It’s not common for companies to get caught deceiving millions of customers, so when they do it’s a major news story. However brands are being eroded every day and the reasons for this are much more mundane. Small breakdowns in service may not be big enough to make news headlines or even cause a customer to leave, but chances are people will remember these problems.
Each time a company lets its customers down it’s like making a withdrawal from the trust bank. And small letdowns are insidious because they often go unnoticed by the company. While the issues may be relatively minor, they can add up and if a brand lets its customers down one too many times it may have no choice but to employ acts of customer service heroism just to maintain an average level of branding.
Here’s how not to fall into that trap:
Branding tip 1. Have great customer service
Every company makes mistakes. It’s unavoidable. But it’s how you deal with those mistakes that counts. Complaints should be dealt with quickly, politely and apologetically. Your customer service team is the face of your branding and should deliver a consistent customer experience.
Branding tip 2. Be a hero
When Morton’s Steakhouse met a customer at an airport with a steak after they Tweeted that they wanted one when they landed, the company was praised for going above and beyond the level of service its customers typically expect. It’s also important to note that their reasons for doing this weren’t to right a wrong. But while acts of customer service heroism like this make for great stories, brand trust is built on day-to-day experiences.
Branding tip 3. …Get the basics right first
You can’t be a hero without being brilliant at the basics first. The basics are the simple everyday activities that build trust and deliver value, whereas acts of customer service heroism aim to push your brand through the stratosphere. The basics are essential components of your branding. Small letdowns are breakdowns in the basics but if you can nail them, your customers will rarely be let down.
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(Illustration by Nick Farnworth, Gorilla)