Don’t promise what you can’t deliver. Blindingly obvious. So why do so many brands and businesses persist in creating illusions of customer service they simply cannot fulfil ? If I know what I am getting /signing up for, that’s cool. If you over promise and don’t deliver, I get mad, I tell my friends how mad I am with you , I start writing letters, or posting on social networks about how hacked off I am with you and maybe I don’t ever come back to your store. Brands need to be honest about their operational capabilities, customers will love them all the more for their honesty. Moreover, we won’t loathe them for letting us down. Obvious.
Swedish furniture retailer IKEA is a great example of the art of not over promising. Not only that, they make a virtue of their lack of customer service. We have all been and had family rows in their stores and been irate about their returns policy and nearly killed ourselves or a loved one wrestling with an IKEA self assembly erection! But they don’t promise it will be easy, quite the reverse. IKEA ran an in-store communications campaign themed ‘Why ? That’s why!’ designed to reiterate what customers get in return for all that hassle… you pick up your stuff yourself from their warehouse, transport and build it all yourself …. and in return you get exceptional design at eye-wateringly cheap prices – ‘Why ? That’s why!’ explained that at key ‘moments’ in the shopping journey, reminding you of the customer service ‘deal’ you are making with the store. Ultimately you only have yourself and your wallet to blame for the trials of the purchase , self selection and self assembly. You can’t loathe IKEA for under-delivering. They never promised anything extra.
What can brands learn from IKEA’s approach? Simple. Don’t over promise. Explain what the deal is. Stick to it. Done. Obvious. Check out the blog list of the top ten ‘not so excellent customer service’ issues below for more.
- Top 10 of “Not So Excellent” Customer Service (business2community.com)