Show Your Customers a Little Love

The month of February begs us all to show each other a little love. The fourteenth is not just a day for star-crossed lovers but should be a day dedicated to reminding ourselves why we should give our customers the love they deserve throughout the year.

In his monthly column for BCBusiness, Richmond based employee engagement and internal brand communications expert Ben Baker shares his insights into how to communicate value effectively, so people want to listen and engage. In the end, it’s about creating influence through trust.

Roses and chocolates may be the most obvious gift this time of year, but overpriced flowers die, and boxes of chocolate become empty, and with that, the romance based solely on a gift such as that, dies with it.

I am not trying to be a curmudgeon, far from it. I am saying that those who we truly love deserve more from us and that love cannot be abandoned or ignored come the fifteenth of February.

We need to show our love throughout the year, and that love that I am talking about is not for that one person who comes home with you at the end of the day, but rather the hundreds, if not thousands who rely on you month after month, year after year to solve the problems that they have. I am talking about the love for your customers.

These people are the lifeblood of your company, the reason for you being alive and cheap tokens of affection that are not heartfelt or meaningful to those receiving them are much less than what they deserve.

These people need to be treated as special. They need to believe that they matter to you and that you are listening to them, understand their issues, and value them as clients.

These people deserve your heart and soul every day of the year, and they need to be treated in ways that make them feel special and needed.

So, how do you do this? How do you differentiate yourself from your competition, create an amazing end to end customer experience, and communicate their value to you consistently, authentically and in ways that they relate?

Simple, you need to rely on people who are even more important to you than your customers.

Who are these magical people, you ask? YOUR EMPLOYEES!

It all starts with having your employees feel that they are listened to, understood, and valued.  That they understand what makes you valuable as a brand and to whom. They need to understand where you came from as a brand, where you are, where you are going and what their specific role is in helping the brand achieve its goals.

If your employees do not understand and believe in your brand, how are they supposed to communicate that value of the brand effectively to your customers?

If your employees do not feel listened to, understood, and valued, how can you expect them to treat your clients that way?

If your employees do not understand what differentiates you in the marketplace and how that differentiation helps specific clients achieve their goals, how can you expect them to tell your brand story effectively to those you want to know, like, and trust you?

Answering these questions comes down to culture, communication, and leadership.

If you do not have a strong culture that is lived by everyone in the company, and all decisions are based upon that culture, no one will believe in it.

If you do not have an effective communication system throughout the company so that everyone understands what current priorities are and how their efforts matter, they won’t.

If you do not have leadership that inspires, coaches, and motivates those they lead, employees will not be engaged, will not stay and will never grow with the company.

In short, amazing customer experience has to come from creating an amazing customer experience inside the company before you can create one outside of it.

Our brand is only as strong as our most unhappy employee on their worst day.

Is that the person you want engaging with your customer? Is that the face you want to have for your brand?

Probably not, and to resolve this, you need to focus on culture, communication and leadership within to make sure that when sales and marketing make promises to your customers, those promises can be kept by everyone inside your company and that is how you create a brand worth loving.

Ben Baker wants to help you engage, retain, and grow your most valuable asset … your employees. He provides workshops and consulting to enable staff to understand, codify, and communicate their value effectively internally and externally and Retain Employees Through Leadership. The author of  Powerful Personal Brands: A Hands-On Guide to Understanding Yours and the host of the IHEART Radio syndicated show, he writes extensively on leadership, brand, and internal communication strategy. 

Ben’s COMPLIMENTARY ONLINE COURSE is now available: “KNOW –  LIKE – TRUST! How to Develop Your Personal Brand” CLICK HERE to access the course.

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