Shared values, beliefs and principles that underpin organisational culture and decision-making need to be evident in every customer’s experience. So how can your organisation encapsulate shared values in a way that embeds them in all communications and interactions?
The answer is your brand.
Brand is still misunderstood by many and its importance even dismissed by the operational side of businesses. This is perhaps for a lot of people the brand is the name and the logo - a graphical representation of the product or service and there to make things look good?
But the brand is much more than that. Jeff Bezos, Founder, Chairman and CEO of Amazon, summed it up neatly:
“Your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room.”
The brand’s visual and written language are an expression of, and a symbol of, the core values of your organisation; a reflection of the deal being made with the customer that says “we believe in the same things as you do”.
The brand sets out a promise of what customers can expect. If the brand experience fails to live up to this brand promise, it becomes meaningless and even destructive.
In a customer-centric world, such disconnects become immediately apparent, and a brand that ultimately fails to deliver on its promise is a liability. RyanAir understand this better than many by managing expectations so low that the experience rarely failed to exceed them.
The brand, therefore, must reflect the genuinely held shared values of the organisation and represent what matters most to the customer. In this way, a brand is created not to impose ideas on the customer, but rather to show solidarity with their beliefs and ensure consistency through each interaction.
So shared values and brands start to centre around the idea of a culture or community that brings everything together and it is this community which ultimately drives the human behaviour of those within it. Is the Holy Grail for customer-centric organisations therefore to create a culture or community that brings the customer inside and centre of the organisation? Or is there more?
If you’d like a discussion around how to optimise your company’s customer experience, please get in touch with us at Change Associates, or for a more information read the research on what other organisations have done.
You can read other blogs in this series at www.changeassociates.com/blog using the filter ‘customer experience’.