Tag Archives: brand

You are your company

After placing my usual order at my favorite coffee shop last week, I casually mentioned to the barista that I’d been having trouble with the new mints container. The lid kept popping open and the mints were spilling in my purse. She expressed disappointment and concern, but then leaned in and quietly said (as if she were sharing a secret with me),

“You should totally call corporate and tell them about it.”

I tried to speak, but was so stunned by what I heard, I simply smiled and walked away. When I got out the door, I started laughing in disbelief.

Looking back, when the employee empathized with me, I felt she was concerned and cared about my problem. However, instead of telling me she would pass along my comment, her direction for me to call the corporate office sent the message that she:

  1. didn’t feel empowered to help me with my concern
  2. wanted me to work more/harder than her
  3. viewed herself as separate from the company.

To her benefit, she may have been a new employee — it was my first time seeing her at this store. Yet it still proves a powerful point – to the customer, employees ARE the company. Employees must feel empowered to positively impact customer experiences. Both to make those experiences positive to begin with AND to help redirect them when things aren’t going so well.

We can think through this on many different levels:

  • As an employee, do I think of myself as the face of my company?
  • As a leader, how well do I empower employees?
  • As a marketer, how do I help build frequent customer experience trainings to align with brand objectives?
  • As a customer, what do I expect from companies and their employees?

Making the connection between an employee’s work and the customer’s experience is critical.  When employees feel invested in the outcome, the more they own their part in the process. This is when employees begin to align their personal and professional goals with those of the company, which ultimately benefits everyone, especially the customer.

 

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