Message & Media : Reputation Guaranteed
Use your marketing messages to ensure customers and prospects know your good reputationMarch 2011 By Pat Friesen
Whatever business, product or service you market, two of your most valuable assets are your customers and your company's reputation based on what customers and non-customers think of you. One feeds the other to fuel your bottom line.
For direct marketers, reputationis a key influencer in getting people to act. Your reputation is a part of your direct marketing offer. Your offer is everything you are willing to give in exchange for response. It is what pushes a customer over the edge of indecision.
Try these tips for building credibility, solidifying your good name and generating more response.
• Guarantee it. Have a guarantee that establishes and reinforces expectations, and state it in simple language. First-time buyers look for a guarantee. Established customers take it for granted until they have a problem.
Promote your guarantee wherever it's appropriate and wherever your customer will look for it. This includes order forms, sales brochures, catalogs, shopping carts and checkout pages, letters, product packaging, shipping boxes, product-related Web pages, e-newsletters, QR code links, package inserts, space ads, and even sales receipts, email order confirmations and delivery trucks or service vehicles.
Here's a guarantee found on the Best Western Orlando Gateway's hotel website that starts as a strong, positive, five-word statement. Unfortunately, the opener is followed by a two-sentence explanation that's punctuated with what I call a "deadly asterisk." From there it disintegrates into an italicized disclaimer.
Best Western Orlando Gateway's
100% Satisfaction Guarantee
We guarantee total guest satisfaction. If you are not satisfied with your accommodations or our service at the Best Western Orlando Gateway hotel, please inform the front desk staff. If we cannot correct the situation to your satisfaction, you will not be charged for your room.*
*Guest must advise front desk staff of problem right away, and give them an opportunity to make the situation right. If hotel staff is unable to satisfy the guest, they will credit the guest a maximum of one night's room rental. Not all international hotels participate in this program.
Compare this with this Lands' End guarantee: Guaranteed. Period®. If you're not satisfied with any item, simply return it to us at any time for an exchange or refund of its purchase price.
• Name it. Name your guarantee. It adds value and implies a benefit. Call it a Solid Gold Guarantee, Ironclad Guarantee, No-Strings-Attached Guarantee, Money-Back Guarantee, Unconditional Guarantee or something equally reassuring. Reinforce its importance with strong graphics.