In recent years, we have written a lot about the importance of the customer experience. Whether it’s attracting and retaining talented employees, living your brand, or delighting customers with experiences where the promise of your brand is fulfilled, smart companies know that doing these things drives their bottom line.
Unfortunately, there are still many companies that do not realize that they lose a lot of money if they do not keep their promises.
This happens all the time. In the last week I’ve heard the case of two companies that could not fulfill their brand promise, and that’s what I’ve heard nothing but me! Surely it must be impressive the amount of money that is lost with those kinds of errors that could be avoided.
The good thing for well-informed organizations is that they know that if they keep their promises and give good experiences to their clients, they will not only gain a strong position in front of their competition, but they will also earn money.
How not to live your brand
Recently a friend who is looking for a change of employment told me a terrible story that shows how often companies around the world live differently – and terrible – what they say about their brand.
This friend is a talented, hard-working and very passionate professional, and it would be wonderful for many companies to have her in their ranks. Obviously, after a 45-minute telephone interview, the company in question wanted it to be for a face-to-face interview.
Despite being 90 minutes away from the office (remember this), my friend was very excited. The company’s products – online assessments to help companies streamline the hiring process and make better decisions – intrigued and the company’s culture looked good.
After interviewing the first person, and thinking that the interview had gone well, they sent him a couple of online assessments. He said he would do them with pleasure, because they would let him see how the products worked, but he also realized that the process took two hours.
The next step was a second interview to meet a colleague with whom he would work, in addition to meeting the vice president of the company. Unfortunately, the vice president had to cancel the interview, but my friend decided to meet with her potential colleague, and felt that the process was on track. They told him that he would not have to go back to meet the vice president and that there would be no more evaluations.
However, the next morning he received an email informing him of a third evaluation, which also took him two hours. By then the company began to give bad spine, but anyway made the assessment, and was happy when the next day they asked for references. “Maybe it’s going to work,” he thought. “Maybe they just wanted to be safe.”
He was wrong.
The following week, he was asked to appear for an interview with the vice president. In effect, the one who had canceled the second interview; the one who had told him that there would be no more interviews. Remember I mentioned that it had taken 90 minutes to get to the office? The company again asked him to go, and was missing a promise he had already made. And I did not assume any responsibility.
Finally, my friend did not find justification to leave her current job and move, and the confusing hiring process had not pleased her. After the company had assured that a phone call would be sufficient, she withdrew from the hiring process.
The company lost in two ways: First, it lost the best employee it could find, one that would undoubtedly make you earn money with your experience, energy and skills. Second, they would have to restart that long process, and I must say: if they doubted that my friend was the right person for the job, they would hardly find someone like her.
The company lost money because it did not know how to live its brand. And if you can not live your brand through your internal hiring process, most likely the marketing messages you give to the world do not match the experience you give your customers.
Not living your brand is the prelude to breaking the promises you make to your customers and it will be a way of not contributing money to your results.
Why not keep your promises will cost in terms of future profits?
I’m going to tell you another story. It is the story of a company that sacrificed future profits because it did not fulfill its promise to a client.
In this story, a young couple looked for a landscaping company to fix a part of their entrance. After meeting the steps of the shopping day of the new digital era, the couple met with several companies, asked for quotes and made a decision.
Throughout the process, one of the couple’s most important decision-making factors was time. They wanted the job on a certain date, so they chose the company that gave them the right date, and also told them how long it would take to complete the job.
Since we are talking about broken promises, you can already imagine where I am going. The company called the couple and without further change the date for the arrangement of their entry. The company apologized, but offered nothing to compensate, and had the audacity to argue “that it was not their fault.”
That people! If your product or service is delayed, it is your fault. It does not matter if the reason is a provider, a sick employee, or something else. I understand that something can happen … Things can go wrong. However, you are fully responsible for the experience you offer the client, and that is why you can not evade responsibility when something goes wrong. Evading that responsibility worsens broken promises, and will generate more losses.
How could the landscaping company lose money in this case? He has not lost his job, but with another delay that could happen. Suppose there are no further delays, there will be a loss anyway.
If the company had honored its promise and had done a good job, the couple would hire her again, and maybe she would do it many times more, each time she needed some kind of work. But as a result of a broken promise, and even if he did a good job, the couple will surely look for someone else for some future work. And not only that, but they will not recommend the company with their friends, family or neighbors. And there he will have lost money.