Delivering your promise

Oscars 2013 and a competition was being run through Twitter and Facebook from a lingerie business I follow: “Tweet what you would wear underneath [image of actress at Oscars] for your chance to win 1 of 3 $100 gift cards”.

Not only was this timely and creative Social Media marketing, it was fun! I tweeted my answer and, yay me, they tweeted the next day to say I’d won a gift cards.

Excitedly, I poured through their website for my online gift (for myself). Nervous about buying lingerie online, I was somewhat calmed by their free refund policy. I ordered Wednesday and by Friday it was delivered. The sizing was perfect, but they had a self-addressed label in the box if exchange needed.

I was thrilled with the experience.

Flip side (I know you saw this coming) I was searching online for a gift for my soon-to-be (and-now-is) 18-year-old brother. Being a music lover, influenced proudly by me in his formative years, I ordered a vintage, Nirvana t-shirt and begrudgingly paid for the $25 postage.

Twenty days later, I was still waiting on my brother’s gift – now too late to hand over on his actual birthday. Their site says to allow 4-8 business days for delivery. When I emailed customer service they made excuses and said to allow 15 days for delivery and it was “out of their control”. They couldn’t deliver on their promise, literally!

Does your business promise customers an experience you can’t guarantee? Ultimately, your promise is irrelevant if you can’t deliver on it and, even worse, trust with your marketplace is often lost – just like with any relationship.

In the case of the t-shirt, true, I may not have ordered the t-shirt knowing it would take more than 20 days to arrive.  Yes, they got a cheap sale but I will never return – and if you have read my blogs, you know I love returning as a brand advocate!

So, there’s the tale of the business that exceeded my expectations that I will recommend and buy from in the future with earned trust.  And there’s the tale of the business that couldn’t deliver on their promise and let me down on a gift.

Marketing is not rocket science. Are you 100% sure you and your team deliver on your brand’s promises? If not, change your promise and build trust with your prospects and customers with promises you can guarantee.

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