This may be a concept that doesn’t need much explaining but at the same time, it’s a concept that has big consequences and one that is good to be reminded of.
This topic came to mind a couple days ago when Andrew and I were talking about some home improvements (hold your excitement Tim Allen, that ship has sailed) and we got to talking about our favorite places to shop for items to get the job done. My favorite place to shop is the Canadian-owned big box, RONA. Now I am not so sure it is because of anything RONA has done well, but rather, because of my disdain for the other major option, Home Depot. I detest that store with a passion, let me tell you why. In two words, unfulfilled promises.
You may be aware of the Home Depot tagline “You can do it, we can help.” The truth be told, that’s a great line that really appeals to me and likely a lot of other people. I want to get stuff done but I don’t have all the know-how or tools to be a considered a handyman. To make a long story short, they did not live up to that line. Time after time I would go in and have a hard time finding someone, and when I did they either did not work in the section I was in, didn’t know the answer to the questions I had, or told me the person that could help me had left or was not working that day.
After about five or six experiences like that I stopped shopping there, and won’t ever again. After my experience the tagline should have been “You can do it, you’ll be lucky if we can help you”.
My point here is, be careful what you promise to your customers. All businesses need to promote themselves in some way. My intent with this post is to encourage you to be careful and purposeful in the angle you choose. If you do promise (promote) something it is absolutely critical to follow through. Failure to do so is parallel to lying to your customer base. In my example the “We Can Help” portion of Home Depots tagline is where I feel lied to. Ultimately, who among us likes to feel betrayed?
So this brings me to my last point. Sometimes companies promote themselves in a certain light just to gain attention with no intent of follow through. That is a bad and short-sighted practice that will come back to bite you in the end. Not only from a business stand point but it is also something God does not want us doing. Honesty really is the best practice.
RONA has gained me as a loyal customer because they haven’t broken any promises simply because they haven’t made any. When I go there, I find helpful people, their store hours are great and their prices are comparable. So I am encouraging you, for your business, to take care of the details well and the rest will fall into place.