Great Customer Service photo from ShutterstockBeing on the other end of the phone when dealing with customer service representatives, is either a curse or a blessing. It’s a coin toss. One that quickly became a curse when I had to speak to a Wacom customer service rep.

Many large company brands are striving hard for that “human engagement”. It’s evident in the increased social activities, social listening, brand responses and response time. Part of the reason I thoroughly enjoy working with small businesses is because they have the agility to be (and remember to be) human in their daily interactions.

The personal brand lesson today is if you work with a large company don’t lose your humanness.

The goal of understanding your personal brand is so that you can be confident in delivering on the corporate brand promise in a way that aligns with who you are.

Your actions then are delivered and received as genuine and authentic.

Yesterday, I experienced that dreaded Customer Service Rep (CSR) with Wacom who was reciting a script. One that he couldn’t, or wouldn’t, deviate from. He methodically drudged through it in a cadence only a smidgeon more human that the electronic robotic voice that could have been programmed to say the same thing.

The helpless brand

We all have been in a job where it doesn’t support our personality style. The script is demanded and mandatory. I get it. There are those jobs when it is efficiency and not effectiveness that’s measured and rewarded.

I’ll tell you another story where I was speaking with a Sprint Representative. With Sprint, it’s always a coin toss yet I do admit it’s been more positive than negative with their phone reps (it’s not at all the same at the local store level). She had a script or outline to follow, too, but she was human about it. She laughed with me and would say things like “I know this seems redundant but we’ll go through this checklist as fast as we can and we’ll both be happier because of it.” Instead of feeling that I had a human version of a robot, I felt like I was speaking to another hard working soul at the other end of the line.

She delivered on the corporate brand promise in a style that was aligned with who she is. And, being on the receiving end of that was delightful!

In Denise Lee Yohn’s book, What Great Brands Do, she shares that:

Employees who are engaged with the brand who understand what they uniquely and how they uniquely deliver to the brand ultimately connect to the brand’s higher purpose and find that their work holds more meaning and importance to them because they see their own roles in the broader mission of the organization.

For companies, take heed – are you taking the human side out of your brand’s interaction?

Is your personal brand sleeping with the fishes?

In a BRANDchat conversation, we extensively discussed Lessons from the Death of a Brand.

One of the great tweetables from that discussion was:

Brands often decline because of management, leadership and employees coming up with excuses rather than acting with integrity.

If you don’t have integrity to your own personal brand, what do you have then?

What do you do if you’re stuck in a company that doesn’t get it? Take a look at the list I shared on Monday’s posts about what to do if you are in bad company.