Businesses make big bold claims to stand out from the crowd. Making a claim like “We’re the best at customer service” will instantly increase customers expectations, but if you don’t have the ability to follow through things can go south… quickly.
I recently had a bad experience with a company which made this claim. After being bounced between support centres, 3 hours on hold, then eventually being disconnected without a resolution, I was furious. Although the anger after being left hanging for this long was inevitable, if the company in question didn’t set an unrealistic expectation that I was going to receive the best customer service I would have been way less angry about it. I didn’t have to look far on their social media accounts to see the barrage of complaints being received on a daily basis due to poor service.
So, should companies be making these big statements when they don’t have the ability to deliver? Here is what we think is going wrong with the way many businesses do marketing and how they can do it better.
The big mistake: Marketing department’s operating independently
In many cases the marketing department is totally disconnected from the operational side of the business. It’s often a few sales guys in a room brainstorming slogans, completely disconnected from the businesses ability to deliver on them. This approach is the biggest mistake, It simply shouldn’t be this way.
The marketing department should be making claims which are supported and owned by the teams who are responsible for delivery. Not only are your customers having a bad experience because you couldn’t live up to the expectations, your own employees are ultra stressed out because you’ve signed them up to deliver something they aren’t part of and may not feel confident in delivering. This can contribute to higher turnover, high levels of stress and low morale amongst your team.
Customer fury damages brands quickly
It doesn’t take much for a customer to get noticed in 2017. They aren’t just telling their friends about a bad experience, they are telling the entire world through social media and online review websites. Your marketing team might be setting the bar high, but if you can’t jump over it you’re better off toning it down a notch so customers have a more realistic expectation of what to expect. You’re guaranteed to infuriate your customers more if you can’t deliver at the level you claim.
Bringing your marketing team closer
A good marketer will embed themselves within the team to learn about the business and what makes it stand out from the competition. They will seek input from the team members responsible for delivery on what they think makes the company great. They will seek buy in from the team on any big marketing statements, promises or guarantees used, so everyone is confident the business can deliver. Involving the team in the marketing approach will make them work harder to deliver, because they will feel as though they own the statements and promises being made to the customer.
Keeping it real
A good marketer will steer clear of big bold statements and keep the marketing content focused on realistic statements backed up by facts which support your ability to deliver.
So instead of a big blank statement like “We’re the best at customer service”
You could try a statement backed up by facts:
Customer service has always been our priority.
We have an average wait time of less than 5 minutes when you call us. Our in-house support team is based in Australia and trained in the areas of (X, X and X) in order to deliver you the support you require. Our customers consistently rate us highest in our industry for customer service according to [Review Websites].
Did it go wrong? Make it right, quickly.
Let’s face it, we can strive to live up to our claims but no matter how close we get there are occasions where things will go wrong. How we respond when they do can salvage a relationship and repair the damage done to our reputation. The biggest mistake we see on all the big brands are the use of templated responses. Templated responses are a big no. People read your social media feed. If you are constantly dishing out the same response to negative feedback it shows you don’t care and, so you’re better off not responding at all. Sympathise with the specific nature of the situation, offer a solution, commit to make it right. It’s not rocket science, yet so many social media teams get lazy and fail. People don’t like talking to a robot, so don’t use copy and paste “one size fits all” responses. Everybody’s situation is different, and people won’t feel as though you’re dealing with it if you’re giving them a generic reply.
So, steering clear of baseless marketing slogans and keeping it real is what we think is the biggest area marketing teams can improve upon. Less focus on how many BS slogans we can create and more focus on working with the business to deliver.
If you need help with your marketing approach, you can reach out to us here.