I hear you.
I hear you say that you (as an organisation) are customer friendly.
I hear you say that you (as an organisation) have a strong customer orientation.
I hear you say that you (as an organisation) are committed to delivering great customer service.
I hear you say that you (as an organisation) deliver a great customer experience.
I hear you say that you (as an organisation) are customer-centric.
I even hear some of you say that you (as an organisation) are not merely customer centric, you are customer obsessed!
Yes, I hear you – all of you. And you all sound pretty much the same.
I have a question for you. Can you guess what my question is? If you are so in tune with your customers (folks like me) then you should have no issues in figuring out my question. Have you figured it out?
Here is my question (in various guises) as your customer: What specifically can I count on you for? What is your promise to me? What is it that you guarantee me?
No! I am not interested in hearing about your mission statement, nor your corporate values.
No! I am not interested in your brand positioning or values.
No! I am not interested in your size, your growth, your global scale…
Let me ask again, as your customer: What specifically can I count on you for? What is your promise to me? What is it that you guarantee me?
By the way, it is not enough for you to make me a promise. For this promise to be credible it has to be public. Yet even a public written promise is not enough.
A written public promise to me, your customer, is merely the starting point for showing me that you are serious about treating me fairly as your customer.
What else do I expect from you? I expect you to:
· tell me clearly and precisely what it is that you expect from me – in order for your promise to apply to me; and
· set out what exactly I can count on you to do, by when, as and when you fail to keep your promise.
By the way, I am taking it for granted that you will figure out when you have failed to keep your promise. And that, when I am the only one that knows that you failed to keep your promise, you will make it easy/quick for me to bring this to your attention.
Finally, I’d have a lot more confidence in your promise if you were to share up-to-date information on how you (as an organisation) are doing in keeping your promise to your customers – this information needs to come from a credible independent body.
Image via flickr