In today’s world, customers expect consistency. If your brand isn’t following a well-defined process to produce this, your customers will notice.
A prime example is Starbucks. If you walk into any store, the employees will go out of their way to create a positive experience for you. This isn’t just by chance. Each employee is taught to respond to and recognize a customer’s wants and needs from the get-go of their customer service training.
They’re taught to listen to each customer. If there are ever any complaints, they acknowledge the complaint and take action to solve the problem. By doing this, it allows employees to act cool under pressure when it’s a difficult situation. This is often tough for most service representatives to do.
The employees at Starbucks are also taught to go deep with their customers. When a barista greets Bob and asks him if he wants the usual, it creates a loyal customer. Besides knowing that Bob orders a small decaf mocha at about 9 AM every morning, she’s also aware that he has a 14-year-old who just started football and absolutely loves it.
Consistency Consistency Consistency
Branding is the key to differentiating your business from the competition, and the key to successful branding is keeping it consistent. This consistency must go beyond just the product. This helps build trust and grows brand loyalty. It means that every part of the business has their own role to play.
Look at the front end of Starbucks as an example. When customers visit a store, they interact with employees who provide personalized customer service. That’s their role. On the backend, other employees who are coffee bean blenders are making sure that every bean matches a specific quality. This ensures that the product offers consistency as well.
A Well-Defined Process
After finding your voice and establishing brand guidelines, break down each element into an individual process. Identify all of the details for each individual process so that these traits come across when presented to your audience. They should be clearly spelled out and put into a list of guidelines that can be easily digested by your employees.
“One of the first steps in building a unified brand is to find your voice and identify your brand personality. When this becomes your reality, your customers will experience it too.”
Everyone on your team should be made aware of the brand’s voice and guidelines. This will assist them in representing the brand more authentically.
Invest in High-Quality Training
Your employees are going to be the best ambassadors of your brand, and the culture of your company will play a strong role in employer branding. One reason why Starbucks is a brand with a strong performance is the steady sense of identification that’s been created between customers and employees who are in the front lines.
How do Starbucks employees develop that sense of authenticity? It begins at the start of their training. Here are some of the highlights of their training program:
- New partners never have the opportunity to make a mistake. They are always matched with a learning coach or store manager so that they can learn the ropes.
- New employees are given the “Starbucks Experience.” This is 24 hours of classroom learning that teaches employees about the company’s culture, history, and social responsibility programs.
- The training program uses tools to keep learning fun. Baristas use a tool such as “Drink Dice,” which has them roll dice in order to come up with a certain type of drink. They must learn how to write down the combination in the original language that Starbucks uses.
Are you making your training fun or using personal coaches?
Listen to Your Customers, Employees, and Stakeholders
Receiving feedback from customers, employees and stakeholders is also important when creating a unified brand experience. What are customers saying about your brand? Are you giving them the freedom to be engaged and become brand ambassadors?
When you listen, it helps get you feedback and data. Did you notice how Starbucks trains their employees to listen to complaints? Listening also gets you stories that you can share. It’s important to consider both good and bad feedback.
In addition to managing complaints that are bad, you can take good stories and feedback and share them on your website or on social media. How do you think listening will make customers feel? It should help create customer retention and increase their spending as well.
Listening creates brand ambassadors. When you go the extra mile to make customers happy, they share this with family members and friends, which is also amplified via social media platforms. Some of your best marketing can come from happy customers.
Begin developing your unified brand experience by establishing your voice. Once you’ve done that, you’ll have no problem presenting it to your audience.