Employees are the Best Brand Ambassadors

“Want to find a brand ambassador? Start with your employees.”- Branderati

A brand ambassador would be anyone who would promote the offerings of a company while embodying the company’s identity. Such a person would be a reliable source of gaining relevant information about a company and its offerings and would have the capability of engaging with customers through any channel of communication. By this definition then, for a customer-focused and employee friendly company, its employees are the best brand ambassadors. The employees would identify with the culture of the company and feel a sense of ‘ownership’ leading them to speak well of it. The would be the best brand ambassadors since they share their success stories, let others know of the many rewarding opportunities afforded to them and promote the fact that they are supported in their personal and professional development and other such ‘internal’ facts about the company. They could do so via their personal ‘pages’ on social media, speak to their friends and associates or use any other method of communication. Employees become the best brand ambassadors since the premise is that if a company can care for its employees, it would be sure to be even more caring and empathetic for its customers.  A happy workforce makes for happy customers – remember?

Employees are the best brand ambassadors since the excitement and joy they experience while working with a company most certainly would translate to action – the kind of actions mentioned above and in the manner that they serve their customers. Why should employees acting as brand ambassadors be so important to a company? The fact is a company’s strength is often determined by how it functions internally and when employees say that the company is the best place to work at, people listen and believe. Employees are internal customers and it is a known fact that customers listen to other customers and so with the best brand ambassadors, a company not only attracts external customers, but also able to attract better and brighter talent in the market. This makes for great public relations.

With so much competition and readily available information, customers are more likely to make their decisions based on what they see and read. Therefore, smart companies would know that just as customer service should not be confined to a single department / team, the task of public relations too must be everyone’s responsibility. As long as they are happy, any employee from any department and any level in the company could play a crucial role in promoting the company’s image, reputation and offerings – without even realizing it, employees become the best brand ambassadors. Almost everyone is on some social media site and when employees post ‘happy stories’, they would inevitably promote the company’s values, mission and its customer-centric mind-set. It is imperative, therefore, for any company to care for its employees such that they are genuinely engaged and are more than happy to pass on the same care to others – namely the company’s business customers.

Employees are the best brand ambassadors since they know everything about the company they work at. They would be treated well and would understand the role they play in helping the company succeed and the fact that they receive due recognition for their efforts would encourage them to share their positive feelings with everyone. As best brand ambassadors, employees would not remain content with doing just the bare minimum. They would actively seek to improve themselves, learn more about the industry their company operates within, the kind of business their customers work within and proactively look for better ways to improve the work environment and co-worker relationships. There would be all-round engagement, which would naturally spill over to the way they interact with customers. The sheer energy and passion of happy employees makes them the best brand ambassadors and any company would be lucky to have such a workforce.

Engaged and happy employees are the best brand ambassadors – research has revealed that such employees are almost twice as productive and hard working as disengaged and unhappy employees. Since this is true for a single employee, just think about the power an entire happy workforce would wield. They would be the best brand ambassadors just by the sheer strength of their passion and would always be willing to represent your company and its bran in a way that would raise trust and support for them. Customers would be more easily influenced by such enthusiasm since it would reflect honesty, increasing the amount of business and number of new customers for the company. Customers would much rather stay with a company that displays enthusiasm, service and integrity in everything that they do. As customers become happier, they would also become brand advocates resulting in skyrocketing sales and market popularity.

How does your company ensure that the employees become the best brand ambassadors and serve customers with a spirit of dedication and commitment? As with all other business imperatives, it would be the responsibility of the leadership to show care and empathy for all levels of employees. In addition, the manner in which leaders would face crisis or manage tough situations, deal with customers and conduct themselves with each other, would serve as an example that employees emulate and follow. Strong, kind and honest leadership would build trust and confidence in the employees, who would carry this forward with each other and with the customers of the company making them the best brand ambassadors for the company and its values. A company that is united and is one where each person follows a single direction proves to be stronger and inspires trust and confidence within and among customers and other business partners.

Employees – especially the frontline staff – hear many things from customers and are at the receiving end, taking in both criticism and praise. Companies should pay close attention to the feedback that these employees have and use it to better their service and brand. When companies listen to their employees, they have a sense of belongingness and feeling wanted. This in turn makes them want to listen even more attentively to the customers and let customers know that their company would do everything possible to meet their needs, making them the best brand ambassadors for the company and for customer service. Listening to employees has another advantage – it encourages them to go the extra mile. In addition, companies must have a robust and structured reward and recognition system in place to show their employees that they are important to the success of the company and that their efforts would never be in vain. Employees become best brand ambassadors through such treatment and become willing to go beyond the call of their duty to serve the company, the customers and each other.

Making employees best brand ambassadors is largely the responsibility of the company since if employees have the capability but do not have sufficient opportunities to use their skills they might never discover their potential. It is the onus of the company to provide training programs, well-timed recognition, job roles that fit skills and experience and other such opportunities for employees to grow. By ensuring care, support and encouragement a company can soon build a formidable workforce wherein each person would be the best brand ambassador. Re-look at your company’s internal strategies – are you losing customers because of a disengaged workforce? If yes, make a few changes and turn them into the best brand ambassadors who will attract customers.

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