Customers form the lifeblood of every business and interaction with them is something no company can avoid. As a matter of fact, in today’s global marketplace, how you handle this interaction can make all the difference for the success of your business. It can either increase the reputation of your brand and boost future sales or create a serious damage on all levels.

This article is going to examine how to practically approach customer service to use it as a powerful tool for building and reinforcing your brand. Let’s start off by answering one fundamental question:

What constitutes a brand?

A brand is more than just a logo that is put on products or the website. It’s a culmination of a variety of things that make the business what it is.

Every point that a customer has access to contributes to the brand itself. This includes: company’s website, their official blog, interaction through social media channels and phone call center, email correspondence and more.

Image source: www.pixabay.com
Image source: www.pixabay.com

Delivering a good experience through each of these channels and in every aspect of business is the key that can set a company apart from the competition. From blog posts to direct communication, it’s all about showing customers they can rely on you.

Customer support and branding

We all know that providing high-quality service and support is what drives customers to return to a business in the future. It directly influences how people perceive the company and will affect their overall opinion. If their experience is positive, it is very likely they will also influence the decisions of others to purchase products or services from you.

The fact is that most of the consumers will trust the experiences of others over the word of the business, which is why each needs to walk away from the establishment feeling good about their purchase. It’s this positive emotional attachment that prompts someone to return to a location. Many people like the way a certain company makes them feel and will more likely purchase goods later in order to get that same satisfaction.

Customer loyalty s is one of the most important assets to any business. It’s what causes people to defend brands against competing organizations. This loyalty works for both sales and marketing, and it’s developed by providing the customer with a positive and memorable experience.

Positive customer experience
Image source: www.pexels.com

How to practically approach branding through customer service

A good strategy centered around consumers can contribute greatly to strengthening the brand’s reputation. The following steps are practical methods in which virtually any business can become more customer-friendly:

1. Clearly define brand values and goals

You should start off by defining and writing your company’s culture code. Culture code should serve as the foundation of all the brand’s actions and define how your company will approach everything you do. Culture code needs to practically answer questions like:

What is the company’s purpose and which values does it nurture?
In which ways do the company’s customer support standards reflect its values?
How does customer support reinforce the company’s purpose?

This vision defined in culture code should be carried through every job role, top to bottom. It should guide all the decisions employees make and all the actions they undertake.

2. Take advantage of the digital aspect

Most consumers will interact with a business online before committing to purchase. This interaction usually starts with the company’s website. Website should be designed in such a way that it responds behavior of customers who are in different stages of their purchase journey or, as it’s usually visualized, the purchase funnel.

It should have easily accessible contact information, especially call center number. Remember, customers want transparency, and most of all, they want to know there are real people behind your brand. So, if something goes wrong they will actually be able to reach a real person.

When it comes to online interaction, there are a number of methods that need to be analyzed, all of which can play into building trust between the company and its consumers. Blogs, social media engagement and responses to reviews are some of them.

3. Establish an outstanding call center

Good communication is key in any relationship and phone is still one of the best branding devices out there. It gives you access to your customers’ undivided attention and, if customers are impressed with their phone experience, it will be remembered. Actually, not only remembered, but it will most likely inspire action: outstanding experience usually plays a major role in your customer’s word-of-mouth advertising to friends, family, social contacts and other.

Image courtesy of Plantronicsgermany on Flickr, licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.
Image courtesy of Plantronicsgermany on Flickr, licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

4. Allow customers to contribute

A common hallmark of the majority of successful companies is that they allow their customers to speak out about their experience with the company. Regardless of whether the experience was good or bad, the business should address as many of their customers’ concerns as possible in order to build on trust and instill into them a feeling of being acknowledged. This process can also help a company understand when and why they failed to meet their customers’ expectations.

5. Make customer service everyone’s job

Taking good care of each and every customer should be a priority of the entire company – from sales clerks to C-Suite. Seeing management take the reins and help on the front line should create a positive impression that everyone is truly contributing to customers’ satisfaction.

It is also of pivotal importance to hire the right customer service representatives, give them appropriate training about the company’s products/services, and educate them about the consistency in providing quality service and the importance of reflecting the values of your brand.

Conclusion

Nowadays, brand building is a lot about connecting with customers through what a brand does, not just through what they say. In this regard, customer service is a great channel for creating positive experiences and emotional associations with your brand. If done right, it should increase the lifetime value of customers and become a brand’s distinctive competitive advantage.