Despite all the outcry over the need for better customer service and more authentic brands, most companies are only delivering on their brand promises 50 percent of the time, according to research from Gallup. However, that figure rises to 75 percent for top brands, where expectations are higher, while employee engagement is suffering.
While about half of the nearly 18 million customers Gallup surveyed “strongly believe that the companies they do business with always deliver on what they promise,” the other half begged to differ.
As the brand promise is foundational to a company, delivering on it is paramount. Those that do deliver “have greater levels of customer engagement, which enables them to surpass their competitors in terms of share of wallet, profitability, revenue and relationship growth,” the research firm noted.
The Gallup study points to the importance of internal brand engagement, recognizing employees as the driving force behind a brand’s promise, and how their understanding of it can make or break a business. “Employees embody the brand experience for customers,” the report’s authors acknowledged. But when asked, only 27 percent of employees surveyed “strongly agree” that they always deliver on the promises they make to their customers, which helps explain why there’s a crisis in customer service.
Beyond a general lack of employee engagement, Gallup’s researchers also found that only 38 percent of customers say they are “fully engaged” with any given brand, and the lack of emotional attachment and loyalty dilutes the motivation to serve as brand ambassadors. The 62 percent who say they are “indifferent or actively disengaged” are (no surprise) open to switching brands and vulnerable to rivals’ promise and offers.
As a result, Gallup is urging corporate and brand leaders to audit their brand’s promise with questions including:
- Which promises are easy to keep?
- Which promises are harder to keep?
- Which promises are customer-focused?
- Which promises define the brand?
- Which promises are gratuitous and could be eliminated?
- Which promises differentiate your brand from its competitors?
Gaining insight about customers’ needs and how to deliver on them can help a brand gain a substantial edge over its competition—before they Gallup to the competition.