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Yesterday I was a guest host at #cxo - a live Twitter chat that takes place every Monday at Noon EST and is all about the brand experience. #cxo stands for "Customer Experience Optimization." It's a chat after my own heart.
We got onto a "stream of thought" about employees, and about how they too are a touchpoint and a critical part of the marketing plan and the brand experience. So true.
This is particularly true if your "brand" has a large customer service component to it, obviously, as customer service is often THE brand experience. How you service your customers and how they feel about that service often determines the success of the brand. Certainly this is true of my agency brand, Cohn & Wolfe. For our clients, the experience they have with my team completely defines how they perceive our brand.
But even in non-service businesses, employees are still a touchpoint. They can be ambassadors for the brand and can communicate out its benefits. If your employees are a happy part of the brand experience, then the touchpoint can be quite effective. Certainly from a recruiting and talent perspective. But it can also work in the reverse.
Take a look at what's recently happened with Goldman Sachs - perfect example of a (former) employee being a touchpoint for the brand experience. In this case, not so positive, casting a harsh light on the experience that its clients may have with the brand. Casting a light on future client solicitation as well as talent recruitment. And completely shaping perceptions of the brand, although from just that one employee's perspective.
The lesson here: take good care of your employees and they will take good care of your brand experience.
What's your experience? Jim.
President of Cohn & Wolfe North America
Author of The Experience Effect and The Experience Effect for Small Business
Professor at NYU