The results of the election down south last week, made me wonder about many things, but one question that popped up quickly, was: How is he going to keep all those promises? And as we have seen this week, some of the promises have already started to crumble. And the logical next question is: How are the people, who actually believed in his promises, going to react, when he doesn’t keep them?
All of us, running our businesses, make promises all the time: How much it will cost; How long will it take; That it will solve the problem; That it will never happen again; and that our solution, our service, our product is the very best!
But can we, will we, keep our promises? And what happens when we don’t?
I have learned over the many years of doing business, to always try to “under-promise” and “over-deliver”. But in the middle of a sales pitch, during the excitement of clinching a deal, it is often so tempting to “over-promise” or exaggerate the results.
Yes, and from time to time, I will sound like a politician (Uggh!) and “hedge my bets” or build in exit strategies. And of course, I can always claim that there are circumstances beyond my control, that will result in not being able to deliver as promised.
What does the all-knowing internet say about this topic? Here are a couple of random thoughts I came across from different articles:
Be careful what you promise. When individuals and companies don’t deliver on their brand promises, they fail to create or maintain uniqueness in their brand categories. That translates to a lack of brand loyalty among your customers.
Separate yourself from the pack. Both you and your employees should be focused on exceeding your customers’ expectations. You can start by getting rid of impersonal customer service techniques such as e-mail or automated telephone services.
Don’t pretend to be something you’re not. Branding is not a matter of putting on a persona that you think others will like. You don’t want your customers to feel like they are being “sold” based on a false business persona.
Make promises you can keep
The bad news is that there doesn’t seem to be one particular foolproof method. If there was, everyone would be doing it. Firms that can boast great success in their customer retention often have one thing in common though – great customer service.
Promises we take for granted
Implied promises, though often unnoticed or taken for granted, can be every bit as powerful as expressed promises. Everyone recognizes a commitment has been made when you advertise “the lowest price in town,” or say to your customer, “I’ll fax you the quote by noon,” but have you considered all the implied promises your business makes, such as that a part listed in your catalog will be available for order; or that your restaurant serves meals that won’t make a customer sick; or that a customer who walks in the door five minutes before closing time will receive the same friendly service as everyone else? How you fulfill your promises either strengthens or weakens your relationship with your customers.
My promise to you? I will be back next week with some more internet wisdom.