The Idea: There are two types of people who pay attention to your products: brand advocates and brand assassins. The only reason they care is because you have either built trust or broken trust, respectively. While 80 percent of companies believe their customer service is superior, says a recent Bain study, only 8 percent of their customers agree. How do you disarm brand assassins while encouraging your advocates to share your message? The short answer: being “naked and unashamed.”
Brand assassins are born in the wake of bad customer relations. They are offended and almost always it is because a company failed to meet expectations and did nothing about it. In today’s economy, where word of mouth sells more products than ad campaigns, it is essential that you win the moment, every moment. It’s about becoming a professional listener and world class responder.
If a consumer contacts a business with a question or complaint, they typically expect a response within the hour. However, a Social Media Marketing University (SMMU) survey conducted in February shows that only 17 percent of businesses respond to customer complaints via social media within an hour and a surprising 21 percent of businesses never respond at all. This often leads to customers feeling negatively toward brands and sharing their bad experiences with their social networks.
Every day, companies face internet shakedowns: a number of studies estimate that 10-15% of reviews online are fraudulent, and there is no way to control what is said.
Company mistakes that go viral are much worse, and content sharing services like Reddit and Youtube can allow unsatisfied customers to shine a terrible light on bad corporate practices or a bad product. Often, it is deserved.
Whether you are a businessperson, a politician, a minister or a teacher, your work is reviewed. No one can hide; the truth will eventually come out. Companies that are open about their weaknesses don’t cover up – they are naked and unashamed. That is why their community trusts them.
Are you comfortable being unguarded and uncovered? Being open about your vulnerabilities is what makes organizations human.
The secret to disarming brand assassins is to take away their ammo, through responsiveness, candor, and brutal honesty. In a world where everyone has a microphone, the customer sees all and the truth always comes out.