Want Your Customers To Talk Sizzle Or Steak?

021708 by B_Zedan on flickrCustomers have jobs to do. And so do Companies. In essence the trick is to align and focus the company’s activities to maximize support to Customers to get their jobs done. From the unpredictable Customer’s decision journey through each stage of the life-cycle. And make money as a result of it.

Company’s that stick to the mantra have no problem focusing. These companies do not need to re-think how to “brand” their product or message every year and burn lot’s of money on awareness campaigns. These companies do not need Customer Service to solve the same problems over and over again. These companies do not need to redesign their processes, they can optimize. And these companies have higher success rates from their innovation efforts. These companies have competitive advantage because, without waste, their costs are significantly lower..

..And these companies get earned media that matters. Their Customers talk about how they never have to complain, not how well their complaint was handled (and no.. service recovery is not a good strategy for increasing loyalty). Their Customers talk about how easy it is to do business with them, not how they saw this great video or were “randomly” surprised.  Their Customers recommend them to their friends because, well… , they know they are truly helping their friends.

Their Customers talk about the steak, not the sizzle. Which matters, because the sizzle dies when the steak lands on your plate.

What do you want your Customers to talk about?  And how do you get them talking about it?

5 thoughts on “Want Your Customers To Talk Sizzle Or Steak?

  1. Great post Wim.

    I just participated in a panel that assessed the effectiveness of this year’s Super Bowl ads. My angle on the project was to actually experience as many of the products & services as possible that were to appear in the ads. There were a lot of advertisements that, while creative wins, did little-to-nothing to link the creative to the service promise or what a customer could expect through the actual experience.

    Those that were most compelling, at least for me, were the ones that considered the core promise, made that promise in an effective way through the advertisement, kept it consistent through their other service & marketing execution channels and ultimately paid off the promise with a successful outcome.

    As you may guess, that the number of companies that went to those lengths was small, which left me with the question as to why someone would spend the $3M ona 30 sec spot if they weren’t going to consider their core promise (the steak) and align the most visible message they could ever make to reinforce it.


  2. Quite right! If, from the start, your company has been delivering impressive service, you don’t have to adjust or make any major changes to your brand’s policies and customer service strategies.


  3. “The sizzle ends when the steak lands on the plate.” Love it. And it’s so true. When you have a product that’s all stake with little/no sizzle, it will sell itself, and customers will stick with it. When your product is all advertising fluff and false promises, it doesn’t take long for clients to realize it, and move on to something more substantial.

    Goal for 2011? It’s all about the steak.


  4. Pingback: Best Customer Experience Links #3 | Deliver Bliss - The Business of Customer Experience

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