Your Brand & Customer Service

by Ruth Klein on August 5, 2010

By Ruth Klein, Integrative Brand Strategist & Productivity Coach

Have you ever thought that customer service is separate from your brand? Most entrepreneurs, professionals and writers feel that customer service is a separate part of their business. In fact, there are divisions set up just for customer service without working on the brand message before sending out a new customer service program.

How can that be? I wish I knew the answer to that, but I don’t. What I do know is that customer service can be a very large part of your brand statement to your clients and customers.

Here are some businesses that are reinforcing their brand image with their clients and customers:

  • Starbucks identified and branded itself as the “third” location. The first location is home; the second location is work, and the third location is the coffee shop… and in this case, Starbucks. I was pleasantly pleased when I went to Starbucks this morning and found that there were fresh LA Times and New York Times newspapers. I really couldn’t believe it… but, as I looked further, I saw that they were from the day before. Can you imagine if they put a few of these newspapers out on the actual day they came out- as a reinforcement of the third location principle? Implementing that little, inexpensive customer service strategy would tie-in and really reinforce Starbucks brand as the “third” location.Note: What could you add to your customer service that would be inexpensive and create a “Wow” customer experience?
  • Dance Studio: I’ve taken dance lessons since I was very young and I’ve dabbled in local theater where I’ve had the opportunity to be in 42nd St., Anything Goes and most recently, Some Like It Hot. But, I’ve never taken ballroom or Latin dancing…until now. One of the dance studios where I’m taking dance lessons (yes, I’m really getting into it and I’m taking lessons from two great dance studios…after all, I’m in LA!) offers weekly ballroom and Latin dancing so that their students and others who simply like to dance can practice their dances and meet other dancers in the community. I find this to be a huge customer service piece that only reinforces their brand image of being a dance studio and keeps them in touch with their students. Students who take dancing lessons need and want to dance more than just during their lesson and, meet other like-minded dancing spirits! The other dance studio does not offer this weekly customer service benefit.Note: How can you help your customers and clients become “active” or interactive with your products and/or services?
  • Restaurant: I joined a professional women’s group and during our last breakfast meeting we formed our mission and vision statements. We met early in the morning before the restaurant actually opened. I suggested that we have some protein (such as hard-boiled eggs that can be made the day before since they can’t make anything hot that early in the morning ). Presently, they offer delicious pastries, fresh fruit, fruit juices, coffee and tea for twenty dollars. The owner overheard me speaking to the manager and said that they could also add salmon to the morning breakfast at no extra charge. This is an example of superior customer service. Once again, here’s a small restaurant located in a prime location (Rodeo Drive) that reinforces their brand image by listening to their clients.Note: Have you been listening to your clients lately? You can easily use www.surveymonkey.com to receive customer feedback.

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