Does your company slogan create unhappy customers?


This week I have reflected on my company slogan. In all e-mail signatures we have a line that say “We produce highly satisfied customers ALWAYS”. Our customer support is great, we do have top notch employees, and I believe that we are the best in this country. I know that we do go the extra mile to make our customers happy. But still we have some unhappy customers. I do believe it is impossible to have just happy customers, but I put all my efforts into finding the holes that crank their mood. We do implement small adjustments all the time with one goal in mind; Reduce unhappy customers. That is why I squeeze my mind every day to find other and better ways of providing our service. And my brain cells just jumped our slogan.

If you promise the world, and you give them Norway!
My rule of thumb is that to create happy customers I should meet or exceed their expectations. It is actually quite easy. But let’s look at our slogan again; “We produce highly satisfied customers ALWAYS”. Picture that you are my customer. You give me a call and I solve your problem. Your problem is solved, but you are not highly satisfied, you might be satisfied. Hey! All of a sudden you are unhappy. You were supposed to be highly satisfied.
Slogan with a twist!
What if our slogan changed to: “Our goal is as many SATISFIED customers as possible” – It does not look good but you might actually get happy customers when you provide a greater experience. Or maybe: “Norway’s best customer support!” – If you as a customer experience support that are top notch you might end up as a highly satisfied customer. This is a bit out of the box, and foolish on purpose, Most to prove my point.

Remove your slogan to attract happy customers?
What if we just removed our slogan from our e-mail signatures? Then we would not create too high expectations? Our goal is actually to have highly satisfied customers, this does not need to change. But could we be better off without saying it? Would it be easier to achieve this goal if we didn’t tell them our goal? If I say to everybody that I run 100 meters in 25 seconds, no one would be impressed. If they saw me run on 15 seconds, they would be impressed by my performance. If I said I can run 100 meters in twelve seconds, and I run it in 14 seconds they would not be quite as impressed would they?

Just do it.
Nike’s slogan “Just do it” is great, it does not promise anything and create unnecessary high expectations. All I need to do is just wear the product. I can do that. What if Nike came up with a slogan that said: “makes you run faster” – I am just a little overweight, so I do not run fast anymore, actually if someone saw me in “high” speed they would be impressed. I would exceed their expectations. What if I bought myself new shoes and expected to run faster. Wow, someone could benefit in some strange matter and actually do run faster, but that would be coincidence. I on the other hand might move faster downhill with rollerblades.

Back to my thumb!
Exceed expectations to get happy customers. I am confident that we are the best customer support in Norway. I know that yes, our goal is to have highly satisfied customers, and in most cases our customers are very happy. I know that we might sell more with showing our high ambition. What I ponder about today is if this slogan creates to high expectations, and the result is that it is harder to exceed them, and does it create unnecessary unhappy customers?

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1 Comment on "Does your company slogan create unhappy customers?"

  1. James Chapman | August 8, 2008 at 10:59 pm |

    Hi Frode,

    You have hit the nail with this post.

    I have seen two slogans by different companies on television today, one said “Happy Customers, Happy Bank” and the other one said “Doing What Our Customers Expect Every Time”.

    What a refreshing change, I wonder which one is the most successful.

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