Here’s yet another strong article from American Express’s Open Forum, this one reminding us that prospective customers have to experience your message between three and seven times for it to register. Ideally they should experience it in several different ways: They get three direct mailings from you, read an article about your product in the newspaper, meet you at a networking event and see your donation mentioned by an influential charity.
The author also riffs a little on branding:
“We recently asked 51 CEOs in one industry whether ‘customer service’ was the reason they were a better choice than their competitors. And 51 out of 51 said yes.
“At the risk of sounding obvious: Nobody will believe it if everyone is saying it. In that industry, the customer-service pigeonhole is already full—and no doubt it’s full in yours, too.”
I, too, meet many business owners who say that their customer service distinguishes them from the competitors. Uh uh. Bad service will drive them away, but good service just keeps you even. Unless you’re committed to legendary levels – think Nordstrom and Ritz Carlton hotels – you should look at other qualities of your product or company for the characteristics that define your brand.