If you’ve been around Core Creative in any small way, you’ve probably come to understand the depth of our belief in brand alignment. One of the dominos an aligned brand will knock down for your business is customer service. An aligned brand will have a tremendous impact on customer service … and that will have a tremendous impact on your audience, sales and the strength of your brand.
Over the short span of two days, I had two completely opposite customer service experiences with two separate companies. It won’t take a psychic to guess that one of the experiences was highly positive, the other extremely negative. The stark contrast is an excellent opportunity to consider the interdependent nature of brand, culture and customers.
[pullquote align=”right”] When establishing a brand, customers and audience are not just the consumers of your brand; they make up the brand. [/pullquote]
When establishing a brand, customers and audience are not just the consumers of your brand; they make up the brand. A company’s internal culture can be what most commonly directly influences a customer’s experience, and all too often for many companies, customer service is merely a means to an end. It’s completion of a task, rather than foundation of a relationship. Smaller companies often have an easier time offering superb customer service experiences; when you are President AND Customer Service Representative, keeping consistency is simply being yourself, and less of a challenge than when you have hundreds of employees.
Larger companies are the ones that benefit more from brand identity from the inside out: when a company’s culture is established and saturated throughout, customer service will naturally carry it by extension. A notable example of that is Zappos, whose service is legendary, and their legion of fans and advocates is the proof.
In the end, one company, ClearlyFiltered.com made me a fan by taking a leap of faith to make a random customer happy. The other company which will remain unnamed, well, while they eventually made good on their word, one extremely negative experience with an associate soured what would have been an otherwise positive experience. One good thing to come from this – I spent some time considering the intersection of customer, brand and employee relationships.
So at the end of your day, for your business, are you thinking about how your brand touches your employees … and how they live that brand to impact customers … new, old and yet-to-be discovered … to build your brand?
Phil is a designer who can be found, most days, blazing the trail between Wauwatosa and the Fifth Ward on his hybrid commuter bike. If, that is, he’s not at his desk applying his trade and keeping our team abreast of the latest software upgrades and techniques for the Adobe Creative Suite. You can follow Phil on Twitter @PhillipFischer.