Your company’s brand: it represents the qualities and values of your products and services.
So shouldn’t your customer service showcase your brand? Branded customer service gives your brand substance and depth. While your competitors are busy showing their brand simply through advertising, you’ll be cementing your brand through the lived customer experience. This is critical in a time when authentic communication is a priority.
But branded customer service isn’t easy. Sometimes customer service reps do everything “right,” but don’t demonstrate the key aspects of your brand. You work hard to define your brand, but if you ignore the potential of customer service to reinforce it, you miss a crucial opportunity to show customers that your brand is more than a logo—it’s a set of real practices and values that set your company apart.
That’s why what you say needs to reflect what you do: in other words, you need to “talk your walk,” to twist a familiar phrase. For example, if your brand is about caring, your customer service should consistently demonstrate caring. Likewise, if your brand is about technical products, your associates should provide clear, detailed information.
While performing a Customer Experience Evaluation for a LASIK practice, Interaction Metrics analysts discovered our client was missing a huge opportunity to communicate the unique attributes of their brand—in this case, safety and expertise.
Here’s what happened before the evaluation:
Customer: “How does the procedure work?”
Associate: “We cut your eye and zap your cornea with a laser.”
Customer: “Yow! That sounds scary.”
The associate used volatile, casual language, with no regard to supporting the company’s brand pillars of safety and expertise—top priorities for any surgery. So, we showed our client how to improve their customer service by anticipating the customer’s concerns and providing reassuring information: “Before I get into the details of our laser, let me tell you that the procedure is FDA approved and has been around for many years. Over time it’s gotten safer than ever…Our practice also has a 99% success rate…”
While optimizing one moment might seem easy, the fact is, customer service consists of thousands of interactions. We’re often asked how to reduce the many to a manageable number. The solution is to create model answers for each unique type of interaction. The LASIK example above is a great model answer because it did more than the bare minimum—it created value for the company and value for the customer. But clearly, companies require a complete knowledge base of model answers if their goal is to brand customer service.
To create branded customer service at all touchpoints, you need a Customer Experience Plan based on rigorous analysis of your brand goals, customers, and touchpoints. Your plan should incorporate precise metrics like Interaction Brand Score to measure and track how well you “talk your walk.”
So don’t let your customer service just be a cost, and don’t let your brand stop at your logo. Instead, use branded customer service and actionable customer experience metrics to bring your brand to life through each and every customer interaction.