Build customer loyalty with educated and confident associates

Consumers want a good experience and they will reward it with their loyalty

We have all experienced it in our own lives. We are naturally drawn to pleasant experiences. When someone you trust tells you about a positive experience they had in a particular location, you are anxious to experience it yourself. How many times have you heard this, “it was the most incredible food I ever put in my mouth” After which you are anxious to visit the place being described and experience the food for yourself.

The converse is also very true. On average it only takes 2.3 negative experiences to lose a consumer’s loyalty. To be honest I am surprised that it is that high.

Associates are the front line and represent the primary interface for the brand with the consumer. In order for them to be a successful interface, and generate a great customer experience for everyone that visits, they must be positive brand emissaries. Let’s talk about what it takes for an associate to be a successful brand emissary.

We all have defense mechanisms that are triggered by the situation. If a person is in a situation where they might be asked a question and they don’t know the answer, they will avoid the situation – students sit in the back and don’t make eye contact with the teacher – employees avoid interactions with customers. Conversely, when we understand the situation, know the answers and can talk easily about a topic, product or event, we are very confident and we seek out the chance to interact. The latter is what we want in our associates.

There are many things that the associate needs to understand. I break the content into three main categories. First, they need to know how their role and their efforts are contributing to the overall company goals. I classify this as “Why I matter” content. Second, they need to have product knowledge, I classify this as “What we offer” content. Finally, they need to know how to handle situations that may arise, I classify this as “How it all works” content. Each of these categories builds on the other. If the associate doesn’t believe that their role contributes to the greater company goals, they won’t be motivated to move into the other categories. If they don’t understand the products or services, they cannot bring value to the customer. Imagine asking the DIY store associate what does this product do – and they turn the box over and read the list of features off the back of the box. How frustrating is that? And lastly, if they know they contribute and they know the products, but they can’t complete a purchase or transact a return or create a ship to home order, they are going to cost you business.

Anyone who has read my material, knows that I believe video segments are the best way to share information. We need to create a library of video segments and get them into a place where our associates can watch them easily and develop themselves into confident, well informed and successful brand emissaries. Join us and together we can help your front line associates be successful and along the way build strong customer brand loyalty.

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