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Customer Service Improvement Starts With the Right Message

Kevin Stirtz

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Slogans are worthless as a marketing tool. It's not their fault. It's because we're asking them to do something they're not built to do. It's like trying to win the Daytona 500 with a Yugo. The poor thing just doesn't have the horsepower (or any other capabilities) to do the job. The same is true with slogans.

You are much better off if you scrap the whole idea of a slogan and replace it with a Unified Message. Here's why.

A Unified Message tells your customers why they should do business with you and what to expect when they do business with you. It's a statement of what the business promises to do for the customer. It tells not just what they'll do, but also how.

The great thing about a Unified Message is that it's developed by employees, management and customers. All three have input because it takes all three to know what the company should be doing for their customers. This also makes it much more likely that a Unified Message will be remembered and executed. Because everyone had a role in creating it.

It also is more likely to get implemented because customers know it, remember it and care about it. By definition, a Unified Message is meaningful and relevant to them. And a critical part of the process is to publish it, let your customer know about it in as many ways as you can.

Because your Unified Message is a promise to your customers and because it's important to them, they will pay attention to it. They'll tell you if you're delivering on it or not. And, if you ask them nicely enough, they'll help you implement it better.

One more benefit of a Unified Message (something a slogan could never do) is that it helps the company operate better. It tells the employees what experience they are accountable to deliver to their customers. It tells management what they need to empower employees to do. And, finally, it helps everyone know how they're doing because it provides an open standard that everyone understands.

So, forget the slogan. Let it go. Instead, build a Unified Message for your company.

One way to start is to simply create a list of customer service standards (or promises). Do this by getting management, employees and customers involved. Ask, “what do customers want?" Combine that with “what can the company do for them in a sustainable way?" The answers to these questions will tell you what your Unified Message needs to be.

Finally, remember, your Unified Message is not carved in stone. It's a living, breathing and evolving thing. Understand it will change over time as you and your customers and employees learn more about each other, Let it grow and develop naturally and it will serve your company well.


Kevin Stirtz is the “Amazing Service Guy". He is a customer service speaker and trainer who helps companies increase revenue and profits by delivering Amazing Service. Kevin has been quoted in such major media as BusinessWeek, the Boston Globe, Smart Money and the Chicago Sun Times. Get a free copy of his Amazing Service Toolkit at


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