If any one of my friends made a promise to me, and broke it…they probably wouldn’t be my friend for much longer. Whether it be a verbal or written (usually email) contract, there’s something understood in a promise made. It will happen. And if it doesn’t? It’s a betrayal, pure and simple. It might be a big one or a little one but there is that breaking of trust, no matter how slight.
So what happens when a company doesn’t deliver what they promise? Yep, the exact same thing. Some businesses look at the bottom line or how much foot traffic makes its way through their doors but what it’s really about is relationships. That thing that fuels our connection with friends and family is also what fuels our loyalty to certain companies. So when a promise is not delivered…there’s disappointment, frustration, anger, distrust. Maybe on a different scale but not so different than if your best friend had done the same.
So as a business, what are you promising your customers? The answer: your mission statement. That, hopefully short, paragraph that sums up what you will deliver everyday. It’s a promise to your customers, it’s a promise to your staff and it’s a promise to yourself. Starbucks Mission Statement: to inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time. Followed up by some principles on how they achieve this.
I love the fact that it’s right there on their website for all to see. It’s like saying, “this is what we promise and we’re going to stand by it. Call us on it if we don’t meet your expectations.” (FYI – I don’t work for or am in any way associated with Starbucks)
The secret to providing great customer service is fulfilling your promise. And the trick to that is not making it a secret. Put it on your website, in your store, on a t-shirt…build those relationships and that trust and your customers will thank you for it. With their wallets.