What’s Your Promise?

Does It Live Consistently Across Your Company?

Clarity of purpose extends well beyond the boardrooms of beloved companies. It unleashes the organization’s imagination to make decisions guided by its promise. It’s no wonder that companies with clarity of purpose have the most loyal and engaged employees. The opportunity to deliver to a clear purpose elevates day-to-day tasks, giving work direction and joy.

Internet clothing and shoe retailer Zappos.com earns 75 percent of their daily orders from repeat customers. Clarity of purpose fuels its customer devotion. Zappos wants to be known as a service company that happens to sell shoes, handbags, and an expanding array of products in the future. The lens through which the company makes decisions is service. This clarity frees everyone there to live the “Golden Rule” in the way they work.

One decision Zappos acts on every day is helping customers find a pair of shoes, even a pair they don’t stock. Customer Loyalty Reps who take customer calls are encouraged to know competitors’ Web sites for one simple purpose: service. If a customer calls Zappos for a shoe it doesn’t have, their Reps will search the Internet to help the customer find it. Customers are continuously amazed, delighted, and dazzled by this act of genuine customer care.

Zappos’ clarity of purpose—that doing the right thing for the customer is ultimately the right thing for the business—transcends any short-term gain it might get by pushing the customer toward another shoe they have in stock. Clarity for being a service business first gives Customer Loyalty Reps energy and a compass for decision making. And it gives them the joy of delivering Zappos’ version of the “Miracle on 34th Street.” You may remember that in the movie Miracle on 34th Street, a Macy’s-employed department store Santa joyfully sends customers to competitors when the store didn’t stock what they wanted, making Macy’s the “winner” of the Christmas season. In this single, simple decision, Zappos wins over the hearts of customers. It is this type of gesture that makes customers love them. They are loved for being the kind of people who send a customer to the competition because it’s the right thing to do.

Every type of business prospers when clarity of purpose steers decision making.

People across your company live up to the promises you make. Customers become emotionally connected with you and want others to experience what you deliver. Their stories of your service, experience, and people become the folklore that defines you. And customers become your sales force, telling your story to everyone they know, fueling your growth.

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When you make a decision, it results in an action. And the accumulation of those decisions and actions become how people describe you and think of you. It becomes your “story.” – Your Decisions Reveal Who You Are and What You Value

Congruence of heart and habit enables beloved companies to make uncommon decisions by considering the needs and emotions of customers.  – How to Be a Beloved Company – Inside and Out

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