The world of customer service has changed and the growth of digital platforms has fundamentally shifted customer service but for all organisations, even those only available digitally, personality is still so important.

Some businesses do this better than others. When I was at Virgin, our service mantra was ‘Brilliant Basics, Magic Touches’ and this is even more applicable today, with the growth of social media and digital platforms. The platforms have to work – that’s in the ‘Brilliant Basics’ but the ‘Magic Touches’ are the ways a business projects personality and flair. When you look on the Virgin website, for example, the first thing you see when you log in as a frequent flyer is the big “Hello Gorgeous”. Now, that’s personality.

Magic Touches can often cost nothing. They are little things, little interactions between staff and customers and the best ideas for these come from people who love their jobs.

It sounds simple but somehow, something happens in organisations that blocks this kind of thing. It’s now called employee engagement, but I call it loving your job. And I use the word love on purpose because I think there’s a difference between liking your job, doing a good job, following the rules, doing what the book says and loving your job, which is doing the right thing but not necessarily what the book says is the right thing. The secret to this is not the people at the top of the organisation but how supervisors help others to do their job well.

Organisations love to ask for feedback and that whole business of measuring net promoter scores has become a big industry. My fear is that organisations stop caring about the customer and just care about the scores. Beware of that, I think it really shows.

My top tip is to note how you are inside the organisation, the way you behave with each other, the culture. That’s exactly what your customers see. You can’t be something to your customers that you’re not to yourselves. Simple.


Linda is available through Speakers Corner which offers keynote speakers, event facilitators, and corporate entertainment

She also headed up the London 2012 volunteer programme, the Games Makers, helping to deliver
an incredibly successful Olympic and Paralympic Games.

As Virgin Atlantic’s director of inflight services, Linda was responsible for ‘making flying fun’