People are the face of your brand.
Whether salespeople, delivery drivers, customer service reps, cashiers, or spokespeople, most companies work hard to place their best people in front of their customers.
Your people are the face of your organization, and work hard to represent that brand.
That’s only one side to your brand coin.
The other face to your brand is what your company does in support of your people and customers. Quality, systems, communication, culture, and future that go on behind the scenes are key components of your brand. When your people promote and sell your company, they sell not just a product or service, but the entire package that is your company. Can your people confidently represent your brand to your customers?
Consider the following as the other face of your brand:
Quality. Do both your products and services speak to high quality? Is there a consistency in your product that your people can fully support out on the front lines? Can your service be attested to by your customers; does your service style support your people and your clientele? Your front line staff want to promote the best products, and will shy away from those lines that don’t deliver as well.
Systems. I’ve heard many front line employees say in confidence to their customers to avoid certain products or programs that just don’t deliver. Why is that? The justification ranges from holes in the systems, to unreliable time frames. I’ve even had people say that certain procedures cause more work and headaches and they avoid those processes – and opportunities to sell that program – altogether. Systems can make or break the best product lines, so make sure they are self-working and fully support the end-user.
Communication. A customer asks the employee for an answer to a service issue. The employee asks those in the company involved to help with answering the customer’s question, and for action steps to resolve. No response is given. After a couple of attempts, the employee is faced to admit the truth that they’ve received no answer. Another outcome can be when the answer is a “that’s the way we operate, that’s the way it is” excuse that doesn’t acknowledge the customer’s concern. These examples erode the customer’s trust, but also the employee’s confidence in representing the company. Customer communication that flows from the front line staff must be a team effort to internally build your brand.
Culture. Studies have shown that if your employees feel like part of a dynamic team, fully supported, and confident in the company’s commitment to their values and customers, their ability to sell and go the extra mile for your customers far exceeds those in organizations where the culture is toxic, non-supportive, and lacks true purpose. Culture is not just a team meeting to generate a few days of momentum, but a sustained daily commitment to have everyone – from executive leadership through the newest hire – be pulling on the same rope in the same direction.
Future. If you want your people to have that ardent fervor to promote your brand, the future must be certain. This is not just the company’s future, but the employees as well. Lack of training, professional development, opportunity, or vision of their role in the mission stays on the minds of your people when they interface with customers. If they don’t see a vibrant future, or potential springboard, for themselves down the road, you can guarantee their service to your customers to be robotic and passionless. Creating a visionary future for each individual gives them greater purpose in that serving their clientele will lead them on the path to their dreams. Oh, and by the way, your customers pick up on this as well when they interact with your people.
Your brand is everything your company is – both up front and behind the scenes. Your people know both sides to your brand coin, and will represent it in proportion to how the components actually work, or not. By seeing your brand from both sides of the coin, you will have a much clearer understanding of how your people go to bat for you on the front lines.
Keep both faces of your brand towards your people. Your people who face your customers will honor your brand as much as you honor it.