Fake News Week: Communication Models and What Brands Can Do To Protect Themselves From Fake News
By Andy SchaulMar 22
Published June 5th 2014
One of the things I really value about working at Brandwatch is that we pride ourselves on being open and honest, both as people and as a company.
That means we share information throughout the business, are upfront about our pricing and answer our customers truthfully on our social channels.
And it certainly means that we are truthful about our products’ capabilities. Why? Because we’re confident that our product is brilliant.
If someone chooses another product, then clearly ours wasn’t quite what they needed, and that’s fine.
We don’t need to lie about our products in order to sell them.
And we certainly don’t need to lie about our competitors either.
We’re increasingly hearing about others in our industry not always sticking to the truth or deliberately spreading misinformation to prospects and competitors’ clients, about both their own products and others. Luckily, our customers are generally a loyal bunch and usually tell us when this happens.
We can understand the desire to do this; when competing in any tough market, we all look for ways to beat the competition.
But whilst these kind of tactics might work in the short term, here’s why lying is a losing game in the long run:
Most customers are investing a significant amount of time and money when choosing a social media monitoring platform. Most of them will do their own research and will look at a number of different platforms (which we wholeheartedly encourage).
Ideally, they will also demo their shortlisted platforms to see what they can do.
And when they find out that your claims about product xyz not doing this that or the other aren’t true, they’ll know that you were lying. And who is going to buy from a company they know is lying to them? I know I wouldn’t.
And even if you do manage to lure them in, they’ll soon realise that you were less-than-truthful about your product’s capabilities. Then you can be sure that they won’t be renewing their contract, nor are they likely to be singing your praises to their peers.
There are huge benefits to being honest from the start.
If it becomes clear that Brandwatch isn’t quite what a prospect is looking for or doesn’t match their needs, we much prefer to point them in the direction of platforms that are better suited rather than trying to force a match that ultimately leads to a disgruntled customer.
The result, for us, is incredibly high satisfaction rates and incredibly low churn. Our annual customer survey showed that we scored 8/10 for ‘likeliness to recommend’, and various reports from Forrester to G2 Crowd have scored us highly for customer satisfaction. Just check out all those happy reviews!
Ask yourself: what is the purpose of lying? What impact does it actually have? If nothing else, lying screams of fear, and suggests that you don’t believe in your own product.
A bit of healthy competition is fine; we like a challenge, and competition is what keeps the industry innovating and thriving. And of course, bigging up your product is encouraged. But there is a fine line between marketing your features, and lying about them. Lying about other products is one step even further.
We’d encourage every business to have integrity, for all of our own, and our customers’ sakes. Let’s focus on the customer and what’s best for them, and work on making our products and services the best they can be.
That’s how you get the customer love.