Customer Experience and Branding

The other day I had to do some banking with a bank I don't normally deal with. I was speaking with a customer service person, who said to me: "Well, I don't know what YOUR bank's hours are; but we're open till 8 o'clock."(it sounded nicer when she said it).

It struck me that this person had internalized her bank's new brand expression and had personalized and expressed the brand differentiator in a very concrete way. Put simply: her bank's brand is all about extending operating hours to meet the needs of customers. She is evidently proud of this fact. She communicated this to me. In addition to seeing the bank's big green chairs on billboards around the city, I got the brand message first-hand from a customer service person. This is effective branding.

It speaks to the power of the customer experience and how pride in your company's customer service motivates staff to be brand messengers. It's human nature: you're proud of what your organization does, so you shout it out. And it means that knowledge of the brand and the notion that customer experience is important, have to run deep in your organization. As a marketer, you can't simply state, "We offer excellent customer service". You need to back it up with real action. The nice thing is, once you do, the message has a way of getting out, from the ground up.

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