Broken Brand Promise Equals "Anticipointment"
Marketers often define branding as a promise a company makes to win sales and loyalty. The promise sets expectations and gets delivered at all stages of the so-called consideration and buying process.
But when a promise is established, then broken, you have what has been termed anticipointment.
Stories of abandoned promises are abundant. Comcast appears in more of these stories than most, as evidenced by its place atop the Consumerist.com’s list of the worst companies in America and a recent damaging piece in the New York Times.
According to the second of two stories in the Times, only supervisors can give Comcast customers written confirmation of pricing. Calls to “customer service” provide only frustration.
Comcast told the Times that it is still in the process of educating customer service representatives six months after the issue was first reported by the Times.
According to the latest Times report, Comcast has yet to expand its automatic e-mail message offerings beyond service and installation appointment confirmations to include confirmations for information like pricing on promotional offerings.
"We’re working everyday to improve our customers’ experiences with us, including offering a Customer Guarantee that’s backed by significant operational changes” a Comcast spokesperson told Mediaweek. “We’ve taken steps over the past two years to improve our product reliability and service, and if a problem does occur, we work to quickly to resolve it, find the root cause and make changes so it won’t happen again.”
Comcast is hardly the only promise breaker at one of a brand’s Moments of Trust. And consumers have little patience, according to a comprehensive survey by Accenture.
- 25% of consumers will go as far as posting negative comments about bad experiences online
- The single least satisfying aspect of service is the amount of time consumers have to wait
- Only 32 percent satisfied
- Beyond wait time, multiple customer handoffs are a major frustration
- Most consumers are willing to speak to just two people to resolve their issue
- Only one in four are willing to speak to as many people as necessary
- Nearly nine in 10 consumers globally told the people around them about their bad experiences.
The implications are obvious. Break the brand promise and the result is customer disservice that has damaging repercussions, especially in the “Technology on Steroids” age.