Is your Service Brand “authentically kind”?
I ask this because there are many brands these days that have taken on the tenor of the times. They are unabashedly exactly who they say they are, they are uncompromisingly themselves, and they give everything that they say they will deliver. But when you meet face to face or over the phone or the web with their reps, you get something that is professional, sometimes even passionate, but often times a little shy of just simply human.
Let’s talk about service marketers, and what that means. You can offer the best products, served with the most efficiency, and even produce the best results, but they leave their buyers knowing that they have bought into something that is iconic-ally true, but somehow hollow. Even though it has a strong brand character, you get the sense that the people behind it understand what they are doing, but they may not understand people that well.
Having said that, let me tell you about a brand that seems to want to make real contact, in a truly human way. Consumers are just people, and in Service Marketing, you are rarely calling for service because you are happy, and everything is working well. You are frustrated, you are often confused, and unsure of what to do. That frustration bubbles off of you, no matter how good your “poker face” happens to be.
You want someone who is going to help you do better than you were doing before you called, and make you feel, well…Smart again.
Recently, when my AC went out, we called service professionals, they sent me someone promptly, Larry, the technician, and Luis, the product specialist knew what they were talking about, and they took the time to help me understand what needed to be done, and my options for doing it. I felt informed, and prepared. In the end, I didn’t feel like I was dealing with an adversary, or that the goals of me, as a consumer, were not in alignment with them, as the service provider.
I felt SMART.
I felt like I made the right decision when I called them.
It didn’t take much, it just took the understanding from everyone in the organization that if I had called them, I needed them to bring expertise, education and understanding about what I was going through, and maybe a little compassion and empathy.
If you work for a service brand, and you believe in what you are selling, and love your brand, then take some time, start a conversation with your customers, ask them how they felt when things went wrong, and how they felt when you made it better, and how the journey between those two points impacted them on a human level. If you do this, you won’t just delight the consumer, but you will have made an “authentically kind” choice, and that will be how your brand is remembered.