In today’s world of aggressive marketing strategies, buzzing social media and huge promises, businesses tend to forget about the very nature of people. More often than not, they want to build a brand image based on completely wrong premises. Spin doctors and marketing experts like to prepare campaigns where they pinpoint strengths, pros, advantages or even false promises.
Don’t get me wrong and let’s be honest with each other: bending the reality always has been and always will be part of The Machinery. Now, just for a while, think about taking the high road. Could you win hearts of your customers with being true, authentic and honest? Well, yes. You very well could. In fact that is what customers in post-crisis economy value the most. Don’t worry all you stats-lovers out there, we have numbers for you.
New generation of customers
Geoff Beattie, who is a global practice leader of corporate affairs at Cohn & Wolfe in London published a brilliant piece about real customer’s expectations where he wrote the following:
“Imagine for a second you could dictate and decide what value big brands bring to the world. What would be top of your wish list? A brand's ability to deliver unique products or services? Would you favor brands that strive to innovate? Do you long for great customer service? In fact, none of these items above made it to the top of the list. According to the October 2014 study on authentic brands by my company, global communications and public relations firm Cohn & Wolfe, the No. 1 quality or behavior which people demand of big brands Communicating honestly about products and services. This is followed by: Not letting customers down and Acting with integrity at all times.”
Let’s have a look at whole picture and dig a bit deeper. 63% of consumers surveyed across 12 most important global markets would spend money on buying from a company they consider to be authentic over and above its competitors. Moreover, 6 in 10 would recommend an authentic organization to family and friends.
Indeed, the leading 91% of respondents agreed that it’s important for companies to communicate honestly about their products and services, and 87% agreed that companies should act with integrity all the time. By comparison, only 6 in 10 felt that it’s important that companies have products or services they cannot live without, as agency MarketingCharts mentions in their analyses.
Being honest and authentic is not just a royalty of big brands. Every single business no matter how big or small, has to take this factor into consideration on every single level, counting in rigid internal processes or communication with customers. Be aware that every single word your company puts out there counts and matters.
This is why your principle of honesty and authenticity must be felt by every single customer you may come across. Saying the simple and sometimes brutal truth may discourage someone who is interested in your products but can save them weeks of frustration. While the customer may have learned that your offering is not a solution for him, it very well may be a perfect fit for his friends, family or business partners. Trust us, he will spread the word about your transparent communication, direct answers and kept promises.
Easy to say, hard to implement yet must-be practice
Practices that we mentioned transfer to all communication channels of your company and mainly into customer support space. Customer service agents have to act with integrity and never get into slippery slope of misleading and misdirection. Adapt to thinking in a long-term perspective and don’t cry about deals that didn’t go according to plan. Valuable feedback and clean authentic image you build this way could lead to ventures 10 times more lucrative.
We at Quality Unit realize this and follow our principles all the time. When you come to contact us and have a look at LiveAgent Helpdesk software, you will not always get answer you will like. Nevertheless, you can be sure that it would be at least truthful.
Bob Dylan once sang: “I saw highway of diamonds with nobody on it”. This road is bumpy and hard to go by, but at the end of the day, it is still made of diamonds. Conclusion of this piece is simple and complex at the same time: Don’t be afraid to speak the truth, be honest and authentic. In a long run, you will succeed.
This guest blog post was written by Michal Kouril, head of customer success at LiveAgent – Live chat and Helpdesk software