Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Employees–Your Best Marketing Communication

Group of studentsA company’s most powerful marketing tool can be the  employee.  Whether it is a sales associate, a customer service representative, or an internal role, the hundreds of interactions employee make each day say more about the brand, company culture and customer focus than any piece of media  will.

Here is a real example.  A consumer calls a consumer product manufacturers headquarters looking to find a product he has not been able to find at local retailers. An employee who has worked at the company her entire career quickly tells him which retailers carry the item but then says not to worry as she will send over a free bottle (just a $4.00 item) saving him from having to go out to the store again.  She gets his name and address and ships it that day.  No big deal.

A couple of weeks later the same man calls the company president to say that he cannot remember when he had been so pleased that an employee would take the time to immediately handle such a minor request  for a $4.00 item.  It turns out that he is a well known author of books on corporate strategy and agrees to send them both a signed copy of his book and will actually use this case in his upcoming book. 

Do we train for this?  Do we develop and deliver a consistent message  the way we craft our advertising? Michael Koploy at Software Advice wrote about retail sales associates and makes the case that more training and hiring improvements may be necessary.  Retailers often place the youngest, least trained and “most likely to leave” employees in positions to handle  consumer contact.  Many do a great job, but should there be more focus on training or building these roles into long term careers?

What do you think? Are your employees better than your advertising?


Jim Matorin said...

Bob, do we train our employess period. It appears this part of the budget has evaporated.

Olly Freeman said...

I think how employees deal with customers says a lot about the company. Companies should take more time to train their employees to help build a good reputation.