Brand respect. Turning complaints into advocacy.

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Promises are easily made but delivering on them is a constant challenge for any brand. One of the biggest tests for a brand is not in making the sale – it is in how they respond when the customer has a problem.

How you treat customers and how willing you are to make amends can be the difference between not only losing a customer but also using the opportunity to create a brand advocate.

It’s also more than that old chestnut of ‘the customer is always right’. A real brand relationship is one that is built on mutual respect – just like any personal relationship you value.

This week I was pleasantly surprised by Dare Gallery.

Nearly two years ago, I bought a leather couch from Dare Gallery. During this time, I have noticed that the leather was progressively cracking. Initially, I thought there was no point talking to Dare as they would claim it was just normal wear and tear. But then I noticed that they had a two-year guarantee on the fabric.

To my surprise, when I called Dare’s customer service they were not only friendly, they respected my complaint. Dare assumed fault and gave me options for how to resolve the problem. They explained that they could not repair the couch so I could either get a full refund or a credit. Dare organised to pick up the couch and refunded me the complete original purchase cost, including the delivery charges within a week.

I have since told countless people about my experience with Dare. Each time, recommending Dare Gallery.

This made me think, why do so few companies not respect their customers?

When you are investing so much in creating, building and promoting brands, it makes sense to respect the customers you have.

With a true brand mindset that seeks to build and maintain respectful relationships with customers, companies can not only minimise bad publicity, they can build brand advocates and drive real brand growth.

Michael Hughes
Director of Brand Strategy
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