Thursday, April 1, 2010

What Returning E-mails and Calls have to do with your Corporate Reputation?

As the CEO of your business, you know how important reputation is to your current and future success. Some CEOs go so far as to claim that their brand is EVERYTHING and everything is the BRAND. They spend millions of dollars on advertising and create public relations campaigns to enhance corporate reputation and strengthen connections with customers.

And yet, the investment gets inadvertently undermined when your employees don’t promptly respond to calls or e-mails from customers, suppliers, shareholders and peers.

We all talk about how pervasive this bad behavior has become. As consumers, we question whether or not these organizations have cultures with a bias towards service versus a mentality of “customer as nuisance.” We believe every employee move is in essence a public relations move.

As leaders, there is no excuse for not leading by example and returning calls and replying to e-mails within 24 hours. We need to train and inspire employees to have positive and meaningful customer encounters. You want those calling your organization to tell everyone, “This is a great company that I enjoy doing business with now and in the future.”

Ask yourself a few simple questions to prevent complacency from creeping into your firm:

•When was the last time you called into your own number as a customer?

•How long are customers kept on hold? Do you know? Has it gotten longer or shorter, and why?

•What have you learned from the customer responses? Are you taking action on this?

•Have you reminded employees of company values and how they translate into prompt replies to customers and peers?

The answers to these questions can help your organization design a more user-friendly customer experience that will engender greater brand loyalty and translate into better sales.

At Airlift Ideas, we know how critical culture and service are to a positive customer relationship and strong bottom line. We help leaders remove barriers and implement processes to help employees create and sustain strong relationships with customers and other key stakeholders. We have experience, tools and methodology to enable your employees to become heroes, and profitably differentiate your brand from the competition. For more information on corporate reputation, contact Anna Rozenich, Leadership Communications at

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