We started life 25 years ago as a drama-based training company and used the skills we learned as performers and practitioners and transferred them into the world of business. For the first ten years that mostly meant face to face customer service training. We designed workshops focused on delivering great customer service: not perhaps with the sophistication of today’s tools – voice of the customer, moments that matter, customer journeys and net promoter scores but with interactive and experiential sessions on:
- making connections
- personal status
- attitude and behaviour
We did these workshops for many companies across the UK and learnt from the people on the front line what it really meant to provide great customer service. Part of the service we offered to clients was to undertake the front-line roles ourselves and experience the customer first-hand. We served coffee in canteens, food in restaurants, drinks in pubs, cleared tables, cleaned hospitals, negotiated exotic household pets with boiler engineers, and on at least one occasion collected the refuse on a round that included family and friends. There was never a dull moment, but there were plenty of unexpected customer behaviours to deal with.
We are prepared to roll up our sleeves
One of our favourite organisations to work with early on was the company Lakeland who took great pride in their brilliance at providing excellent service from the off. The wonderful and much missed Customer Director, Michelle Kershaw took charge one evening of a call that came into their customer service desk.
A heartbroken mum was on the line saying that the bride and groom figurines for the wedding cake hadn’t turned up and it was her daughter’s wedding the next day. This was in the days before 24-hour turnarounds on delivery. Michelle, realising how devastated the mum would be, jumped in her car in Keswick, Cumbria and drove to just south of Birmingham to deliver the tiny plaster of Paris figures. One astonished and delighted mum greeted her as she arrived with the delivery. It was just what they did because they were all prepared to roll up their sleeves.
The CEO and other executives would all take their turn on the customer service phones to ensure that they all knew what was required. We’d like to think we do the same. When a job needs doing, everyone in the organisation will muck in and make sure it happens. Everyone just loves doing a good job. Even when that means getting up at the crack of dawn to participate in a Tai Chi workshop.
We pride ourselves in delivering a great experience
It’s because of that history in retail and hospitality that we know what it feels like to give and receive great service and that’s why we deliberately called it a great experience here. Because of course, that’s what it is. We’re still experiential at heart and whether it is Alana promising to have posters turned round overnight like she did last year in a global cyber security project or whether it’s hiring the best string quartet we can find to ensure our end of year opera went well for our client at the Valencia Opera House, we know that it is the experience that will leave people either wanting to come back or knowing that we’re not the company for them.
We might also point out that when we said a ‘great’ experience we really meant ‘fun’ but we don’t want to pre-empt next week’s article. ‘Connecting with customers’ was one of our first workshops and we still believe to this day that it is so important. We are currently working with a client who, because of covid-19, we have never actually met in person, yet the relationship that we have built up over the last few months has connected us as if we have known each other for years. It’s not simply down to us of course, he is a very connected person himself and it helps that he has a fabulous sense of humour too.
We go to great lengths to honour our promises
We love to treat our clients like friends and we hate to let any of our friends down. We know that choosing to work with the Monsters includes a degree of creative risk and we are also aware that great responsibility comes with putting your reputation on the line. That’s why we don’t want to let you down. Partly that of course and partly because we just want to be loved.
We’ve had a few Michelle Kershaw stories of our own and over the 25 years that’s included re-designing the content and delivery of a global conference overnight (more than once), stepping in for an unexpectedly absent guest speaker and our favourite, serving lunch at a kindergarten in China. We’ve never driven from Keswick to Worcester to deliver wedding cake decorations though.
Basically, we just want to give you a good experience of working with us. If you’re interested in what that feels like, do please give us a call and we’d be happy to roll up our sleeves and crack on with it.
You can read more about our values here.