In 2007 I remember sitting at an event during which the entire audience participated in a goal setting exercise. At the time there was one goal I recall writing down, to build our dream home. On the same day at the charity foundation, I even bought a plaque, which said, ‘live with passion’ and made a promise to place it on the entrance of our future residence.
Little did we know that 5 years later we would find ourselves in beautiful Australia and at the time of writing this – in a week, we get our keys to our dream home? I have the plaque in front of me and I notice the important and the value we place on material objects of desire. Don’t get me wrong its great to live in style but what happens when we associate our identity with our house, car or title.
Now, let me introduce you to the sales person who sold us a million dollar plus build and for confidentiality, we will call him john. John was a genuine guy, great communication and couldn’t do enough to serve us. He even took us to his home. At this point I know what some of you may be thinking? ‘Sucker! ‘So let me clarify this guy was genuine. We signed up to build with them. Even though we signed the contract and were allocated a Client Liaison Person John continued to help us and once even drove us to the pool company to negotiate the best price and save us money! He even volunteered to store the dishwasher from the old house we demolished. The service was exceptional and we were singing praise about the building company.
It can happen that the person we deal with is our perception of who the organisation is. Then as this relationship builds we begin to relax and trust the brand, which is a perception of our experience verses what the brand wants us to think.
Then one day out of the blue we were told John had left the company. Aahhhh you say well the service levels in comparison were now average to bad and then we began to wonder who the organisation was? We thought John was the true representation of the brand.
We began to wonder, ‘who this building company was? We thought it was John and now through our new experience realised that the company was very different.
The branding the home builder was ‘trying’ to demonstrate was based around the finish of the house and with out a doubt the finish i.e. build quality / cosmetic appearance was very good at the expense of Exceptional WOW service!
One person can be the shining billboard for your brand and another the graffiti artist. Which one are you? Does your team really listen to your customers comments or are they only interested in KPIs? And then what happens when a competitor raises the game?