The Habits of Amazing People: Fulfill the Promise
“Create—and keep—your personal brand promise.”
I think this chapter from Shep Hyken’s Be Amazing or Go Home is one of the essential factors in keeping a customer happy. If you say you are going to do something, then do it. Creating your reputation, or brand, that you are the person who will fix their issue, is powerful, but only if you fulfill that promise. When you create your brand for meeting your client’s commitments, you need to ask yourself these questions:
- Is your vision of yourself in alignment with your company?
- Are you committed to putting in the work to fulfill your brand promise?
- Are you ready to share that vision with those around you?
Your answers to these questions can help you determine how you will fulfill your promises.
Is Your Vision of Yourself in Alignment with Your Company?
The first question is necessary to ask yourself, because it lets you know if you are in the right place. Let’s say you have a goal to create reasonable response times for all of your customer’s calls based on a call-importance triage. If you work for a company that says you need to complete each call in the order it is received, you are probably not at the right company. This does not mean you cannot try to effect change from the inside, but if you find your primary goals do not match your employer’s, you will not create the brand you want to promote. Aligning your goals and what you want to put out into the customer service universe with those of your company’s is critical for your long-term success.
Are You Committed to Putting in the Work to Fulfill Your Brand Promise?
If you have found that your company goals and your goals align, you need to ask yourself the second question. What are you willing to commit to fulfill the customer promise? Most of us have the knee-jerk reaction of “I will do whatever it takes.” But will you? If you have your kid’s T-ball game on the same day a client wants you to stay late and have a call with their team for a project, would you stay? If you would, did you set that expectation with your child? If you would not, did you set that expectation with the customer? Excellent customer service is not about forgetting your family and your other commitments; it’s about setting realistic expectations up front. I have told a customer that I would not be able to do something on a Saturday because I already had plans with my family but then gave an alternative solution. My honesty with the customer allowed me to offer a solution that would enable me to meet a deadline that both of us agreed on. Remember, it is more effective to be honest and find a way to make your deadlines than to make a promise you know you cannot keep.
Are You Ready to Share the Vision with Those Around You?
Lastly, sharing your vision with your co-workers allows you to make sure your vision of fulfilling the promise to the client matches theirs. This becomes VERY important if you are part of a team and everyone needs to complete their part of the larger project (promise) on time. Not everyone works the same. For example, my children are grown, so I do not have to worry about plays, games, and parent-teacher conferences impacting my deadlines. However, when my child was younger, I had to let my team members know that Saturdays were off-limits because of sporting events. So, if we had a project, I would have my work done before Saturday, and if needed, I would come in later, after the events. Sharing my vision of spending time with my child in relation to my projects was critical in making and meeting project deadlines. I knew if my co-workers and customers were not aware of my “limits,” we could not find a solution.
The takeaway from this chapter is to remember that fulfilling a promise is not the same as telling the client “yes.” Advising the client that you cannot meet their expectations, but that you can provide an alternative so you can keep your promise is crucial to amazing customer service. While a customer or even a co-worker might not like you telling them no, it is better than trying to explain why something did not happen. Do you want to be the go-getter who will work late every night and every weekend? Do you want to be the turtle, and slow and steady, but never miss a deadline? It is up to you to create your brand and fulfill the promise behind it.
What is your vision for yourself, and are you fulfilling the promise behind it? Share your thoughts with us and your company; then contact us to see how our customer service offerings can help.
Read more of the habits of amazing people we’ve reviewed so far:
- Show up prepared to amaze
- Understand what it means to be amazing
- Always act as if you’re on stage
- Show up early – be on “Lombardi time”
- Act like you’re always on the clock
- Create an “anti-NO” zone
- Be proactive
- Think ahead
- Create predictably positive experiences
- Think outside the rule book
- Stay a step ahead
- Ask directly for feedback
- Look past the honeymoon
- Rate yourself