Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Where can you start looking for brand ambassadors for your company?

Looking for brand ambassadors?
In my post last week I told you that each of the people with whom your company relates with can become an ambassador (or not) for your brand, and that would be the main reason why you must (or should) concentrate your efforts on generating a positive and memorable experience for all of them.

This experience must be created not only for those who are buying from you, but also for suppliers and employees.

And I put a strong emphasis on the latter because your employees have a significant and very special power to promote the benefits of your company or brand to others.

As I usually do when making these statements, I’ll explain myself by sharing with you some experiences that I’ve had the opportunity to live recently.

An unhappy employee undermines your ability to retain talent.

About a couple of years ago I started to work with a company for which I was recommended by a dear friend of mine. I was very excited when I started working with them and was totally eager to achieve all the things we had set as goals in our initial conversations. However, just a few days after I started, my coworkers started to show me the "dark side" of the company.

They began to share with me all those embarrassing stories about payrolls unpaid, unfulfilled commitments with customers and suppliers, the bosses regularly lying  and cheating, being abusive with employees, and as you can imagine a story that started with a very positive energy and illusion on my side, rapidly sank to become just another job.

Employees not happy or totally unsatisfied with their conditions promote the development of toxic work environments.

And nobody wants to stay forever in a company where the work environment is unpleasant, where in addition to the emotional burden of everyday’s job responsibilities, you have to listen to the constant complaints from co-workers who are not happy with their conditions, or bosses who are doing “strange” things.

And, after a few weeks or months, your new hires decide to pursue opportunities in other companies, where at least they can change to a more motivating and professional work atmosphere.

Unhappy employees won’t say good things about the company.

A few weeks ago we were eating in a local restaurant. It was on Sunday, during a national holiday and the place was completely occupied, therefore the service was, as it usually happens on peak times, delayed… a lot.

We could see the waiters running back and forth from table to table doing their best to relieve discomfort and unhappy expressions in our faces, with very little luck because, despite their efforts, the kitchen didn’t have the capacity to meet such a strong demand.

At one time I told the waiter serving us that his chief (who is always on the kitchen fixing the meals) would definitely be going crazy and pulling her hairs by having so much people in the restaurant, to which he replied: "She ain’t going crazy. She is just stupid because doesn’t want to spend money hiring more people to help her out in the kitchen. And those who have to deal with unhappy customers is us!”

An unhappy employee will not be on your side if difficult times come your way.

I was speechless. He completely took me by surprise with his comment. I didn’t really think I was going to find out that way that their problem was having a boss who didn’t want to spend money in hiring more people, not even for those days when you can anticipate a much larger demand from your customers.

Obviously the waiter was not happy with his overall situation and, instead of defending the company with a simple and cheap excuse (those that we all use for almost everything), chose to let out some of his own frustration in that comment, exposing a company weakness and delivering a poor, non-professional image.

What happens when your employees buy from your competition?

We make our groceries shopping at two local stores: Dialprix and Mercadona. As we have already being living in this city for a while, we have come to recognize, at least by their faces, some of the people who usually serve us when doing the shopping.

One day, while shopping at Mercadona, I came across one of Dialprix employees. She was also doing her shopping there, with shopping cart included and everything. I couldn’t do anything else but to be totally surprised, puzzled maybe better.

What assumptions could I make from such an encounter? That in Mercadona she gets better prices than on Dialprix, even considering all the benefits and advantages she can enjoy by being an employee; or simply that one can buy best quality products in Mercadona than Dialprix, and we could continue making assumptions for ever.

That day I didn’t have the nerve to ask her why she was shopping at Mercadona and not at Dialprix. I could have learned a thing or two by doing so.

An employee who buys from your competition can make customers lose confidence in the product you offer.

The fact is that it shocked me a lot to see her shopping at a place which is a direct competitor for her employer. I even came to think that she'd been fired but, thanks God, it was not the case. I saw her again working at Dialprix after that day.

Your employees should be the first and best ambassadors for your company or brand.

And simply because they interact with your company and its products in a direct manner, each and every single day. They are the ones who can help you create a positive environment within your office, assisting you in retaining talent, as well as with customers who are doing business with your company.

It is them who can stand up for your company when things get tough. They are the ones who can have a deeper knowledge of your product and their benefits, and transmit it on a convincing way to their related network.

Your employees are the hands you use to create your memorable customer experience.

At the end of the day, it is them who often have the responsibility to create for your customers (yes , for those who buy from you) a memorable and positive experience. If they are in a good stance with you, such experience is definitely going to be memorable for your customers. If they are not, then we have a different story.

How could you forget about them and not take them into consideration in your search for brand ambassadors?

Photo credit: danomyte / 123RF Stock Photo

Related posts in this blog:
A different story for each person. Are you a consistent entrepreneur?
SMB can also be written with G of Greatness.
Corporate Social Responsibility: Are we starting from the right point?

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