“You have my word”
“I will never let you down”
“I will do more than my best”
“I will make it happen”
“I will never fail you”
“I’m on top of things”
“I will deliver on time”
All of the above wordings are commitments and comes at important moments as a life changer. People make their promises, raising hopes and expectations of their families, beloved ones, friends and acquaintances. They as well get themselves motivated & recharged to fulfill their promises.
The Promise is a distinguished bright word that has its own magic, its own prestige and its impact over peoples’ lives.
Businesses have decided to benefit from the concept and came up with their own versions in the commercial life across multiple products whether as a slogan or as a brand name or as a brand promise!
“Finger lickin’ good”
“The happiest place on earth”
….and many others examples that have been over promising or committing realistically or even being vague!
We can play the exercise of questioning the readers to map the right brand name to the right slogan/brand promise. I’d be happy to have this and many more in the comments to this article.
Customers have been reacting to the advertising across history in a simple manner, whereas they accepted and believed these concepts. The issue here is at the early stages of history – mainly after the industrial revolution era – Sales and marketers have been always keen on only selling at any cost. This kept on happening for years disregarding the credibility of themselves, their products and their brands. This gap between the marketing promise and the reality have provoked customers to bring up their own sarcastic slogans in response to their sufferings. example for this are:
“Found on the Road dead” or “Fix or repair daily”
“I’m not loving it”
and other examples due to moments of dis-satisfaction as a result of a “Marketing/Sales fake promise”
Marketing and/or Sales have been excelling in raising the bar and in uplifting customers’ expectations on the belief that this is the only way to increase sales. Also assuming that the relationship with customers is a one-time transaction.
a key characteristic to this era is that the advertisement is based on big statements, and specifies no particular features or specifications!
Meanwhile, within the same scene, yet on the other side of the moon, we can see customers being simple and believing in the publicized promises at one instant, buying at the other and frustrated without being able to obtain their rights.
Customers kept on filing complaints, visiting companies seeking a refund sometimes, yet the service enhancements pace kept on being slow for years. new concepts have been introduced like maintaince centers, then customer services functions, later on contact center until we reached the self-service actualization.
Customers started to realize their powers and started exchanging information via their own tools like the word of mouth, printed bulletins and this kept on evolving until we reached the era of the VOC via social media.
Sales started to be impacted progressively and accordingly revenues. All of the previous factors together in addition to many other factors have pushed towards the continuous evolution of marketing until we reached Marketing 3.0 whereas the customer is the center of focus for all business operations. “The Customer is the king”; the era of the customer experience that started around year 1998 almost and kept on growing rapidly with un-precedent pace!
Managing the promise aspect of the Brand & Customer’s Experience:
I see it really important to talk to organizations/service providers; to marketers and sales and to highlight the following considerations:
1- A promise is a brand commitment!
2- Don’t over promise, it is not easy any more…take care, there is social media
3- Don’t under promise, it is unfair for your company, you still need market share
4- The promise requires continuous maintaince and follow up
5- Manage the customer expectation rightly, expectations is the customer experience gauge & yard stick!
6- you might think that not promising (staying silent) is a smart safe option, but this is not easily affordable mainly when it comes to basics
7- Even when you don’t promise, Customers have their own expectations that are based on historical experience or competition benchmarks
8- Actual Excellence in the Customer Experience results in a stronger brand experience that enhances the brand equity and this revenues
9- the net promoter Score (NPS) as a key Customer Experience tool is questioning and verifying the customer Promotability that in most of the times is based on the company perception in the customers’ mind or perception.
10- The pro-active planning for Customer Experience is essential and is a no brainer any more