One of the key tenets involved in creating a brand is to demonstrate a high level of competency and authority in your industry. And with that competency and authority comes trust. And trust is key to the success of any brand.
Poorly written content dilutes the potential for trust. If that trust is diluted, a prospect may decide not to buy and in the social economy, create negative consumer content.
Once negative content is created and shared and commented on and shared further, your reputation is not defined by what you do but by what your customers say you do.
And once that happens, your customers not you are defining your brand.
According to research the preferred online language in Malaysia for consumers is English. Whilst there are different levels of English in the country, if a brand communicates in English it must make an effort to communicate properly.
Well written content communicates professionalism, knowledge, experience, credibility and confidence and generates respect.
While poorly written content with the wrong grammar, communicates a lack of professionalism, hints at laziness and shows a careless approach. In such a situation, the reader would be forgiven for thinking that if the brand is careless about itself, is it really going to look after me?
Plainly obvious mistakes detract the reader from what you are trying to say and negatively impact your credibility. The reader may understand you but that doesn’t mean they trust you. If they don’t trust you, they are unlikely to buy from you.
Now the first interaction I had with the brand on this particular issue was through their website where I encountered this poorly written message.
I didn’t bother filling in the requested information because I immediately thought I’d be wasting my time. My immediate thought was negative, that the organisation lacked professionalism and simply didn’t have the processes and systems in place to prevent such a hugely embarrassing situation.
And remember this is not an SME. This is a Government Linked Company with a market cap of RM25 billion (US$6 billion).
My immediate thought was that if they don’t care how they are perceived, it’s unlikely they will care about an insignificant customer like me. I thought therefore that it’s not going to be able to do what it said it could do.
Now the irony is that I thought this might be a great opportunity for a blog rant about how amateurish is Telekom Malaysia. So I emailed their customer service (in English) thinking I wouldn’t get a reply.
I got a reply within 24 hours and the writer answered my question. The answer did mean I had to write another email and again this was responded to with an informative answer and within 24 hours.
Us consumers are a fussy, knowledgeable lot these days. It is easy to find out how much a brand is making from us and how big are the fat cat salaries of the top people in every company we give our hard earned money to. We’ve been let down far too often by brands that over promise and under deliver.
We’re tired of being taken for a ride. We’re also spoilt for choice so if you don’t make us happy, we’ll take our business elsewhere. Because it’s the little things that make or break brands today. Every touch point needs to be perfect. Make it perfect and we’ll trust you with our money. That’s all.