Keeping promises is absolutely essential to brand success. You’d think a statement like that would go without saying, but I’m sure you can also recall many times throughout your life that a company broke its promise to you—and how that made you feel about the experience that the brand was trying to provide.
Making and keeping promises can be a tricky business for companies. Organizations oftentimes end up overpromising, underdelivering, or both. Couple that with customers having more means than ever before of telling their friends about a negative experience, and the result is broken promises that scar, not just smear, a brand’s reputation.
Today, we’re going to touch on a point I talked about in a recent POV on the impact of broken brand promises: implementing a strong loop-closing process that can help companies keep their promises and keep at-risk customers from becoming powerful brand detractors.
Closing the Inner Loop
Closing the inner loop means addressing and solving individual customer complaints. This process is crucial to making customers feel heard and can often make the difference between promises kept and promises broken. Closing the inner loop is an essential component of any experience improvement strategy because it helps brands not only know what customers expect of an organization, but also enables companies to intercept and deal with threats to brand promises.
Companies can tackle closing the inner loop by, well, looping employees into the process as much as possible. Customers enjoy a personalized experience, especially when they’re frustrated with an impending broken promise, and an employee who cares is the best way to make those individuals feel empathized with. Brands can also use this tactic to learn about pain points they may not even be aware of.
Listening is an important piece of keeping brand promises, but it’s only half the battle. After fielding concerns from a dissatisfied customer, brands must work quickly to take action on that feedback or else risk both losing the customer and breaking a brand promise. Brands can help ensure that departments take action on relevant feedback by sharing data across the organization rather than keep it siloed with a customer experience (CX) practitioner or team.
Closing The Outer Loop
A brand’s success is built upon many instances of closing the inner loop, and when the enthusiasm for listening to and solving customer problems is diffused across an organization, that brand will have closed the outer loop. The outer loop is a company culture that espouses fixing pain points and keeping promises wherever possible. A company committed to keeping the outer loop closed is a company that democratizes data, shares feedback throughout the organization, and uses that unity to take effective action. Naturally, this is a must for brands that want to keep their promises.
These reasons and more are why a strong loop-closing process is essential to listening to customers, resolving issues, and leaving those individuals feeling like the brand has both taken them seriously and resolved to keep a commitment (as it happens, I also wrote a POV on this and other reasons to close the loop, which you can check out here).
As I said earlier, making and keeping promises is tricky. But closing the loop can save at-risk customers, identify pain points, and give companies the opportunity to both keep promises and create a stronger bottom line for themselves.
Interested in learning more about brand promises and their far-reaching impact? You can check out more in my article on the subject here.