Making “Over Promise and Over Deliver” part of your Brand Strategy
I am a big fan of the book Over Promise AND Over Deliver by Rick Barrera. I had a great meeting with him earlier this year in
Rick’s main point is that your promise is what matters to the customer. He demonstrates that this becomes your brand promise in the mind of the potential customer as they evaluate your business offer. Knowing that this directly affects how the customer views your product and service as your brand is exactly the same message we get from Ben Mack and the concept of brand essence.
One way to over deliver is to provide excellent after the sale support. One mistake many businesses make is that they believe their job is done after that first sale. Such a fallacy can not be tolerated if you are to master long term customer loyalty.
A quick email or phone call to check that everything is OK with a purchase is really appreciated by customers. It reinforces the positive feelings about your business and, by checking in with your customers, you can find out how they are using your product. Asking them what they like and dislike about it allows you to refine your product and marketing. This can also surface any problems before they become complaints.
Remember to say thank you to your customers. By sending them a letter or email thanking them for their business and telling them that you value them as customers they will know that you are serious about them and that you care about their use of your product or service. Showing that you care will stand out in their mind. It's worth spending a little extra to make sure your customers come back and tell their friends.
Make it personal by knowing and using their name. Think about how you feel when someone greets you by name and remembers you from a previous visit. My wife and I just had this experience at a deli counter and it reinforces why we shop there and not at another deli. Personalizing communications with customers is a proven marketing and customer service strategy.
In his book Rick writes about the experience of Lexus as a brand that over promised and over delivered. When they make a note of when your next car service is due and sends you a letter or calls you with a reminder that is a simple way to reinforce their brand promise. Personalization is one of the oldest customer service strategies and it works for every business.
Two things that define bad customer service are, not listening to your customers and; not acting on their complaints or concerns. Want a fast way to destroy your reputation? Try ignoring customers when they complain or raise a concern, and then not do anything to remedy the situation.
Most customers are reasonable and they know that things can sometimes go wrong. By letting them acknowledge that you've made a mistake and for you let them know that you'll do your best to keep it from happening again will help keep you in their mind as a company that listens and takes action from customer feedback.Here are four things that every great customer service strategy should include:
- Make it easy for someone to contact you with a concern
- Be quick to acknowledge and apologize for any mistake
- Tell customers what you have done to fix the situation this time and what you have done to make sure it won't happen again
- Have a policy in place to offer a refund or other compensation
These four elements are critical in your own efforts to over promise and over deliver. Rick sums it up for the three TouchPoints that he says every great company has mastered. The two of the three are Product TouchPoints and System TouchPoints and the four things above are all part of the System TouchPoints that make upyour customer service application and process.
What about that last TouchPoint? Can you guess what it is? Are you using it effectively? Let me know.
All the best for your success,Irwin Glenn