Delivering promises is one of the most important things a brand must do for its customers. Keeping commitments is much easier said than done, but customer loyalty lives and dies by companies’ ability to follow through. Succeed, and the brand generates loyalty and retention. Fail, and the organization ends up burning bridges—potentially permanently.
So, how can brands avoid breaking promises? Well, as I outline in my recent POV on this subject, one of the ways that companies can ensure that they consistently fulfill customer obligations is to create realistic brand promises in the first place. Here’s how brands can do that.
Know Your Customer
Brands should always evaluate the promises they make through a customer’s lens. That means knowing who their customers are, what they consider to be important, what they’re looking for in an experience, and why they come to you for it. This notion is sometimes referred to as the customer’s “moment of truth” and a brand has fulfilled a promise in their eyes when it delivers that moment consistently.
To many customers, the difference between failing to keep a promise and failing to deliver on a moment of truth is miniscule. In my aforementioned POV, I talk about how a colleague of mine experienced an especially brutal broken promise: an airline flight that didn’t uphold its promised anti-COVID safety measures. Not understanding the moments of truth is one thing; understanding and then failing to deliver can be a deal breaker. Additionally, depending on the severity of the problem, some customers will not give brands a second chance.
Delivering The Goods
Companies need to clearly understand what their customers want so they can both rise to the challenge and ensure that they deliver flawlessly on that desire. Brands can increase their likelihood to succeed by building a customer experience (CX) program as part of their business operation. A decent CX program can make brands aware of customers’ wants and needs—a great CX program unites customer, employee, and marketplace perspectives to give companies a continuous, 360-degree view of the experience(s) they provide.
This approach gives brands the opportunity to know what their customers value, so they can create grounded, realistic promises that can be delivered every time. If nothing else, it’s always better to underpromise and overdeliver than to overpromise and underdeliver.
Brands that take this tack will be positioned to create not just good promises for their customers, but the right promises. Companies that pick the right brand promises and deliver at the moments of truth create customer loyalty and a stronger bottom line for themselves.
Want to learn more about the importance of creating and keeping effective brand promises? Take a look at my article on the subject here.