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Keeping Promises: A Company's Key to Success

Essay by   •  July 16, 2012  •  Essay  •  1,115 Words (5 Pages)  •  3,856 Views

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"Promises are made to be broken." Do you believe in this saying? I personally believe that even though some promises are probably broken, promises are really not made to be broken. The fulfillment of a promise depends on the one who made the promise. What is a promise? According to the Merriam-Webster and Garfield Dictionary, a promise is a pledge to do or not to do something specified. It is also a ground for expectation of improvement, success, or excellence (485). Most customers voiced strong feelings about businesses and companies keeping their promises. Empty promises result to disappointment among customers, while promises kept make customer loyalty better. The question is, must businesses make promises to their customers or not? Since a brand promise is the key element of marketing strategy and one's ultimate success, promises must be kept.

Many say that businesses should stay clear of making promises they knowingly cannot keep. For them, it is always better for a business or a company to not make a promise, implied or explicit, than to make and not keep it. Why? First, a promise sets a level of expectation. If it is not kept, customers will absolutely be frustrated and dissatisfied. Some commercials we see on television, beautiful brochures of hotels and resorts, and billboards show to us only the pros of their products and services. We buy these products or avail these services, but after, we realize that we have been tricked. The results were not what we expected.

Cebu Pacific is an example of a company that doesn't keep its promises. In their website, we can see promises such as "50% off all international destinations," "all domestic destinations on sale for as low as P288," and "travel with peace of mind" (Cebu Pacific Air.com). Sometimes, traveling with peace of mind cannot happen because of flight delays and cancellations. Cebu Pacific also has its promo fares, but they are just useless. P288, the promised low fare, becomes greater than P2,000 because there is additional payment for the baggage allowance, web admin, taxes and fees, etc. It is much cheaper to book tickets in a nearby Cebu Pacific ticketing office than to book tickets online.

Second, customers have become doubtful. Brand Keys, a research consultancy that specializes in customer loyalty, made a Customer Loyalty Engagement Index. The results of this index showed that consumer expectations climbed 28 percent for a decade. However, brands only kept up seven percent of the time. Customers were disappointed. Their expectations leveled off. They now believe that some things will not likely go their way. "Consumers are more realistic. Their desires are now based on experience rather than expectation," said Robert Passikoff, the founder and president of Brand Keys, Inc. (Glatstein).

Third, the best way for a company to build trust from clients is to accept its flaws and mistakes. Eric Karjaluoto writes in Speaking Human, his marketing book, "Most companies don't like to admit their flaws, but Buckley's, a Canadian cough syrup, does. Most of us are more willing to believe something is good once we are aware of the bad parts. Trust does not happen when it is built on partial truths" (Mackenzie). Some businesses are now learning to accept their flaws. Domino's Pizza, the second largest pizza chain in the United States of America, rented a billboard last year in Times Square and showed both the positive and the negative customer feedbacks on Twitter (Trendwatching.com).

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