One day, the Founder and CEO of Planet Beach & HOTWORX Franchising, Stephen P. Smith, walked into the office with a mannequin statue that would take permanent residence in his office and eventually inherit the name, Eileen. Due to it’s peculiar design and placement, Eileen quickly became a hot topic of conversation within the office.
To the average Joe, Eileen was just a piece of art placed strategically within the CEO’s office, however, to the employees and franchisees of the company, she took on an entirely different meaning. Eileen represented the company’s core demographic, the 30 year old female. She was created with the goal of understanding, targeting and capturing the interest of the customer. Although Eileen was the silent voice in the room, her presence spoke volumes to the executives within the company. Eileen’s presence was a stark reminder that the brand would thrive and remain relevant if the needs of the customer were put at the forefront.
Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon.com, adopted a similar practice years ago, where he brought an empty chair into meetings and informed his top executives that they should consider that seat occupied by their customer, “the most important person in the room.” With such emphasis placed on the customer, there is no question why Amazon.com is the world’s largest Internet sales company on the world wide web.
Customer service expert and author, Shep Hyken, stated, “ Customer service is not a department. It’s a philosophy to be embraced by everyone in the an organization. Everyone plays their part in contributing to the customer’s experience.”
Although the presence of Eileen brought laughter into the company, it also brought great awareness. She had her own theme song, “Come on Eileen” and even had a Convention themed in her honor, “Targeting Eileen.” In essence, she ultimately became the mascot of the company, the Planet Beach & HOTWORX customer.
Written By: Jodie Mateu, VP of Special Events & Productivity