If, like me, you grew up before the days of balance bikes, you remember the sheer joy and elation felt when you finally graduated to a big girl/boy bike and the training wheels went into storage. You spent days or weeks practicing on the carpet or in the grass, so you had a soft place to land if you fell, then you took it to the streets. At this point, you were still not alone for you had those all important training wheels, as well as the loving and patient hand of a parent jogging behind you shouting promises to never let go! Once you succeeded in building this foundation of comfort on the road and on the bike, the training wheels came off, but mom or dad was still jogging behind. Then, the day came when you turned around in a panic and realized Mom was down the road and Dad was jogging alongside with the video camera. Of course, realizing you were alone, you teetered, tottered, then splat…your first bike-related road rash!
As much as your mom wanted to coddle you, they parked you back on the bike, got you riding again, and this time when you turned around with a drying tear in your eye, you realized you were on your own and knew how to self-correct and not lose your balance and fall again. Now, every time you climb on the back of any bike, it all comes back to you without a second thought.
Define the Base
Akin to practicing in your house before you took off for the sidewalks, companies must establish their foundation. In this case, the foundation is developing a brand message since brand is the base from which client experience grows. Ok, so you now have a company brand, so you are all set for success, right? Not even close! Just as I didn’t jump from riding over carpet to riding without training wheels or my Dad on the street, you cannot create a company brand, then sit back and watch it succeed.
Implement your Brand
Now you can take the brand message to the “streets”…but leave on the safety restraints. This first step of brand implementation within your corporation is with your employees. As the front line of interaction with your clients, they must be on board to ensure they are displaying the defined brand in every interaction. If you are touting a certain message to your clients, but your employees are not following suit, then there is an obvious disconnect and you will lose respect (and probably business) from your clients. Make sure to practice continual brand management through education and regular check-ins to ensure they are comfortable with the brand. Create placards they can place at their desk so they are always reminded of the message when they meet with clients or card inserts they keep in their wallets as they travel to meet with clients. Like your brand message, don’t simply train, and then walk away.
Ride Like the Wind
You did it! You created your base with a strong brand message, trained your teams and gave them support to share and protect the message in their interactions, and now each client interaction is founded in one shared message, providing not only consistency for clients, but a solid client experience since they know what they will get each time they contact your company. Just like riding a bike, the key to creating a great client experience with each interaction is to ensure it becomes second nature, something you don’t even think about because it is part of your internal makeup!
Need help setting up your base? Take advantage of our FREE Branding Assessment.