Brad nervously adjusted his horn-rimmed glasses as he arrived at his work cubicle precisely two minutes early for work, as he did every morning. “Why is everyone dressed like MTV rock stars? It’s not Friday” he thought to himself. “Have I missed something? Impossible. I never miss anything, I’m an auditor.”
Dudley, his supervisor barked “Dude! Wassup? Why you dressed like an auditor, know what I’m sayin?” “Because I am an auditor Dudley and why are you dressed like Snoop Dog?” Brad asked puzzled. “It’s now Snoop Lion my man, get with the times” Dudley hissed “you obviously didn’t get the memo from HR - we changed the company culture last week - we’re now a way-cool auditing firm Bro and you are so not in tune.”
How would you define your company’s culture? Is it in line with the image and experience your customers expect it to be? When did you last check? How do you check it?
Here’s a cold, hard fact: There’s a significant disconnect in how most companies’ management assume their brand is perceived by their customers and what they actually think of it. And one of the main contributing factors is staff - Most are unaware of what the company’s purpose is, what the brand stands for, what the brand values are and how they should ‘live the brand’ in order to help build a successful, long term brand.
70% of customer brand perception is determined by experiences with people1 – your staff.
Your staff are the primary point of contact with your customers and if they are not aligned with the brand and customers’ expectations, it could already be impacting negatively on your business. Chances are, it is already, but it’s typically a slow-drip effect and difficult to guage.
68% of customers leave because of poor employee attitude2. Conversely, only 41% are loyal because of good employee attitrude3.
If we accept that the primary business objective is to create long term customers, then it is axiomatic that what happens on the ‘inside of a business’ correlates directly with what happens on the ‘outside’. To align the two takes more than a memo to all staff from HR – You can’t teach an old dog new tricks with a few words, no matter how way cool they sound. Know what I’m sayin?
1. Source: Parkington and Buxton, Study of the US Banking Sector, Journal of Applied Psychology. 2. Source: MCA Brand Ambassador Benchmark. 3. Source: Ken Irons, Market Leader