Does your customer service reinforce or weaken your brand? Our experience and research indicates that unless you’re taking explicit steps to brand customer service, your company’s core values won’t be represented by your frontline staff.
Certainly, ads can be engaging and commercials are sometimes entertaining. But once a customer walks into your store or phones your call center, that’s what they remember, not what they loved about your television spot or billboard. When customers interact with your associates, those interactions become cemented as part of their personal experience with your brand. Therefore you need to go the extra mile and create branded customer service.
Tips for how to create branded customer service:
Start with your brand’s core values and then break it down. Identify your brand’s priorities and then narrow these down to specific brand attributes. From here, come up with ways in which your employees will demonstrate these attributes in each customer interaction. For example, if your brand is “young and fun,” then your frontline staff needs examples of how to demonstrate “young and fun” in every interaction. This includes during difficult interactions, like when there’s an issue with billing or when the customer perceives a quality error.
Your associates need specifics at every level of interaction. Concrete examples like talking points, templates, checklists, and scripts are the tools they need to express your brand. Tread carefully, however: an associate who sounds like they’ve been programmed can damage your brand just as much as one who is improvising badly.
Branded customer service will give you two invaluable assets: 1) a strategy that will consistently engage your customers and, 2) a staff equipped to demonstrate your brand’s values. Coming up with a branded customer service program is the difference between having customer experiences that reinforce your brand messaging and customer experiences that weaken it.