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PORTER: Brand promise signals great customer service

An exceptional customer experience. Employ respect and great attitude. Ethical business principles.

A definition of customer service today? Topics in a business school class? Subjects covered in your latest service training?

No to all the above. These are all elements of a new formal “Brand Promise” I helped a business client develop recently based on solid research into their customer base.

A Brand Promise you develop today signals to customers how you are building your company culture and what it is. It further lets them know what your company stands for and it is essential to forging a sustainable customer experience culture everyone can embrace.

If your company does not have a formal Brand Promise, it is something you need to start on today.

Below please find some helpful components of a world class Brand Promise.

• First, identify the experience you will deliver to customers.

What customer experience do you deliver today and what do you want the future to look like? You must define the quality end-to-end journey you want your customers to travel and ensure that it happens. After all, you are making a promise that it will.

• Second, signal to customers your respect and regard for them.

Whether it is distinctly stated or assumed in your formal Promise, I do not know a customer anywhere today that does not expect only the greatest respect from companies they work with. And you would be surprised at the feedback I get everyday from customers where companies regularly fall down in this critical area.

• Finally, always show customers your ethics.

Ethics are apparent everywhere in the business world today. Services promised. Timeframes agreed to. Daily relations with employees. There are ethical teaching moments everywhere and on full display to both companies and customers alike.

And ethics are a lot like quality to customers. They know it when they see it. End of story.

In addition to these three areas — customer experience, respect and ethics — there are several other components you might want to work into your Brand Promise to customers.

An area we have discussed in past columns is attitude. It is a good idea to signal to customers that you know how important attitude is today in business and that they can expect great attitude every time from your employees.

Another area you might consider to include in your Brand Promise is use of the latest customer experience concepts. This demonstrates to customers that you know the latest thinking in the customer service world and have trained your employees in them — something every customer likes to see.

In summary, start building that world class customer service Brand Promise today. And make sure you include my three top components discussed above.

First, describe the experience customers can expect when they work with you. It will give you a competitive edge.

Second, promise customers they can expect great respect when they deal with you.

And finally, signal to customers that you observe only the most ethical of principles in running your business.

Develop that Brand Promise right now and let your customers know what to expect from you every day. I believe it will help you attain sustainable financial success for the future.

 

William Porter has published books on customer experience and employee engagement and speaks regularly at business schools. Contact him at bpwilliamaporter@gmail.com.

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