Brand Ambassadors from the Inside Out
All month we’ve been discussing Brand Ambassadors and I purposely held off posting on this final week of March in order to see a presentation at SMPS SERC (Southeastern Regional Conference) entitled “Creating Brand Ambassadors”– and I’m glad I did. Robin Broder & Erica Jones at MMC Contractors did an incredible job detailing how they built out a brand ambassador program by empowering every employee at MMC Contractors.
Most of the things we’ve been talking about this month have been about the more attainable, low-hanging fruit like consistent signage and hard hats and not driving erratic. But, Robin & Erica got their principals on board and dove in deep. They challenged the long-term thinking that customers are happy with on-time and on-budget – and found that this is what they expect, not what keeps them happy. So, they educated their team on what does makes customers happy – personal attention and communication. They even got their customers involved by inviting them to employee trainings and telling the foreman, supervisors, and executive team first hand what they expect and how to keep them happy. Happy customers make for a happy bottom line.
The marketing duo at MMC also understood the importance of happy employees being more engaged and having what we call “brand buy-in” where they actually care about the company. They changed the culture of the company by training employees to surpass their customers expectations and earn a testimonial. This shifted the responsibility of business development from a few key individuals to the entire company. What did they learn? Business development isn’t just one or two people taking clients out to lunch and networking after hours, it truly is the attention and communication that you and ALL your employees give to your customers on a day-to-day basis.
Think about where you shop – Target’s ads may get your attention and might get you into the store, but if you have numerous poor customer service experiences, you don’t shop there anymore. As a consumer, you have options and the best way to retain a customer is to provide a better experience than your competitors. How do companies compete when they have poor customer experience – they lower their price. People pay more for quality, more for service, and more to make things easier.
The best companies, regardless of their market and competition, have moved past low bid and on to a new understanding of the real value of their expertise, time, and experience.