Yesterday, I spent the day at ShopNBC‘s Customer Service call center. A few years ago, their company did a branding campaign. Now, usually I leave branding related issues to folks like Mark True, Jennifer Rice and Mary Schmidt – people who really know their stuff. In addition, I’ll admit that I’ve often found branding campaigns to be off-target, over the top, and a bit silly.
The customer contact center at ShopNBC, however, embraced the idea of "red carpet service" that came out of the branding campaign. I think it’s a metaphor that fits perfectly with NBC’s entertainment brand. The Quality team there built their QA program around the metaphor of delivering "red carpet" service and treating their customers like "stars." Most importantly, if you asked a CSR to describe "red carpet service" they could.
I’m a firm believer in metaphor. Wrap your thought in a good metaphor and it sticks with people. Metaphors help people get their heads around concepts they might otherwise have a hard time verbalizing. I think ShopNBC has done a nice job of wrapping their quality program in a metaphor that fits their brand, resonates with CSRs and effectively communicates the way they want to treat their customers.