Does your brand behave badly?

Brand Audits Update x Christine Moody*


Corporate brands often forget that they are judged by their customers on every level and on every touch point. How they handle themselves when things don’t go to plan is where every brand has an opportunity to shine and show their true colours. An authentic brand’s reaction is to put themselves in the shoes of the customer. How would you feel if the company treated you a certain way? As way of an example, how every little transaction matters here is a story about a luxury car company.

Recently a friend of mine found themselves in a dire financial position. She was very proactive communicating with her financial institutions and was able to negotiate a change in arrangements early on so to avoid any penalities or reports to credit agencies. This included banks and credit card companies et al. This process took time, energy, and patience but it really paid off. However there was one organisation that she had the most difficulty with. It to her surprise a luxury car brand  that she had been loyal to all her working life. While effort was put into selling the car to my friend—glossy brochures, showroom demostrations, loan cars for the weekends, and tickets to corporate events—when it came to negotiating a better finance deal it was completely the opposite. Big brands—expecially luxury brands—need to remember that paying attention to every little detail is just as important during the entire journey and relationship with the customer—not just during the sales process. It is how you treat your customers at every single stage of the ownership of that vehicle that makes or breaks the customer’s loyalty.

Big brands—expecially luxury brands—need to remember that paying attention to every little detail is just as important during the entire journey and relationship with the customer—not just during the sales process.

In a lot of cases, companies not understanding this means that the staff in the accounts department, for example, are too removed from the customer or don’t understand that how they treat customers will have a direct affect on the next sale and ultimately how that customer feels about the brand. The customer experience is an entire journey that starts long before they enter the showroom and does not end with the signing of the sales document. All the glossy brochures and slick advertising will not help overturn a bad customer experience. But being human and having empathy will go so much further.
Here are some other articles with brand stories that every company can learn from.
Forbes Companies behaving badly: When good services goes bad x Jabez LeBret “At the heart of great communication is the ethos that you communicate to those around you the way they want to be communicated to. In the moment that your customer is contacting you with an issue, he or she is upset, frustrated, and looking for you to solve the problem—not solve the problem because you are feeling charitable that day. Of course, you cannot make an exception every time. But telling your customers that you’ve made an exception at the moment they achieve resolution is like giving them a piece of cake, then taking it away before they get one bite of satisfaction.”

Harvard Business Review
Stop trying to delight customers x Matthew Dixon, Karen Freeman, and Nicholas Toman
“Two critical findings emerged that should affect every company’s customer service strategy. First, delighting customers doesn’t build loyalty; reducing their effort—the work they must do to get their problem solved—does. Second, acting deliberately on this insight can help improve customer service, reduce customer service costs, and decrease customer churn.”
Customer Think
“HBR describes the customer experience as “your customer’s end-to-end journey with you…the cumulative impact of multiple touch points over time, which result in a real relationship feeling, or lack of it. So it’s about the multiple interactions that a customer has with a company and the collective nature of these interactions (whether good, okay or bad) that make up the entire customer experience. Right from the time a lead engages with a company till the time he continues to be a customer defines customer journey which makes the TOTAL CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE.”
*Christine Moody is one of Australia’s leading brand strategists and the founder brand management consultancy, Brand Audits. With more than 30 years’ professional experience, Christine has helped a diverse client base of local and international brands, including Gold Coast City Council, Hilton Hotels, and Wrigleys USA, to develop, protect and achieve brand differentiation.

Leave a Reply