If you’re big enough to shout, be big enough to care

When we speak we make a promise.

The words we choose create an expectation.

Take the example of a new digital bank trying to entice pioneering customers with tales of: ‘healthy finances’, ‘dynamic behaviour’, ‘more innovation’ and ‘upgraded banking’. Broadcasting a value proposition that says “We’ve not just changed one thing, we’ve completely changed everything,”.

(The marketing funnel at work.)

Many ears prick > some heads turn > few people commit.

(Because people do not easily switch banks.)

Then the bank reciprocates that trust by precisely fulfilling their promise so that these customers share stories of: “painless on-boarding”, “remarkable service”, “exceeding expectations” and “trustworthy brand”. Broadcasting a customer experience that says “I’ve just switched my bank, I’d recommend you do too,”.

That’s how making your business case actually works.

Or you could choose to be like Discovery Bank …

You could take over 6 months to transfer zero of an early adopters six external debit-order instructions — compromising the customer into running two bank accounts concurrently — and then when this significant delay is enquired about responding with:

“This is an automated response, as we’re unfortunately not responding to queries by email at the moment.”

Discovery Bank Servicing

That’s a terrible message to send to a paying customer. Especially one of a digital bank – a bank without physical branches. As is the poor service level of the only other alternative communication channel available – a call centre that never answers.

It’s in these moments, when a promises are broken, that customers see the true nature of brands. They’ll see a brand that continues to ravenously seek more customers, whilst plainly neglecting the most fundamental needs of those who trusted them enough to join to begin with.

And yet somehow forgetting that we tell stories to one another about the brands in our lives – to the very same group of people.

It’s easy to shout something out loud. It takes authenticity to fulfil that promise. And the only way to really care is simply to have people who care and to give them sufficient authority and resources to show it.

Once you’ve got that right, it’s pretty easy to be big enough to care.