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If Customers Hand Over Control, Take It!
By: Janet Kalandranis
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There’s this really fine line between helping a customer and forcing them to do something. Like really fine. And brands are aware of this, most of them erring on the side of caution and allowing the customer to find their own way. This usually is the way to go, making sure not to over-step any bounds. But there’s new news! Customers want more help. They are asking for it and hoping brands will respond. Yet this isn’t for every brand, but those that include a process or achievements. So how much control should a brand take and which brands need to take the lead?

It’s called brand Sherpa. No, not Slurpie, Sherpa. The idea that certain brands have the opportunity to guide customers and help them find their way. These are most often seen in the service industries where customers are confused, overwhelmed, and just want help. They want brands to take the lead and show them what to do and how to make progress. Think the banking industry, healthcare, insurance, etc. These brands can provide customers with leadership and show them how to get from point a to point b. So yes, these brands need to take control, they need to be the helping hand, so customers feel safe and secure and understand how to make progress.

Within the service industry customers want to relinquish some control. They want brands to give them tools and advice and hopefully help them make sense out of something that is confusing or overwhelming. This doesn’t mean brands can dictate or assume, but instead these brands have the ability to make a process easier or help customers make the right choice. It’s about information and even more so how that information is delivered. Although customers have asked for help they want “nice help” not “mean help.” The difference between nice help and mean help should be obvious, but if not, that’s a whole other topic!

When customers ask, brands should deliver. But the way anything is delivered is just as important. It needs to feel helpful, customized, and of course genuine. Customers don’t want to be directed, but instead they hope brand sherpas can simply make the ride a little smoother. If a customer is holding out their hand and asking for help, brands should take it gently and guide the way. Trust is built and relationships begin. All in a brand day’s work.

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About the Author
Janet Kalandranis is here to give you all the little brand thoughts that run through her head with a little dash of spice. Find her online here.
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