This week on our Friends on Friday guest blog post, my colleague Jeannie Walters writes about how important it is to align customer service with your brand promise. I agree and taking that brand promise to the next level is when we can get customers to feel ownership in our business. – Shep Hyken What’s your […]
This week on our Friends on Friday guest blog post, my colleague Jeannie Walters writes about how important it is to align customer service with your brand promise. I agree and taking that brand promise to the next level is when we can get customers to feel ownership in our business. – Shep Hyken
What’s your organization’s brand promise? Do you know? If you do know, is it top of mind? Or is it just printed on a few fancy posters or scrolling through your company-installed screen saver on your laptop?
Your brand promise should be a promise to your customers. It should be something they understand before, during and after doing business with your company. The customer service they receive as customers should be carefully aligned with this promise.
The organizations that continuously lead the pack in customer service are the ones who put their brand promise and customer experience missions front and center. Southwest Airlines promises freedom, thanks to the love that is prominently displayed in its logo. They hire accordingly, finding those people who are best with people, not just those who are “ good enough.”
Too many organizations ignore the importance of this connection. They blame their customer service woes on the employees. They implement training focused on following scripts instead of staying connected to what should anchor their customer service in the first place. What if a promise isn’t a promise?
1. The brand promise is empty of any meaning for customers.
In fact, they laugh at it. They create their “honest” version like in this recent Buzzfeed list.
Your brand promise should be setting expectations for the customer experience. If it’s not, it is no better than a motivational kitty poster on the wall.
2. Your brand promise is unknown.
I’ve interviewed executives across major corporations who are literally stumped at the question, “What is your brand promise?” It’s easy to overlook the importance of repeating it to your core leadership team, assuming they know it. They often don’t. If they don’t know it, those they lead surely don’t, either.
3. Your brand promise is not connected to the actions of the company.
If the brand promise is about “being the best” or “providing shareholder value” it’s difficult to connect that to the actions your employees must take every day. The brand promise, your customer experience mission, should be about how you want to make your employees feel. Target’s brand promise of “Expect More. Pay Less.” This is a good example of setting the right expectations. Customers know what to expect, and the employees know what to deliver. Do they always get it right? No, because we’re all human. But at least we know what promise is being made.
So what’s your brand promise? For real? Do your customers know what to expect and do your employees know what to deliver? Do your executives know it by heart?
Tie your brand promise with your customer service mission and watch the magic that can happen.
Jeannie Walters is the CEO/Founder of 360Connext, a global customer experience consulting firm based near Chicago. She has more than 15 years of experience helping companies improve retention, employee engagement, and overall customer experience.
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