Brand Ambassadors Influence Customer Loyalty
A special type of engagement occurs when employees genuinely care about customers and go above and beyond for them whenever possible, even when doing so isn’t formally part of their job duties. I consider this ‘stellar engagement’ because it elevates both customer and employee experiences. When this occurs customers are surprised by the employee’s actions and they’re left with a positive impression of the organization increasing the likelihood that they will share about their experience with others. This type of engagement, when discovered and positively reinforced by management, can increase employee confidence and loyalty to the organization.
Brand ambassadors can help increase customer loyalty, retention, and repeat purchases. All employees are brand ambassadors, not just front line employees.
Many employees who interact with customers understand customer service to mean not only ensuring customer needs are met and company policies are followed but they understand customer service to also mean anticipating customer needs and ensuring pathways are free of anything with the potential to negatively impact the customer. Given the circumstance, many employees are positioned to note customer preferences and life events and follow-up, incorporating these important details into future interactions. Not only do people appreciate the sound of their own name, they also appreciate knowing that someone cared enough to make a connection with them and recognize a life event or other special time such as the birth of a grandchild or a child’s graduation.
Another level of engagement occurs when employees follow-up on their own time to gain a better understanding of topics that they believe will enhance their relationship with a customer.
Perhaps a frequent customer has mentioned an appreciation for vacationing in coastal destinations but the employee responsible for coordinating purchases on this customer’s account may never have been to a beach. This employee could research further into details mentioned by the customer, perhaps they’ve mentioned a particular destination and how it influenced their appreciation for a particular author or type of art. This type of information can enhance the relationship between the employee and customer to mutual benefit and that of the organization. Instances of this type of information also proves useful if employees are positioned to interact with customers and share information with peers or superiors when doing so will enhance interactions at other touch points.
Engagement between customers and employees can also be elevated when employees connect people with one another. Making connections is a great way to be a resource for others and the organization not to mention the intrinsic rewards realized from simply helping others even when it’s not required.
Photo by Thomas Hawk, available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial license.