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COVID-19 is also a test of brand reputation

There’s a lot of ways companies can endear themselves to customers during this pandemic, both to serve their immediate needs or by acting in such a way that they enjoy enhanced brand reputation once we get past this.

When you think of COVID-19, healthcare organizations and the firms that support them with products and services come immediately to mind, especially if you or someone you know is sick. Then I tend to think of all the restaurants and bars, reinventing themselves with take-out services or virtual wine and cheese tastings.

Building Brand Reputation with the Little Things

But then there are companies that might not immediately come to mind, who do something for you, their customer, that just makes life a little easier. Earlier this year, I bought tickets for a May concert in Dallas featuring the Brooklyn-based band Real Estate through Prekindle, a ticketing platform that is used by a lot of venues who book indie and alternative artists.

With shelter in place and social distancing, concerts of course have been cancelled, and the Real Estate show was no exception. I had forgotten about it when I received an email from Prekindle, saying that they were going to refund my purchase by check and asking to confirm my mailing address. They sent a second email asking me to confirm that information, and a third to say my check had been mailed and to notify them by a certain date if I hadn’t received it.

With all that’s going on, there’s a good chance I would have forgotten I even had tickets. If I had remembered, my expectation would have been that I would have to harass them to get my refund, if I could even locate a phone number or email address. But Prekindle took care of all that, and I now have $60 to spend on siggi’s yogurt and cashew cookie Lara bars, two of my main sources of sustenance right now. This attention to detail has elevated their brand reputation in my mind, and I will want to support them when live events become a possibility again.

Now More Than Ever, Customer Service

Even big companies are behaving themselves. We recently cancelled Uverse and now just use AT&T for their fiber internet. The first bill since the switch arrived, and there was an erroneous $10 late fee included. I’ve definitely had my issues with AT&T in the past, to the point I almost skipped calling about it. I have enough stress in life right now without dealing with them too! But I screwed up my courage and called. To my surprise, they immediately took the late fee off and didn’t charge their normal “convenience fee” to pay by credit card over the phone. Which got me thinking: What would happen to these major companies’ brand reputations and profits over the longer term if they acted like this all the time?