Whether they realize it or not, many businesses have very impersonal interactions with their customers, with little to no understanding of an individual’s preferences, needs and choices. This may bring short-term success, but to last in any industry, you must develop a foundation of loyalty, trust and satisfaction.
One of the best ways to obtain customer trust is to stay true to your brand promise. Many business owners believe that as long as their product sells, business is good. It can be easy to think that a brand is simply something you recognize and associate with a product or service, when in fact, there is much more to it.
A brand is more than just a logo, a color combination, a tagline, or a name. It’s a promise to customers to deliver the solutions expected from the business as stated in its objective.
Each and every brand you encounter promises something in return for choosing them. Some deliver while others fail to meet their customers’ expectations. Businesses should never forget the lasting effect promises have on their brand reputation.
The Effect of a Brand Promise
A brand promise is a very powerful tool in determining customer trust and loyalty. Sadly, studies show that brands deliver on their promise only half of the time.
Here are the companies that have established their reputation in consistently fulfilling their brand promise.
Apple is known for its “Think different” motto, which their products also reflect. By thinking out of the box and creating innovative technologies with intuitive designs and functionalities, Apple has redefined the way people see the brand. More than just a consumer electronics brand, they’ve become a name associated with lifestyle and exclusivity. These are the reasons why people line up and wait for days just to get their hands on a new product the day Apple releases one to the market.
Starbucks is an excellent example of branding that goes beyond the coffee they offer. Aiming to nurture and inspire the human spirit, they’ve designed posh cafes with an atmosphere that encourages you to enjoy your stay longer than you might have intended. They’ve established customer loyalty by taking the overall customer experience into consideration with every product they sell.
The brand reputation of Marriott is known as a hotel that provides luxurious experience and intuitive service. No matter the country you visit, you’ll receive the same experience across the globe. This consistency in quality and service is why they’re able to retain customer trust and loyalty.
Yet not all brands have attained this high-quality customer experience and brand reputation. A simple mistake in an advertising campaign or product release can introduce counterproductive results that harm one’s brand image.
For example, there are a number of high-end retailers that don’t promote their products with any plus-sized models. In response, some companies took advantage of this mistake by promoting products using models of all shapes and sizes in order to take a stand.
When a brand fails to deliver on its promises or effectively reach its customers, customers get dissatisfied. It’s likely they’ll look for another brand that can meet their expectations.
Methods to Keep Your Brand Promise
Brands that are able to consistently deliver the things expected from them enjoy strong customer loyalty. They’re above the competition because they’re able to provide the value that customers are looking for, developing a customer-centric environment.
Remember these three tips to retain customer loyalty and a positive brand reputation.
1. Over-promise, AND over-deliver.
Some will say that you should under-promise and over-deliver. However, doing this might set the bar too low for your business, allowing weaknesses competitors can take advantage of. If you promise mediocrity, exceeding those expectations will look slightly above average compared to other brands. Set the standards appropriately by promising your best product or service and then strive to exceed it.
2. Be consistent.
Consistency allows your customers to expect the same level of service or product quality from your brand every time they interact with your business.
You use the same detergent because it gives you the same fragrance and cleanliness when washing your clothes. You buy the same foods because it tastes the same whenever you eat it. You go to the same coffee shop because their coffee perfectly satisfies your caffeine craving. When your brand consistent with product and service offerings, you’ll gain your customers’ trust.
Fig. 1. Number of purchases needed to gain customer loyalty
A brand promise doesn’t have to be perfect, but it does need to be consistent. The message, design and delivery should all be consistent whenever, wherever or however consumers encounter them.
3. Aim for improvement.
You’ve worked hard to craft a good tagline, a logo that’s easy to remember, a great marketing campaign and top-class service that exceeds that of your competitors. Because of these efforts, it’s imperative you remember to always look for areas of improvement.
Before you launch any campaign, make sure you have a way to monitor brand reputation and measure business performance. The popular saying, “you can’t improve what you can’t measure,” applies just the same when tracking customer trust and satisfaction.
All efforts in delivering your brand promise should resonate with what customers actually experience. Otherwise, you may have to rethink your strategy and make it more in sync with user expectations.
A great way to obtain data on customer trust and satisfaction is through surveys and polls. A mystery shopper can help you in this aspect by providing the viewpoint of an authentic customer.
How do customers view your brand? Do they trust what your brand says? How important is it for them that you fulfill your brand promise? The answers to these questions will reveal whether or not you’re meeting their expectations.
If they’re unhappy with your offers, ask what they expect from you. This way, future endeavors will be more geared toward customer preferences and needs. Also, by giving importance to their suggestions, you empower them to participate in your efforts to improve service and drive customer loyalty at the same time.
When a company fully commits to providing what they promise, customer trust is born. Then, as you consistently provide a satisfying experience, customer loyalty comes forth.
Falling short of your brand promise has a significant impact on customer trust. Once you’ve established your brand promise, commit your time and effort to consistently satisfy customer expectations. Then you will begin to earn customer loyalty that can help propel business growth.
It’s vital to have an idea of what customers expect from your brand. Having the perspective of our database of 792,000 mystery shoppers will help you assess whether or not your brand reputation is living up to customer expectations. With the appropriate metrics and the capability of customer experience experts on our side, we can work together in ensuring business growth.
Ready to take the next step towards growth? Let’s schedule a meeting to discuss your business goals and strategies.