You go to your fridge and get a packet of chicken out for your evening meal. You open the chicken and it smells bad. You check the packet and it isn’t past its use by date.

Now if it’s Tesco value chicken you probably think ‘cheap chicken’.

It it’s M&S chicken you check the temperature of your fridge.

This great little story was shared with me years ago by a marketing guru (who’s name I’ve unfortunately lost to the midst of time) to explain how a great brand will buy your forgiveness. 

We’re lucky to work with a number of great brands at the moment who want to take their service culture to the next level. One of the things we think makes us different at The Pioneers is that we look to take an experimental and evidence based approach. We’re only really interested in doing work we can show has a positive impact on team member engagement, customer feedback and financial performance.

One of the things we’re currently struggling with is how do you measure all the value you create? In the context of our innovation programmes we’re able to measure the impact of great service on average spend, frequency of visit and word of mouth referrals. But does anyone know a good way of measuring ‘forgiveness’?! (Please get in touch if you do.)

Our brand forgiveness hypothesis is that:

  1. If you consistently provide excellent customer service…
  2. … you build trust and goodwill with a customer,
  3. so if/when something goes wrong the customer is more likely to ‘forgive’ you.

If you don’t have that same bank of trust and goodwill, then the first mistake costs you the customer’s business.

If you’re thinking about where to start paying into that customer bank of trust, have a read of our blog on coherent brands and the halo effect.