Stop Playing Catch-Up: Start Rehabbing Your Brand Now

Posted by
Rita Romero
LivePerson Contributor
Tuesday, March 15, 2016 - 12:27

In the poetic words attributed to the late George Eliot: “It is never too late to be what you might have been.”

People are constantly reinventing themselves through self-mastery and personal development.

While I’m sure George wasn’t referencing business, we can apply the same message to brands. Sometimes brands have to realize the error in their ways, create a new vision going forward, and establish a step-by-step plan to get there.   

Like anything in life, you’ve got to clean house before you can start anew. There are a few brands that have successfully transformed ahead of their time. And these “brands of the future” all have one thing in common: People come first.

They’ve realized that connecting with consumers in a meaningful way — all starting with customer service — has an exponential impact on loyalty and lifetime value.

Below, we’ve included a quiz to first find out if your brand needs a little rehab. Take the two-minute quiz, then read on for stories of a few exemplary brands we love — and tips to become a brand of the future, too.

Does your brand’s customer relations need work?

Answer these questions to find out.

  1. Do you rely on a method of customer service other than a 1-800 number?
  2. Does your average hold time (if applicable) last 30 seconds or less?
  3. Do brand advocates outweigh complaints?
  4. Are customer care professionals truly engaged with the company culture and values?
  5. Does your team have a system in place to gather consumer feedback and take the pulse of consumer happiness?
  6. Is some form of messaging included in your customer service plan?
  7. Does your brand prioritize mobile as a main avenue of customer support?

If you answered “yes” to all of these questions, congratulations! You’re killin’ it. If not, it looks like your brand needs work. Read on to find out how some do it well — and how yours can do the same...

Brands of the future: some we love.

When we think rockstar brand-to-consumer connections, there are a few brands that stand out. Does your brand make the list? For inspiration, take a look at what our most beloved brands are doing.

  • BuzzFeed is fearless. According to AdWeek, BuzzFeed has five billion monthly views and can attribute some of its success to strategic partnerships. We love BuzzFeed for many reasons (it’s my go-to for a guaranteed laugh); however, we admire the company’s fearlessness in altering the way we consume media. BuzzFeed observes and changes with consumer feedback — creating something that’s controversial and humorous yet credible. Smart Insights says it best: “BuzzFeed [has] built a process that empowers smart people with a deep connection to their audience to continually look at ways to iterate, expand, and push the brand forward.”
  • Facebook is dynamic. With more than 1.59 billion monthly active users, Facebook is no flash in the pan. This is one social network that’s thrived on its ability to evolve and satisfy its users. We love Facebook because, while other brands this size might be slow to change, Facebook doesn't wait to take action. In fact, it always seems to be one step ahead. Exhibit A: Quick to realize the power of messaging, Facebook found new ways to leverage its Messenger app, including its own improved version of Siri, simply called M.
  • Amazon is helpful. Amazon is synonymous with best-in-class customer service, forever innovating the way brands can engage with consumers. Well ahead of its time, Amazon introduced 24/7 video support through Mayday in 2014. Seeing its success, more and more brands began to focus on mobile, real-time service and less on fragmented, omnichannel experiences.
  • Disney is engaging. In fact, Disney defines itself by its customer experience as the self-proclaimed “happiest place on earth.” Prioritizing consumer happiness extends online, where “cast members” (how cute!) assist customers via messaging during daytime hours. This means parents (or just the young at heart) spend less time waiting on hold...and have more time for their loved ones.

These brands aren’t reinventing the wheel or mimicking other killer brands. They are blazing new trails and forging one-of-a-kind customer experiences.

In the words of Digital Surgeon’s Peter Sena (@petesena): “Big brands need to stop looking at competitors and playing ‘Simon Says marketing.’ That’s a way to manage decline, not growth.”

How can your brand pave a new path and reinvent itself? It starts by looking inward. What originally inspired your brand’s conception? What are the bedrock ideas and motivations that drive you to invest so much in the brand? Start by clarifying the vision and work to live it out company- and community-wide.

A few steps to start rehabbing your brand’s relationship with consumers.

Step 1: Evaluate the health of your consumer connections. Here at LivePerson, we’ve developed an algorithm to evaluate a brand’s Meaningful Connection Score, which flags both positive and negative conversations. In the LiveEngage dashboard, customer care professionals can track consumer sentiment (and engage) in real time.  Regardless of your system, prioritize consumer feedback and sentiment toward your brand. You might be surprised by the impact even one hater can have. Tip: The same goes for employees. Invest in your customer care team and ensure they have the right tools to succeed.

Step 2: Create (or refine) a vision for your brand’s future. Before you draft a roadmap, determine what your ideal customer support system looks like as a piece of the larger story. Take stock of all technology and processes and discover newer channels (think: mobile and messaging) you might not have considered. Ask yourself, what tech will aid in your transformation? And how will you offer more humanized communications?

"It's never to late to be what you might have been." – George EliotStep 3: Go cold turkey. Promise to quit old habits (*cough, the 1-800 number, cough*) and design new processes for better relationships. Gain buy-in from your team by showcasing the impact of a truly great customer experience. What risks will you take to evolve? Like the great George Eliot once said, it’s never too late…

Pro LivePerson tip: Commit to the #HoldNoMore experience.

“Brands of the future” are responding to the expectations of today — a connected relationship between brands and consumers. And in case you haven’t heard, LivePerson is in the business of creating meaningful connections — specifically, providing a platform for innovative brands to offer best-in-class support. In an age dominated by instant, digital connections, we can’t believe brands still make consumers wait on hold! That’s why we launched the #HoldNoMore campaign in the hopes of ending the pains caused by 1-800 numbers (and downright bad customer service).

What does it mean for brands to #HoldNoMore?

Committing to #HoldNoMore means committing to consumer-centric service, tech-driven innovation, and stronger consumer relationships. Ever since the 1-800 number was invented by AT&T, consumers have wasted billions of minutes on hold, waiting to talk to a live person. It’s time to bring an end to this broken system.

Why #HoldNoMore? Because creating the best possible customer experience is the first step to becoming not just a brand of the future but a brand that embraces today, too. We’ve invested 20 years in technology to make this possible.

>> Related read: #HoldNoMore: Why We Need a Movement

Join the movement at HoldNoMore.org or try LiveEngage free today.

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