customer service

8 Ways Brands Have Used Customer Service to Build Loyalty and Commercial Resilience in Times of Uncertainty

Customer service is a critical part of how a brand delivers to its customers to ensure a resilient, profitable business. It’s often a moment of truth in terms of how a brand lives up to its promise, purpose and ways of doing things underpinned by its brand values (or not, as the case may be). Uncertain times can also really put customer service to the test – but that is why it is even more important. 

The truth is, we can all think of and talk negatively about brands through which we’ve experienced lousy, perhaps shockingly bad customer service. You may have been so frustrated by repeatedly poor customer service that you’ve dumped that brand and proactively moved your business elsewhere.

Here we’re sharing eight ways in which brands have unleashed the power of customer service to build loyalty in uncertainty.

Related: Top 10 Brands for Customer Experience and What You Can Learn From Them

In Uncertain Times, Excellent Customer Service Helps Your Brand Stand Out

When the daily world in which customers find themselves seems chaotic, a sense of certainty, security, and reliability becomes more important than ever. That is something we can all relate to from our own experiences. It reflects the pyramidical cascade of needs captured in the sociological concept “Maslow’s hierarchy of needs”.

customer service

To stand out amidst an uncertain set of circumstances, a brand doesn’t need to deliver amazingly sophisticated customer service. It can sometimes succeed with very simple, empathic customer service. The key point is to understand what people are looking for at such moments. That can include things such as reliability, constancy, human engagement, reassurance, and hope. Delivering such emotions through your brand can engage customers and improve your brand’s commercial results. [1]

Related: Use Psychology in Your Brand Strategy to Create Irresistible Brand Experiences and Increase Sales

brand strategy“We participated in the Persona Brand Strategy Leadership Mastermind Programme online. The 12-week program suited us, as the weekly accountability spurred us on to get work done between sessions.

We found the flow of the course appropriate for the development of the brand through the various areas of the business. Already, we have developed our Customers Personas and our Brand Persona adding value to the business.

The course has helped us make more astute decisions in the business, such as restructuring our product offerings, so we grow more profitable lines and remove those with lower margins.

Lorraine is very helpful and accessible as a tutor, with follow-up after each live working session and the half-day masterclass. Most of all, the clarity achieved has been most invaluable.

In the first two weeks of March 2020, before Covid-19 required us to close, we were 300% up in our online sales compared to the whole of March 2019. By the end of May 2020 [after being completely closed for 6 weeks with our 150 staff furloughed] we were back to 69% and by end of June 2020 back at 108%, January 2021 we’re up four-fold on January 2019 

— results achieved from applying our brand strategy.”

Sinead Heffernan

Managing Director

Thunders Bakery

Sinead Heffernan

Persona Brand Strategy Leadership Programme

We know that sometimes it’s a struggle to build a brand strategy that really engages your ideal customers effectively, particularly in adversity, so we’ve developed three different ways of working with us to help you build your brand, depending on your preferences, so if you’d like us to:

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  3. Want a DIY solution? Check out our how to build a brand eprogramme here and our how to audit your brand yourself eprogramme here

Strong Customer Service Promotes Brand Loyalty

Customer service is a bit like holidays: everyone raves when they experience a good one, yet it’s surprising how often it can still disappoint.

Even if you don’t see customer service as pivotal to your brand, there is no brand for which positive customer service doesn’t help improve brand perception. That’s why it is important for every brand owner. Customer service helps promote brand loyalty by articulating and creating a living experience of your value proposition in action, and helping customers articulate to themselves and others why they made a good choice in choosing your brand.

customer service

Image via Scottish Business Insider

A case study is Admiral. The pandemic saw many insurers get into disputes with their customers, for example, about what was covered by policies and what wasn’t. In the U.K., the car insurer Admiral proactively rebated customers during a period of lower car usage, sending them £25 of vouchers. That is a simple but powerful example of how to improve brand loyalty. It is consistent with the Admiral brand’s emphasis on treating drivers based on their actual driving patterns, not just in the abstract.

Related: 10 Brands with Phenomenally Innovative Brand Stories That Attract and Retain Loyal Customers

“An excellent programme that provides an informative guide on how to structure your brand’s development whether you are launching a new brand, refreshing an existing one and/or conducting a review of your brand to ascertain possible weaknesses.”

Ciarán Barry


Broadview Ventures

Ciarán Barry

Your Brand Mission can be Powerfully Articulated through Your Customer Service

Leading powerhouse brands tend to have a brand mission or missions: essentially the what, why, and how for a brand. Brand mission stretches across much of what a brand does, including guiding its customer engagement and go-to-market activities and motivating people in their work

Customer service is a subtle but helpful way in which your brand mission is brought to life. If you’ve got a clear, easily understood, impactful brand mission and design your customer service with that in mind, it will be clearly evident to your customers.

Related: How Your Brand Mission Enables You To Achieve Your Commercial Objectives

Customer Service Represents a Brand to its Customers 

A core part of brand strategy is deciding what you want to stand for in your customers’ minds and hearts. That is delivered in different ways, but an important building block is customer service. For many brands, customer service may indeed be the only way customers draw their impressions of your brand. That is why getting customer service right is central to getting your brand strategy and implementation right. 

That isn’t just about avoiding disappointing customer interactions, either. It is also about seeing each customer touchpoint as an opportunity to live up to your brand values, and subtly reminding your customers why they chose your brand in the first place.

“I really appreciate Lorraine’s energy and passion. Although good branding includes so many facets, Lorraine is able to simplify the process and make it so much more tangible for any company to put into practice.”

Lisa Kettman-Kervinen

Marketing Communication Specialist

The Switch

Lisa Kettman-Kervinen

Are you a business leader, manager, or entrepreneur who wants to re-evaluate or build your brand strategy, so you can optimise your customer service for the changing market to increase your sales? Are you curious about how to build or scale a highly successful, standout brand? Join one of our branding masterclasses because they empower you to build your brand, enhance customer experience, expand your market impact and create higher perceived value, so you can command a premium and achieve higher revenue. 

In fact, the Persona Brand Strategy Leadership Programme is all about fast-tracking you, your brand, and your business through the brand building, agile branding strategy process using professional big-brand know-how with proven systems that get results, so you can grow your business faster and more effectively. 

The programme enables you to make your brand highly differentiated, visible, credible, trustworthy, memorable and much loved amongst your ideal customers, so you can become more profitable and leave your competitors far behind. Be The One — your ideal customers’ favourite brand of preferred choice, commanding a premium.

If you want a tailor-made solution specifically for your brand, then we also provide in-house bespoke Persona Brand Strategy Leadership Intensives™. Working specifically on your brand and organisational needs,  the Persona Brand Building Blueprint™ framework is used to work collaboratively with you and your team, so you can grow your business faster and more profitably. 

Contact us to discover more [email protected] or +353 1 8322724

In Uncertain Times, Consistent Customer Service Fulfils Your Brand Promise

A brand promise is an important part of the bond a brand seeks to form with its target customers. But much of the time, a brand promise is not tested. This is why it is even more important that when it is tested and under pressure, the brand delivers. The fact that times are strange or uncertain is no excuse to fail to deliver on your brand promise. Indeed, it is exactly during such times that the ability to rely on a brand promise will likely matter even more to your target customers.

This is why customer service in such moments, like times of increased pressure and uncertainty, needs to be consistently good — or ideally great. Consistency here is not in the sense that the service level is unchanged, but in the sense that it matches your brand promise and how customers will understand it at that moment. 

People will judge your brand – as well as competitive brands – on how well you keep your brand promises when it is difficult and perhaps costs you to do so, not on how well you keep them when it’s easy. That is why it is important to consider your brand promise carefully when you consider it, and establish the capabilities of your team internally to deliver on it before you communicate it to your customers. But it’s also helpful to follow the example of brands who have gone above and beyond to keep their brand promises, in uncertain times.

customer service

Image via PageSuite Professional

A case study is U.K. newspaper the Sunday Post. Its brand promise is built on helping readers get the information they need each week. When the pandemic came, the brand introduced a promotion whereby readers could download the newspaper for three months without paying for it. 

This is an interesting example of how customer service can help deliver a brand promise and make good commercial sense. There was some uncertainty about physical newspaper distribution: this promotion allowed the brand promise to be kept even if normal physical distribution channels were disrupted.

Related: Want Your Customers to be Loyal, Super, Raving Fans? What’s Your Brand Promise?

brand strategy“Lorraine Carter is my branding mentor, she’s the person that showed me how to improve my personal and business brands — they were a mess when she initially looked at what we had — and she blew my mind! I’ve paid high fees to other ‘supposed’ brand consultants who only had 30% of her in-depth expertise, and they couldn’t deliver on what we needed.

She gives you the key foundations and lays things out in an easy-to-use system that gives you all the essentials needed to make your brand stand out, to make your brand highly visible. If you use her branding strategy system, you’ll soon have everyone talking about your product or service to become No.1 in your market.

Lorraine takes no-name companies and transforms them into household brand names. Most importantly, she’s great fun, absolutely passionate about branding and she’ll entertain you whilst demystifying branding and making the unknown clearer — because designing a logo is only a tiny part of your entire branding process.

I would highly recommend the Mastermind programme to every entrepreneur who wants to be more successful and have a clear message driven by their brand.”

Thank you so much, Lorraine, for all your help. We wouldn’t be so well known in the USA, UK, or Romania if it wasn’t for your direction and input to develop and build our brand.”

Ozana Giusca


Tooliers & Ozana

Ozana Giusca

A Timely Customer Experience is Built Around Customer Service

Customer experience is a central part of how many modern brands communicate. It can be pivotal to a brand identity, as shown by tech brands like Amazon (as shown in this video below of founder Jeff Bezos talking about customer service) and Apple. A large part of the competitive advantage such tech brands enjoy is essentially the customer experience they consistently offer.

What makes for the optimal customer experience in normal times might not hit the mark during disruption. Whether it needs to be dialed up or scaled back, the fact is that there will still be a customer experience that perfectly matches the moment and brings the customer to a closer relationship with a brand. 

Such customer experiences are built around customer service. Understanding what your customer wants or needs – perhaps better than they realise themselves – and weaving the right customer service into a customer experience that delivers it – will help to build your brand loyalty, without fail.

customer service

Image via © Unilever

A B2B case study is provided by Unilever. During the pandemic, the consumer goods giant announced a range of initiatives to support customers, including extending credit to small retailers. 

Related: How to Build a Brand Like Amazon: Technology Branding and Marketing

“An exceptionally talented individual. Lorraine Carter, Persona Branding and Design, has a wonderful ability to ‘horizon scan’ for any business and then bring them on a journey that delivers value to their Balance Sheet.”

Dave Feenan


Technology Ireland & ICT Skillnet

Dave Feenan

Re-engaging Lapsed Customers Can be Easier Using Great Customer Service

Brands sometimes make mistakes or simply lose their competitive edge. In uncertain times when customers may be distracted and brand teams can be working overtime just to make basic things work right, it’s easy for customers to leave a brand.

But the factors which make such circumstances challenging also offer an opportunity. If a brand can deliver the right type of customer service at a time when its customers are distracted and competitors are also facing a tough environment, it can help to re-engage lapsed customers. Customer service is a tool at your disposal that can allow you to start fresh conversations with former customers who have left your brand.

If you’d like to discover more about building and maintaining a thriving, high-performing, highly profitable standout brand, then get in touch because we’d love to help you make your brand into a profit powerhouse.

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Lorraine Carter is a branding expert and international speaker delivering talks that inspire and motivate along with masterclasses and workshops online and offline that inform and support transformational outcomes fast, and consultancy expertise that solves problems — using agile branding strategy underpinned by professional big-brand know-how — so you can outshine, outperform and leave your competitors way behind. 

She enables you to differentiate, achieve higher revenue, expand your market share, build IP brand asset value — make the complex easy as ABC, so you can Transform Your Brand & Increase Your Sales — Be The One, the brand that’s most credible, trusted and commanding a premium, so you’re highly profitable and leaving your competitors way behind.

Ask about the Persona Brand Strategy Leadership Programme™ — live, interactively, face-to-face online.

Brand Building Through Customer Service Can Cut, Not Add Costs

When we hear the phrase “customer service”, many people think of a service that is delivered by people who work for a brand. But the person who knows best what a customer wants is the customer themselves. Customer service can be self-service.

That is good for a brand’s profitability if it enables the brand to deliver customer service at the right level without it becoming a cost centre. However, that is not the same as cutting service levels and forcing unwilling customers to navigate options themselves. Self-service needs to offer customers some benefits, for example, time-saving, a higher sense of personalised control, or customisation. 

In this way, the right kind of customer service can actually help to build a brand positively while reducing, not adding, costs. That is good for customers – and a brand’s bottom line.

customer service

Image via Irish Times

A case study is sports retailer Decathlon. It ramped up online activity during the pandemic as customers switched to its online platforms when shops were closed. For example, it had fitness sessions led by brand ambassadors and revamped its after-sales website to enable customers to repair items at home.

Related: 6 Brand Culture Do’s and Don’ts for Attracting and Retaining Your Ideal Customers and Top Talent

Final Thoughts

Customer service is not a topic that excites many brand owners positively – but it should because of the opportunities it offers to grow your business and increase your profits.

Successful brands are obsessive about clarity around key principles such as brand purpose, brand mission, and their value proposition — and they see customer service as a critical tool that enables them to deliver these consistently to achieve their objectives, both commercial and altruistically. 

Customer service isn’t seen in isolation, but rather it is woven through a holistic customer experience which helps move ideal target customers through your purchase cycle and beyond. Leading brands, small and large, have used customer service to build brand loyalty in uncertain times, so by applying the same principles, so can you.

Questions to Consider

  1. In your organisation, how are customer service delivery and brand ownership linked in terms of planning, execution, and review?
  2. How well does your customer service reflect your brand promise?
  3. Are there ways you could change your customer service to integrate your brand mission into it more clearly?
  4. Do your customers see your customer service as reinforcing or undermining your brand’s value proposition?
  5. Could you reshape elements of your brand’s customer experience to give your brand more pertinence and urgency in the minds and hearts of your target customers?
  6. Does your customer service from a brand experience, delivery, and process perspective need a brand audit, so you can identify opportunities for improvements?

“If you’re interested in the brand strategy that will take you to the next level, that will put you on the market in a premium position, Lorraine Carter is the person to assist you in getting there with specific elements and with specific tools that simply work. All you have to do is focus and know what you want — she provides the tool kit you need to accomplish your goals.”

Adina Iacob

Founder, PR, Communications & Media Relations Consultant

Adina Iacob
Brand Audit Consultation

Schedule your brand audit consultation now with Lorraine Carter here

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