Getting the best out of your employees

We know the importance of customers as ambassadors, but what about our own employees?

Recently I wrote about the importance of making your customers ambassadors or fans of your brand. Now I’m back again to write about one key way to do this.

So where do you start when trying to keep those customers happy? The answer is within your own company. A simple question is how can you expect prospected customers to love your brand if your employees don’t believe in it?

The first step is creating that right culture within your company by hiring the right employees. When hiring, don’t look for only skills, experience, beliefs and ideas but most importantly look at the person’s culture. Will they fit in with your team? Do they seem like someone who will share the same norms and values of your company and will really have the ability to believe in what you are trying to achieve?

Secondly, educate your employees on your product or service. It is important that everyone in the company knows what you are trying to achieve. This is not only important for the sales team or other staff who have regular client contact but all staff. Every bit of contact that the customer has with your firm is part of the customer experience and therefore it is paramount that all staff know what you are promoting and can assist any customer. This could be as simple as making sure that everyone in your firm is able to provide a certain level of assistance for all problems.

Another advantage of education is that your employees actually know what your business does. Could you imagine the situation when one of your employees is sitting with a new acquaintance and they can’t tell their new contact what their employer actually does? It is important that person can say with confidence what their employer does. A simple trick here is to teach all staff your firm’s elevator pitch.

Another handy hint is to develop team principles. Work out together within the company what they are. If you had hired the right people that believe in your company, then they shouldn’t need much encouragement to believe in them and to follow them. One key principle that should certainly be on your list is that everyone is there to keep the customer satisfied at all times.

Empowering your employees is another method of achieving this goal. Make sure that all employees know the right types of customers that your company is looking for. That way when they are at a networking event or some other type of meeting, they know who fits into your ideal customer profile.

One final tip is inclusion. If it is a smaller company, include everyone in the running of the company. This will make employees feel like they have not only a say but their opinion counts. It will also lead to them perhaps doing their best at work to get the best result for your company.

What about within larger firms? Can this be done at a multi national level? Well one leader in this area is the company Ferrero, makers of many delicious treats such as Nutella, Fererro Rochers and Kinder Surprises. Fabio Dioguardi, their Global employer branding & talent acquisition director has been a leading force in this area over the past number of years. During his time at the top of HR in Italy, he took the company to the top of the list for best employer within Italy. This was done through such initiatives as opinion surveys and culture change strategy. Ferrero worked on hiring the right type of staff for the culture of the company amongst many other strategies that he introduced. So successful was the program that he has now moved into a new position where he is responsible for implementing these strategies at a global level.

What this shows is that whether you are a SME or a multi-national, there is a lot that can be done to make sure that your employees are the perfect ambassadors for your company. They can leave your customers with that right customer experience and have them come back time and time again.