Every interaction with a customer either strengthens of weakens your brand. It is a zero sum game. Your customer-facing employees either reinforce your brand promise or they break it.
Whenever I present this little tidbit someone says; “There could be an interaction that the customer doesn’t remember. Isn’t that neutral?” My response is always; “Absolutely not”!
Think about that for a minute. You spend millions of dollars in marketing to try to make an impression on your customer and the best thing they can say about their most recent interaction with your brand is; “I can’t remember”. That’s a loss, no matter how you slice it.
When Seth Godin discussed service last week it just opened an old wound for me. Every employee in your organization must be committed to fulfilling your brand promise. The next time you are wondering how your company is doing, do some informal research. Ask a customer-facing employee what your company stands for. Ask them what perception they want the customer to have after they interact with him/her.
You may be surprised by the answers you get.