Today, we are delighted to share a guest post with you from Trisha Miller.
What is the most important thing to do first when building a new brand? Surprisingly enough, many would say it is not picking out a logo, buying the optimal storefront space, or gaining the most followers on social media. Though all of these are very integral pieces to the brand puzzle, none of them matter without a strong foundation.
Hire the Right People
Sadly, nothing will end your business faster than employees who don’t work well with your brand. Taking the appropriate time to find someone who aligns with your mission statement and brand values is an absolute must for success. Often times businesses are in such a rush to get the other major elements of their business together that this step gets pushed to the back burner. The face and heart of your brand should never come second.
Before you even begin looking for the perfect person for the job nail down exactly what it is that you need in an employee. Then, tailor your employee search according to those guidelines. This will help you weed out those who might not actually be the best for the position. For example, If you are in need of someone with expertise in particular field of study, try posting the position to college job bulletins with details about what is necessary to be considered. Don’t be afraid to deter potential employees by being explicit in your needs. Spending adequate time on this step will ensure that an exemplary employee is hired who will be passionate about your brand.
Give Employees the Power
If you followed the last step your employee will already be interested in the type of work they are doing for your brand, but in order to forgo obstacles ahead it’s always a good idea to plan for the future. Most employees love a challenge as well as development in their career. So, it’s always a good idea to think about those kinds of things from the get-go. Someone who performs the same tasks day in and day out may begin to feel a bit unfulfilled. From the start, give your employee the power to bring new ideas and projects to your door. This will keep you, your employee, and the brand as a whole on their A-game.
Once you have a dedicated team of workers that follow your vision, pass them the torch. Although it’s not always easy, giving your employees all the tools necessary to fix their own problems will work wonders for your brand. However, by this point you should be confident that your employee was hired because they are the expert in this particular niche. Don’t step on your own feet by not taking advantage of the fact that you have found the best person for the job. Employees that have to jump through hoops to get approval or a sign off on their duties will become discouraged quickly. This will also put a damper on your customer’s/client’s experience as well. The employee will not show confidence in decisions or answers provided to the customer.
Lastly, keep your employee “in the know”. The more information that is provided to them, the better they can perform their job. Collaborate and brainstorm in order to work through obstacles. Those who are closest to any problem areas will have the best plans on how to fix it. Knowing that they are trusted will also establish a deep commitment to their job and the brand. Problems will be solved much faster and with more accuracy as everyone grows within their positions.
Customer Service, Engagement, & Professionalism
Your team of experts is ready for anything that stands in their way. Now, you just have to show the customer just how important they are to your brand. Not unlike the employee power section, customers must understand that their voice is being heard in order to stay loyal to the brand. Once they feel that they don’t matter, they won’t need your product anymore.
First, check in with your customers regularly. Not only to see what their experience was, but just to say hello or offer them something special for being loyal. Craft genuine and personalized outreach to your customers as much as possible. As your brand grows this may seem like a daunting task, but remember this is what your experts are for. They will know what your customer needs in order to see how important they truly are.
Next, use specific forums for their intended purpose. Of course, this is the age of social media and it’s tempting to resolve customer questions/concerns via this medium. Yet, this might not always be the best option. Putting the ball in your court, so to speak, is usually a better plan. Taking the issue offline using a system that plays to your advantage goes a long way towards maintaining an image that aligns with your business model.
Finally, always strive to provide better customer service. Work on building a system that is as hassle free for your employees as it is for your customers. Although it is sometimes easier said than done, a goal of any brand should be to hear your customer say, “Well, that was easy”. This tip can apply to many facets of a brand starting from the ground up: understanding what it is that you’re providing and why your customer needs it, building a marketplace to purchase your product (usually a user-friendly website), and giving your customer access to outstanding customer service. Your customer should be able to fly through these steps from start to finish. What’s more, they should know that if they ever experience a hiccup within that system that they will be taken care of.
Building a brand is undoubtedly a difficult task. However, diving in head first before laying down an impeccable foundation becomes the downfall of many brands. Constructing humble, but strong beginnings allows your workforce and clientele sufficient time to learn your recipe for success. Unfortunately, there is no guaranteed way to build a prosperous business. Although, using these steps will guarantee you peace of mind knowing that your employees and customers trust and stand behind your brand.
About the Author:
Trisha is a writer from Boise, ID. She has over 10 years of customer service management experience in multiple settings – via call center, social media & technology, and face to face interaction