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Whether you are looking to run a restaurant, a cleaning service, in-home health care or a mobile pet grooming franchise, service is a word that is thrown around a lot. Service can be the deciding factor for many consumers as to whether they choose or use you to fulfill their wants and needs.
A well branded company typically relies on “service” as a way to promote and maintain their competitive edge.
Powerful brand building is not just about designing logos but the rigorous and strategic management of all the ways in which a brand may be perceived and experienced. And that customer experience is all about the service you provide.
Powerful brands have to be grown from within an organization. If people on the inside don’t really understand what it’s all about, how can people on the outside be expected to?
So what does “service” mean to you? And do the other people in your organization understand and feel the same way?
Pride in one's company is crucial for any successful brand. People should have a common sense of purpose, pleasure and positive challenge in the work of your organization. They should feel a sense of security in their work environment, and the feeling of reciprocal support between coworkers and the management. A positive spirit within and organization will translate to your customer. Everyone wants to connect with people and companies that give them a good feeling. A positive attitude will lead to positive results.
When people in an organization like what they do, it shows. Their enthusiasm transfers to the customer and helps to create an instant rapport and a positive connection.
Giving employees ownership of their roles within your company helps to instill a sense of pride and commitment. If they feel responsible for a positive outcome, you will see a difference in attitude and energy.
Servers, managers and sales people are in front of customers constantly and need to ensure that they connect and are “present” to serve the consumer’s needs. But what about the back of house staff? If they are not going to be seen by the customer, make sure that they are still recognized and acknowledged for the work they do. Every person in your organization adds to the overall experience of your customers and they need to know that their role is valued too.
Treat your customers as individuals. Try to eliminate the “one size fits all” attitude and tailor your services and offerings to fit their needs. Establish a rapport and build trust and confidence that you will deliver on your brand promises.
This works for dealing with your staff too. Get to know them. Find out their strengths and their weaknesses. Let them know that they are more than a warm body, but an integral part of your team. Taking a real interest will translate into long term customers and employees.
Even the most potentially powerful strategy will fail if not communicated effectively and consistently. Ultimately, how your brand is interpreted and expressed in all forms of communication will bring it life. It is as important to educate and communicate with your staff as it is to the consumer. Whether communications are formal or informal, the objective is to speak with one consistent voice that embraces the brand’s essence.
Each person in your organization is potentially an ambassador for your brand. They need to believe in it, understand it and be rewarded for living it. Brands are essentially promises and reputations that result from the consistency of the delivery of your promises. Your brand needs to appear credible and trustworthy. Your organization must strive to meet and hopefully exceed your brand promise. Strive for excellence and keep your customer’s and your staff engaged and happy.
Whether you looking to run a franchise, or are a supplier to the franchise industry, we are all in the service business. Service and what it stands for are paramount to the success of your brand and ultimately your business. So the next time you ask for “service please”… think about your own organization and whether you are doing your best to serve the needs of your staff and customers.