Yes, it is true, the customer typically wants to be right. Your image and brand are critically important for continued success. What is sometimes surprising is how little businesses understand why customer service promises matter.
Certainly, it isn’t everyone, but when something goes wrong many people are looking for someone else to blame. When you’ve promised something to your customer and you don’t deliver you probably will make them look bad. Who will they blame?
Your brand, your image, what people believe or understand about the transaction will have a lot to do with the outcomes. It doesn’t always mean it is the correct impression or understanding, but it might be what they understand.
Ordering a Whopper at McDonald’s might be a misunderstanding or a simple mistake, but expecting your sandwich to be warm is a promise.
Service Promises Matter
Have you thought about your customer service promises? Those that are spoken, written, or otherwise assumed by your customer to be delivered by you? Have you considered how policies, procedures, and pricing affect loyalty?
Here are a few things to consider when you ask yourself about customer loyalty and living up to brand promise:
- Giving new customers a price break to sign on while loyal customers pay more.
- Insisting that the warranty is the warranty even when the difference is very narrow.
- Encouraging a buy new, never fix, approach with products or services.
- Assume the customer is not smart enough and speak with them that way.
- Refuse to negotiate when in the past you always have.
- Forcing features or specifications that your customer must now pay more for.
- Fixing software bugs and selling them as an upgrade.
This list can quickly become very long. The difference for many promises is based on emotion. It is what the customer feels—or doesn’t.
What Customers Feel
How you make your customer feel will have a lot to do with the future of your relationship. Certainly nearly every situation is unique but word travels fast and a negative word even faster.
Do you believe customer service promises matter? You should, because your customers do.
Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a five-time author and some of his work includes, #CustServ The Customer Service Culture, and Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.