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


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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 [email protected].

Republished with author's permission from original post.


  1. I absolutely agree; the secret to driving customer satisfaction is meeting customer needs quickly and effectively. I would argue, though, that responding to customer inquiries is just the first step. To truly create an impact and drive a corporate brand and reputation for customer service, you must focus on engaging your customers (not just responding). And that means knowing your customers and anticipating their needs so you can provide a personalized experience that gives them what they want, when they want it, via the channel they choose.

    In my line of work, I spend a lot of time helping companies of all types engage and activate customers, and one surprising segment of small to mid-sized businesses – orthodontists – has really opened my eyes to the opportunity to truly communicate and engage with customers in a way that encourages behavior change. With GenZ making up the bulk of their customer base, orthodontists have had to adapt, and I believe most businesses can leverage some of their learnings to engage and activate customers.

    For example, all businesses desire to build long-term relationships with their customers. With this in mind, many companies are employing the use of notifications technology such as e-mail and text messaging to provide ongoing customer care. For example, Oone progressive orthodontist I work with communicates with GenZ customers between visits to ensure the patient is managing his treatment at home. If part of a patient’s treatment is to wear headgear at night, the orthodontist schedules a series of text messages to be delivered a few nights a week reminding his patient to wear his headgear:

    •Monday’s message: dnt 4gt 2 wear yr headgear (Translation: Don’t forget to wear your headgear)
    •Thursday’s message: brush yr ivories n zzz wel (Translation: Brush your teeth and sleep well)
    •Saturday’s message: 1ly 99 nyts lft 2 wear headgear (Translation: Only 99 nights left to wear headgear)
    •Monday’s message: headgear = gr8 ivories n lots of d8s (Translation: Headgear equals great teeth and lots of dates)

    This same orthodontist has kids and knows Generation Z customers are all about video. So, he e-mails his GenZ customers YouTube videos with tips from their peers. To give you a feel for what I’m talking about, view this YouTube video that shares tips and tricks for wearing elastics. How cool is that?

    By leveraging what I call “engagement communications (EC),” notifications technology, and some imagination, companies can deliver a more personalized customer experience, increase customer loyalty and build a reputation for great customer care. So experiment, have fun and, most importantly, engage your customers – whatever the generation – with relevant, personalized communications that create a positive customer care experience.

    Scott Zimmerman


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