Why every team member must be a public ambassador for your brand

Public relations

Every customer matters but many businesses fail to value all interactions as significant in their growth and customer acquisition strategy. Public relations is way more than media relations and it cannot just be left to your PR and marketing team to bring to life your brand strategy.

Every member of your team is a public ambassador for your brand. This permeates down to every small interaction, not just with customers, but with anyone your business engages with.

In our hyperconnected world, everyone is linked. It’s not enough to just treat the person buying something from you at that moment with positivity and respect. It is important that every opportunity your company has to engage with anyone at any time is positive and works as an extension of your brand

The candidate today could be a customer tomorrow

The way you treat staff is a prime example of this. Poor staff management not only leads to retention issues, but damage to your reputation. They tell their friends and family about your organisation. They may even be motivated to share their experiences on social media and sites such as GlassDoor.

A friend recently went for a job interview with an upcoming challenger brand. But then never heard back from them. The small courtesy of sending an email to let her know that she wasn’t successful would have made her feel positive about the organisation and brand. She might not have been a fit for the role now, but maybe in future she might be. But instead, as a result of her interactions, she told her friends and named and shamed the company. She remarked she would never buy from them now as a result of her experience and it certainly could influence her friends and family to also feel wary of the brand too.

Most businesses overlook the significance of people they interview. They may be a customer, they may have the potential to be a future customer. They may land in a role where they’re advantageous to your business in some way. If you’re a retailer interviewing staff, consider tactics such as a small gift of one of your products as a thank you for just coming in for an interview, or provide all candidates with a discount offer. At a minimum acknowledge and respond to every candidate and let them know promptly if they are not successful.

It is a battle to win a customer once and it is even harder to retain them over the longer term. The candidate today could be a customer tomorrow. The supplier who delivered goods to your store only to be treated with disdain for perhaps not putting the supplies where you want them or who didn’t move fast enough, just also had an experience with your culture and brand. Even a child you ignore today could be the prime minister in the future.

The small things count

All interactions matter. They all affect brand, reputation and trust and can be the deciding factor in who buys from you and who chooses to go elsewhere either now or in the future.

The entire team needs to understand they represent your organisation and despite when they personally have a bad day, must remember to always engage politely and patiently and think about the manner in which they communicate, verbal, written and also through tone and body language.

Steve Jobs knew this when he created Apple. He built stores that were a mecca for exceptionally warm service. The master marketer understood he didn’t just need to train his sales staff well in the products, but he needed to make them a customer ‘Genius’ able to wave a magic wand and make the customers life better.

When my son was eight years old, I accidentally put his iPod through the washing machine. The very sad child walked into Apple with me and they listened to what happened, saw the proof and just went behind the counter and handed him a brand new one. There wasn’t a charge. The result is that this boy is now 16 and only wants Apple products. The small kindness has paid off in a positive brand association for life.

Businesses can spend money on public relations specialists, advertising and marketing, but if the small interactions are not right the return on the investment will never reach its full potential. Fighting on customer experience and understanding the importance of all interactions can mean the difference to viability and success.

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