Are your actions drowning out your words?

Picture_1 We’ve all been pretty impressed with LifeLock’s marketing.  The CEO publicly shares his social security number to prove his confidence in LifeLock’s ability to guarantee protection from identity theft.

It’s very bold and attention-getting.  So I decided I wanted some more information.  After all, I don’t want anyone stealing my identity.  (Although a teen-aged daughter makes you wonder if some bad guy could really do more damage than a trip to the local DSW store!)

I went to their website and found the member services e-mail address (easily accessible under Contact Us) and fired off my relatively simple questions. 

No reply. 

So, I repeated the steps and re-sent my questions.

No reply.

Because I am a stubborn cuss — I actually did it for a third time.  Guess what happened.

No reply.  No automated — "thanks for your e-mail, we’ll get right back to you."  No canned "have you tried our FAQ section."  Nothing.

Hmm.  These are the people who promise me diligence in watching over my identity?  These are the people who I am going to try to contact if there’s a problem?

I had bought the promise — hook, line and sinker.  I was ready to buy.  I practically had my credit card out of my wallet.  But now, I’m not so sure.  Now, their actions have contradicted their words.  And the actions are much louder.

How about your business?  You’re making a bold brand promise, right?  Are you sure that your actions match that promise?  Is there a weak spot? 

Could your actions, reactions or lack of action be drowning out your words?

UPDATE:  Several of you have shared the breaking news story that Lifelock’s CEO has just had his identity stolen.  No wonder they’re behind in answering their e-mail!

17 comments on “Are your actions drowning out your words?

  1. It’s so easy to say what your promise to the customer is. However, you better think long and hard (if you care) about how you make that slogan or tag line a reality. I became jaded along time ago, as most have. The one time I find someone who actually delivers on their promise, I hang on to them for dear life.

  2. Karin H. says:

    Hi Drew

    You know you can get an ‘edge’ over your competition so very easily. It’s like Scott says: if you do what your promise your prospects and clients hand on to them for ‘dear life’ (wouldn’t have put it quite so strong myself, but sounds really nice) .
    The times I’ve asked for a quotation from some company and had to chase it myself are uncountable. And time ofter time the ones who do react quickly and adequate are the ones who get recommended by us to many others.

    Our own systems are ‘build’ around our promises – auto replies if needed, like last weekend when we were away. I did spent this whole morning answering incoming emails, questions and blog-comments as promised in the auto reply.
    How else can we build trust?

    Karin H. (Keep It Simple Sweetheart, specially in business)

  3. Drew-
    Excellent points. So many people (probably even my company–cringe!) forget how important customer service functions are to a company’s brand and the image projected to the outside world. All the hard work I do to acquire customers and generate sales means nothing if we don’t provide the right experience once they place their orders.

    Buck up, though. LifeLock’s lack of response might be a good thing for you! I just read an article today that the CEO (whose SSN is included in the ad above) has had his identity compromised multiple times! http://www.wvgazette.com/News/200805172662

    Danielle

  4. Scott,

    We accept mediocrity every day. That’s why a company that actually delivers at our expectation level is so noteworthy.

    And as you suggest — worthy of hanging onto.

    Drew

  5. Karin,

    You make a valid point. As I said to Scott, as consumers we’ve been trained to accept mediocrity. It doesn’t take much more than just delivering a reasonable experience and product to get noticed.

    Which is sort of sad. But, that leaves a big opportunity for all of us to exceed those expectations!

    Amen to the building trust!

    Drew

  6. Danielle,

    Ahhh, that does make me feel a little better. Thank you.

    You raise an interesting point. You may completely get the brand and deliver on the promise in your part of the transaction. But if someone further down the line does not — your efforts could be lost.

    This further proves the importance of internal branding efforts.

    Drew

  7. Tyler Osby says:

    Drew,

    Protecting your ID is super important nowadays. I agree, that campaign is pretty effective. I can’t believe they dropped the ball on following up. Crazy!

    IF you find yourself looking for alternatives, I’d be happy to connect you.. but they definitely need to fix their systems in responding to potential clients!!

    Tyler

  8. Laura says:

    Drew, I read your article earlier this week and thought it was excellent. This morning I saw this article and thought you might be relieved you didn’t get to buy their services after all:

    http://www.livescience.com/technology/080522-ap-id-theft.html

  9. Mike Wagner says:

    Brand performance is the moment of truth!

    All marketers don’t have to be liars but often are made liars by the very clients they represent.

    This is great catch Drew, especially since the marketing messages have been different and relevant enough to move folks like you and me.

    Keep creating…a true story worth repeating,
    Mike

  10. Mark says:

    Drew –
    Please forgive Lifelock this time – they’ve been a little busy……maybe a little embarrassed.

    http://www.cnn.com/2008/CRIME/05/22/lifelock.flap.ap/index.html?eref=rss_topstories

  11. Ugh…don’t you hate it?! That feeling of being let down by a brand that sounded “oh so good.”

    The only brand that hasn’t done that to me is apple. When my battery got damaged I sent an email to customer support and I got 1.) an email response literally within 5 minutes, 2.) a phone call within 10 minutes, and 3.) a replacement battery at my doorstep within 4 business days. Wow!!!

    Needless to say I’m reminded of the promise I made to myself as a child: I will never settle for a life of mediocrity. I mean why should we?

    So when I engage with others, I do my best to share those exact sentiments. And especially in business, I want them to feel like apple made me feel…I want them to feel that I only care for the best.

    Now granted we’re human and we make mistakes and slip up from time to time, but I’ve also learned that the sooner you address your mistake, the better!

  12. Tyler,

    Well it seems like Lifelock isn’t quite as reliable as they claim. So yes…tell me about the alternatives!

    Drew

  13. Laura & Mark,

    Timing is everything, eh? Guess I’ll be looking for another vendor. One that is responsive AND can keep their CEO’s identity safe.

    Drew

  14. Mike,

    It’s frustrating when you think someone really gets it…and then they drop the ball in the details, isn’t it?

    I know you tell your clients and we sure tell ours — the details matter.

    Boy do they!

    Drew

  15. Ricardo,

    I have to admit, the Apple brand has been good to me as well.

    But I think we both know that Apple is the exception to the rule. Why do you think companies don’t get it?

    Or even if they get it, don’t live by it?

    Drew

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