A Simple Promise


I’ve done a fair bit of work with clients around the country on the topic of their value proposition. Most define a value proposition as a promise of value to be delivered – a commitment that you and your team make to each and every customer/member that walks through your door, steps up to your ATM, phones your call center, downloads your phone app or logs on to your web site. The most important thing to remember is that the promise must be in terms that the customer/member can personally understand AND is aligned with THEIR values, interests and priorities.

The other day I came across a business card from a credit union colleague. The back of the card gave their “service promise”:

  • Greet you with a smile
  • Call you by name
  • Excel in service
  • Respond the same day
  • Thank you kindly

While this promise of service is surely only a part of their overall value proposition, its simplicity caught my attention. Same day response – I definitely appreciate that. Call me by name – nice to know I’m more than an account number. A smile – I wish every grumpy personal banker or underpaid teller would remember that one.

You could argue that a few of those items might not be of value to some consumers, or that they only apply to in-person experiences. You might even observe that a promise like this hardly differentiates them from other institutions in their market area. But what most impressed me about this easy list, was that it was a clear commitment – and 4 out of the 5 items listed are behaviors that can be easily measured and verified. Is your promise that simple?

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