Strictly Come Buses – Striving for the X Factor!
Strictly Come Dancing has hit the screens of the UK for another season, and once again many millions will each week watch the developing partnership of the professional dancer and their willing if sometimes incompetent student. The success or failure of these dancing duos owes much to the faith and trust that each side puts in the other, and this offers a valuable (if somewhat unlikely) metaphor for much of what we in the bus and coach industry do day to day. Our businesses are all about forming and maintaining relationships with our various stakeholders; this is what drives all of our successes or failures. We are all fortunate to work in an industry that values the personal relationship so highly, and the forthcoming Euro Bus Show will be the most visible example of our industry coming together and celebrating its successes and trumpeting its best practice to a watching world. Many of these achievements are down to a number of micro level relationships all coming together to deliver a much wider goal.
So how do we get the ‘X Factor’ into our own businesses? Well there certainly isn’t a golden bullet – to me the essence is delivering on your promises. When you consistently do that then whoever you are dealing with; whether they are a passenger, employee, customer, supplier or shareholder can have no cause for complaint. Over time that builds trust and gives your business the edge against your competition. The bus turning up on time for the daily commute, the driver being friendly and professional, the service engineer arriving when he said he would to repair your bus, the manufacturer delivering a quality product in line with their delivery schedule; they are all simple things that are often left unfulfilled in underperforming businesses. Yes, it’s a back to basics approach in this world pre-occupied with social media and smartphones; but it’s one that our business, and our partner Alexander Dennis subscribes to and one that certainly delivers long term success.