Similar to my last blog on internal relationships, leaders of companies need to demonstrate ever-increasing integrity to develop trust with their employees. This same approach needs to be applied to making and maintaining positive relationships outside of the organization; the relationships companies have with their customers are as important as the relationships with the employees. Many people, employees and customers alike, currently pin this huge responsibility solely on the customer service and marketing departments of any company. But, as this blog has already mentioned much about the changing ways of the business world, so does the strategies to support and provide customer satisfaction throughout the organization must evolve, too.
In my most recent personal branding class, we had Kristin Stith, the VP of Marketing at Bristlecone Holdings, to come to talk about how her career has involved in just a few shorts years within the marketing industry through her focus on relational customer support over transactional. Stith’s role had evolved from a “spray and pray” strategy to one that listens better than purely projecting information, that constantly requests feedback throughout the entire business exchange process, and aims to provide an exceptional customer experience. The phrase that Stith stated that will forever stick with me is that “your brand is what customers say it is.”
This phrase is so profound because it speaks volumes to the truth of how great companies grow in popularity. When you, as a customer or consumer, look to how you spend your money it isn’t based on what the latest advertisement is saying. It’s based on the experience you or people you trust, (family, friends, colleagues) have had with that brand that will determine whether you make that purchase. And it’s not just the marketing, customer service, or public relations departments that only have an effect on a customer’s experience, especially for manufacturers.
Manufacturers traditionally depend on their products to be the differentiating factor between the market shares. But, with the availability of choices in products and delivery channels being in ever increasing demand from the customer, the service side of manufacturing is playing a more critical role in customer satisfaction. Any way you decide to tackle the improvement in your customer satisfaction, shifting to a open, transparent, and receptive approach that is owned by the entire organization is key to constantly improving on satisfying your customers.
Please check out Kristin Stith’s blog along with some of the great customer service blogs from my Personal Branding class: Katie Shive, Community Concierge at Bristlecone Holdings, and Samantha Simpson, Career Events Coordinator at University of Nevada-Reno.
Photo credit: http://www.gregtrimble.com/the-most-frustrating-5-attributes-of-horrible-communicators/