the most important brand touchpoint is person to person

I’ve been working on a couple of projects recently where I’ve discovered that one or more customer touchpoints are letting the brand (and therefore customer) experience down.  I’m not talking about a poor quality DM pack or a hard to navigate website, but about the real ‘voice of the brand’ – customer facing employees.

In every case it hasn’t been that staff were deliberately letting the side down, but that they didn’t know what they needed to do in order to deliver a good, consistent customer experience and hadn’t been trained in how to deliver it.

tomfishburnedotcom service cartoonanother gem from marketoonist Tom Fishburne (CC applies)

I’ve noticed similar issues in my day-to-day life, whether it’s a supplier who answers the phone “Hello, XYZAcme” without saying who has answered, leaving me to guess (inevitably wrongly) which of my four contacts it might be, or the furniture retailer’s admin lady who creates the impression that her company are graciously allowing me to give them business, rather than the other way round.

It all comes down to a lack of understanding of what their brand is about, what the customer expects and how to deliver it – consistently.  It’s all very well for us Planners and Strategic types to create lovely powerpoint presentations full of brand pyramids/personifications/onions/icebergs and so on, but if this isn’t understood and implemented by everyone involved in any instance where a customer or prospective customer might engage with the brand then we’re missing a massive opportunity.

We’ve all read about massive Social Media Fails over the last couple of years when whoever was left in charge of a brand’s facebook or twitter account clearly hadn’t got the message about delivering a consistent brand experience., but I think that brand contact over the telephone and face-to-face is the original Fail that we’re still overlooking to a large extent.

So next time you’re doing a 12 month plan, brand communication consistency review or similar, don’t forget the most important Channel or Touchpoint of all – person to person.

One thought on “the most important brand touchpoint is person to person

  1. Hi Gemma,

    Good point to remember. Also, person to person problems can be compounded when they are reported over social media. Check out the most recent customer service fail by Lululemon where their sales staff reportedly refused to accept returned yoga pants that were too sheer. They apparently asked the customer to bend over and prove that her knickers showed through!


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