Categories
Customer service Engagement Marketing

Pop Quiz: Customers 101

Over the years I’ve developed internal marketing as an approach that recognizes the value of employees in serving customers. (Remember my mantra: take care of the employees & they’ll care of the customers.) 

You can use marketing to communicate with, educate, and motivate employees as effectively as you use it to communicate with, educate, and motivate customers. Especially when it’s based on respect — giving employees the tools they need to serve customers and each other (i.e., employees as “internal” customers).

I’m talking about the basics here … letting staff know as much as possible about your customers.  Basic stuff like:

  • who your customers are (e.g., general customer profiles & product usage)
  • what’s important to them in dealing with you
  • how they feel about your organization (from customer satisfaction surveys, complaint tracking)
  • what competitive options they have, etc.

Does any of this info get shared with employees, or is it kept for senior management’s eyes only? Excluding proprietary & confidential data, the more employees know about their customers, the better they can serve them.

Try giving your staff a quiz sometime about your customers (you can use some of the questions listed above). And if the very thought of doing this scares you, it means you have your homework cut out for you. Communicate with & educate your employees about your customers. The results will benefit everyone involved.

Categories
Engagement Marketing Training & Development

Special Spring Workshop

I’ll be doing a tutorial session on internal marketing next month at the American Marketing Association (AMA) Spring 2005 Marketing Workshop in New Orleans.  My presentation, Marketing from the Inside Out: Engaging Employees for Strategic Advantage, is scheduled for Monday, March 7th, 2005.

Besides my session, there are a number of other topics that cover strategic marketing, branding, customer loyalty & commitment, relationship marketing, and sales effectiveness.  The wonderful thing about this workshop is that you customize it to meet your needs — by attending only the sessions most relevant to you.

Hope to see you there!  (And if you can’t make it next month, AMA will be doing the workshop again in the fall … we’ll be in Orlando in mid-October.  Check AMA‘s website for more details.)

Categories
Engagement Marketing

Art Imitating Life

Check out AirTran Airways ad: “Fired” created by Cramer-Krasselt advertising about an employee who gets a phone call from his boss telling him he’s fired. The boss is living it up at a conference when he makes the call. Then you see the fired-employee getting on an AirTran flight to the conference. Just as the boss is making his speech about how important employees are and how profits are up (yadda … yadda … ), the employee rushes across the stage to tackle the guy. (Right on!)

Unfortunately, too many organizations claim employees as their number one asset, but it’s only lip service.

According to Dilbert creator Scott Adams in The Dilbert Principle, guess what line holds the #1 spot on the list of “Great Lies of Management?” It’s none other than “Our employees are our most valuable asset.”

Human capital … don’t you just love that term? Living, breathing “assets” or pure overhead? … What’s more important than what an organization calls its people is how it treats them. The truly smart, successful organizations are those who value both their customers AND their employees, and they demonstrate their commitment to both groups in their culture and operations. It’s what internal marketing is all about.

 

Categories
Engagement Marketing Musings

Warm & Fuzzy Marketing? Get Real!

Since this is my first post on the new Quality Service Marketing blog, I wanted to tell you about my concept of internal marketing.  It can best be summed up by this quote from hotelier J. W. Marriott: “Take care of your employees and they’ll take care of your customers.”

It’s a philosophy and corporate culture espoused by Marriott and many others (whom I’ll be citing over time in this blog). And it’s based on the premise that the way your employees feel is the way your customers will feel.

What’s amazing to me is the reaction I get from some executives when I talk about internal marketing. You can see their eyes glaze over as they say to themselves, “Here it comes, the old ‘warm & fuzzy’ stuff.”

On the contrary, it’s not ‘warm & fuzzy’ but crystal clear in that customer relations mirrors employee relations. Here’s the bottom line: if your employees don’t feel valued, neither will your customers!

Unfortunately, too many organizations claim employees as their number one asset, but don’t walk the talk. In this day and age where employees are expected to create a positive experience for customers and deliver on the brand promise, managers can no longer afford to pay lip service to employees. Employees can tell the difference and so can customers!

I’ll have more to share in future posts …