Building An Unforgettable Brand? Deliver Beyond The Expected
Richard Branson, entrepreneur and business mogul, once said regarding heroic customer service, “The key is to set realistic customer expectations, and then not to just meet them, but to exceed them — preferably in unexpected and helpful ways.”
It’s one of my top quotes that I refer to again and again in my own business, as it reminds me that to be the kind of unforgettable online brand I want to be, it’s NEVER enough to just “do the job.”
(That just keeps you out of trouble! …Hopefully.)
No. To thrive, especially as an online brand where “sketchy” can be found lurking around many a corner, takes thoughtful and persistent effort on behalf of clients and customers.
Danielle Van Geest, co-founder of The Wedding Playbook, knows something about that — which is why I’m so happy to feature her here today.
In the following interview she shares several smart tidbits about how to better serve people, ranging from welcome kits to short response times. Read on, and then be sure to leave your own tips + ideas in the comments below. 🙂
1. Tell me a little bit about your brand from a service perspective! Who do you serve? Why, specifically, do you feel that client/customer happiness is important to your brand?
My business partner and I publish a wedding blog and online magazine called The Wedding Playbook and our clients are wedding suppliers looking to connect with local brides. We’ve had the opportunity to build meaningful relationships with our customers and nurture repeat business by shifting our focus from product (selling ad space) to service (supporting business growth).
2. How customer service savvy were you when you started your current online brand? Are there any particular experiences, resources, or tools that have helped you improve since then?
We’ve definitely learnt more about our customer and refined our understanding of how to deliver service that stands out the more time we’ve spent in the market.
ActiveCampaign has made a huge difference for us in this space - it’s a combined customer management and email marketing tool that helps us personalize the client experience by creating detailed contact profiles.
3. Could you tell me about a couple of small-but-mighty things that you try to do to make people happy about your brand and the services/products you provide?
Thank You Email - It takes us a few days to deliver our product, so we send a “Welcome Kit” immediately after payment which includes some exclusive free digital goodies.
Responsiveness - We’re committed to responding to all client communications in less than 24 hours.
Consistency - An identical product and service experience helps our clients feel they are being treated equally and allows us to streamline our systems.
Exclusive Discounts - A simple way to thank clients for their loyalty!
4. Every online brand owner eventually has an experience where something doesn’t go so well with a fan, client, or customer! Please share about one of those times, and what you’d do if you had it to do all over again.
We’ve realized that good customer service isn’t just about making happy clients happier - it’s also about making an effort to find the best possible resolution when things don’t go right.
In the past, that first emotional response everyone has to negative feedback prevented us from addressing customer complaints in the most effective way.
Now it’s a process of “Type out what you’re feeling, then delete, delete, delete.” It’s important to take a step back, do your best to work through the client’s concerns objectively and create a system to ensure history doesn’t repeat!
5. What do you think people would be surprised to hear about providing great customer service as an online brand?
Regardless of whether you have 10, 100, or 1,000 clients, there are ways to make them feel like they are your only customer.
6. I’d love to hear about a favorite quote, saying, or memory that you rely on to inspire your brand’s customer service culture. 🙂
Always deliver beyond what’s expected - that’s what makes a memorable experience and an unforgettable brand.
As co-founder of The Wedding Playbook blog and online magazine, Danielle has been helping couples throw great parties in the name of love since 2012! Passionate about celebrating creativity, she spends her days curating achievable inspiration, heartfelt stories, words of wisdom and beautiful ideas tried and tested by brides across Australia.
How do YOU deliver beyond the expected in your blog or biz? It’d be awesome if you’d share your own tip below!