It’s good to think about whether you need a customer pledge. Or not. Customer promises are becoming increasingly important. Often it helps to figure out together what your strengths are. If you don’t know them right away, it’s a good idea to turn it around and think about why your product or service is better than the competition’s.
What are customer promises?
Customer promises are specific and preferably easily measurable. It is a service the customer can always expect from the organization. So you have to be sure that you can deliver that and also that it suits your organization to promise that.
What can a good customer promise do for you?
- They give direction. By making a good promise, it is also immediately clear to all employees what the company stands for and what everyone can do to do his or her part to make this promise a reality every day.
- They put the processes in order. With clearly measurable promises, it is also clear what needs to be done to fulfill those promises. You can take that into account in the organization. Dating site Pepper promised a serious date within 100 days. If you don’t succeed, you get to go loose in another couples site’s database for a month. A customer promise that stood out, but the execution was not as strong. In particular, the condition that the customer has “actively sent likes to at least 20% of the matches shown” for 100 days is not helpful. So as a company, you have to come up with a better process to fulfill this promise.
- They give collective connection and responsibility. By working on it with the whole team, you also have a common goal. You can even link internal goals to it. Dominos Pizza had a promise some time ago that if you were late for delivery, your bill would be reduced to $3. The couriers did sometimes try very hard to keep the promise in what caused unnecessary traffic accidents. Therefore, they eventually modified this promise.
- They help match. You can also measure up well against your competitors. If they can offer the same, then your promise is not strong enough. For example, hotel chain Premier Inn offered a “good night guarantee.” Didn’t sleep well? Then you will get your money back. The company does everything possible to give you a good night’s sleep, including the best beds, videos with sleeping tips and different pillows (hard/soft) in the bedroom. Sounds simple, but you don’t have that down pat as a competitor. Hard to measure, though…
- They enhance the conversation with customers. When bringing in new customers, you can make a strong promise that makes coming to the right choice (your product or service) easier. A not-so-obvious example is Elkerliek Hospital They introduced 5 customer promises. Elkerliek promises its patients that they will be taken seriously, and treated in a respectful and friendly manner. This can certainly help make the final choice of hospital.
- They lead to better customer judgments. A clear promise can also be seen again in customer reviews because they will refer directly to the promise you have fulfilled. A good example is Jumbo Supermarkets. After introducing the 7 certainties, the company twice became the most customer-friendly company in the Netherlands. With one of the most famous promises: if you are the fourth person waiting at the checkout, all your groceries are free. Unless all the cash registers are open, because then the supermarket does the maximum to help customers quickly. Jumbo arrived at these 7 promises by listing the biggest irritations of supermarket visitors and seeing which ones they could turn into a promise.
- And it allows you to stand out well from your competition. Domino’s Pizza profiles the promise of delivery within 30 minutes of ordering. This service promise belongs in the top 10 just because of the interesting story attached to it. Domino’s started in 1973 with the promise: delivery within 30 minutes, or else for free.
What if you can’t deliver on customer promises? A great time to pay extra attention to customer promises, both internally and externally. You can use the as-yet-satisfied customer in social media (subject to permission) and put employees back on edge. Interested in creating a good customer promise? Feel free to contact me: email me or call me directly.