RCS Influencer Heidi Ellsworth says that engaged and passionate employees help spread the word about a company’s products and services, creating value and demand for a better price.
Many companies are seeing the importance of encouraging professional involvement as a marketing benefit. They understand that the commitment to keeping employees involved in associations and community outreach is an extremely important marketing tool. Not only does it help sales and marketing but it engages employees at a stronger, more professional level that helps build the overall business. People want to buy from people they like and are even willing to pay more.
This trend is currently being referred to as the establishment of employee brand ambassadors. Technology start-up companies have been focused on brand ambassadors for many years. They have focused on turning their first passionate customers into their biggest fans. These brand ambassadors spread the word about a company’s products and services, in turn creating demand. We see this happening with viral campaigns that spread like wildfire through social media. The trick is to harness the power of these referrals and feed the flames so that not only are they talking about the company but they are also promoting the products and services.
Companies are starting to realize that their best brand ambassadors are working side-by-side every day in the form of employees. The Edelman Trust Barometer, a trust and credibility survey that collects data from more than 30,000 people, found that regular rank-and-file company employees have more credibility than executives. It is about authenticity and people truly loving what they do and where they work.
According to Forbes Magazine, “It is very visible when the company has passionate employees who love the brand they work for. Having an adoring employee base isn’t just great for word-of-mouth marketing, but for the bottom line as well. In one of their studies Gallup showed that companies with high employee engagement levels have 3.9 times the earning per share compared to their industry peers or competitors.”
There is a strong opportunity here for roofing companies to build not only their brand but their high-quality reputations that result in sales at the right price. Anyone can drop the price and lose money, but companies that invest in their employees can translate that into a value proposition that creates higher profits. It is an opportunity to let employees promote the business they believe in. The passion for what they are doing will show as they work with their local and professional organizations. They will be one of your best marketing tools.
Here are seven ways that you and your management team can encourage your employees to become brand ambassadors, in turn helping you and your sales team sell at a price higher than your competition.
- It starts with asking for their opinion. Don’t just ask them to promote the business but ask for their feedback on what they believe are the company’s strongest assets and where there may be room for improvement. By including them in the process of improving the company they gain ownership for the overall enterprise, gaining pride and confidence. With that confidence, your sales team is empowered to ask for a fair price for an amazing service. That price is always higher then the competition but the value has been determined ahead of time. Customers will want to work with your employees even at a higher price.
- Create channels of communication. Be sure your employees know what is going on within the company. Take the time to educate and get them excited about new products, projects or services that make your company distinctive. Include them on company newsletter mailings or emails. Make it easy for them to share the excitement.
- Encourage social media interaction and advocacy. This is an area that is still hard for many companies. Is the employee engaged or just scrolling through Facebook? In this day and age, it is both. Employees live their lives at work and at home. They are liking posts, commenting on new information and making referrals. How powerful is it when they do it for their own place of work? How many of their social contacts have now bought into a great roofing company. They will spread the word and people will want to be a promoter of your company.
- Allow employees to help strengthen customer relationships. Every positive meeting is a great sales and marketing opportunity for the company. Whether it is accounting, production, sales or the front desk, employees should leave the customer smiling and happy. Employees need the time to introduce themselves and be a part of fixing or improving the process. It is ok to ask for referrals after a good experience, but it takes every employee being an amazing brand ambassador to create that perfect referral and sustainable business model that transcends pricing.
- Financially and emotionally encourage involvement. Help employees be involved in professional and community associations. Having employees attend Chamber of Commerce events, sponsoring school sports or helping with community service projects gives them the time to advocate for their place of work and be involved. It shows that the company is committed to the community it works in and is willing to support their employees’ involvement.
- Make sharing easy. Help employees share this information with each other and your customers. Monthly lunch and learns that share how to be a brand ambassador, social media groups and company newsletters are all ways to engage and educate employees. Encourage employees to follow the company on all social media. These exercises can make a huge difference in building morale, commitment and helping employees message the uniqueness of the company!
- Make sure every employee is enabled to be a brand ambassador. From the rooftop to the front desk, every employee should be able to talk about the mission and differentiating qualities of the company. Why is this the best roofing and exterior contracting company? What do we offer that is different? How can our employees help create raving fans or amazing customer brand ambassadors? By asking these questions and taking the time to train employees on the company’s marketing materials and messaging it will reap great rewards including the ability to obtain premium pricing. Share how this important employee engagement will not only help the company but will help their own personal performance and potential financial benefits.
Heidi Ellsworth is owner of HJE Consulting Group and a partner in RoofersCoffeeShop.com. See her full bio here.