When was the last time you were on a support call…for a really long time?
Now imagine that your call is stretching past dinnertime. You’re getting hungry. You’re probably frustrated. And there’s no end in sight.
There’s a pizza guy at the door. You didn’t order a pizza.
This is exactly what a customer of the global leader in website hosting services, Rackspace, experienced during a support call. Who ordered the pizza? The Rackspace rep.
Picking up on the customer’s frustration and hunger, the Rackspace rep (without any prompting) ordered a pizza and had it delivered to his customer. Now THAT is remarkable.
And this brings me to the third (of five) trait that makes brands remarkable.
Number 3: Responsive
As we’ve studied remarkable brands, this trait pops up over and over…and over.
Remarkable brands are quick to respond – to their customers, to their employees, to their partners and vendors, and to the communities around them.
They engage in many ways – multi-channel is a non-negotiable for these brands. If their community of followers is on Twitter, they’ll be there. If brand-builders are on Instagram, they’ll be there. If fans are at certain events or in certain geographic areas, a responsive brand won’t miss the opportunity to engage. Remarkable brands put themselves in the middle of conversations rather than waiting for people to bring conversations to them.
This often looks like being highly active on social media channels – putting customer support and service as close to the customer as possible.
Accessibility is a key part of responsiveness.
By putting the brand as close as possible to customers, you get more opportunities to respond quickly and in context.
This also looks like taking a proactive approach in responses themselves. If your customers are having issues with your product, be quick to own a mistake AND make sure that responses go further than the canned, “We’re sorry for the inconvenience. Please contact our support team at firstname.lastname@example.org.”
I mean, come on.
Responsive means going beyond a product replacement and repairing the relationship. Let’s call it a fanatical response.
When brands solve personal problems — whether for a customer, or employee, or even a vendor – the power of that interaction goes through the roof. It’s really hard for brands to do this consistently, but SO meaningful and powerful when they do.
The opposite of responsiveness is laziness.
So what’s the opposite of responsiveness? Slow, seemingly-uncaring silence. Unremarkable brands are like sloths. They hang out, feasting on only the closest leaves, expending the least energy in serving others. And unlike the animal kingdom, the world of brands and customers will eat you alive if that’s your MO.
Responsiveness is critical to remarkable…ness. A proactive, timely, multi-channel, personalized, and responsive character should be an immediate goal for every brand that wants to stand head-and-shoulders above the crowd.
Granted, it’s not easy, but the rewards are insane.
Of course, responsiveness isn’t the only trait of a remarkable brand. So far, we’ve talked about brands that are purposeful and authentic. In upcoming weeks, we’ll talk about brands that are empowering and transparent.