Any ambassador worth his or her salt has to be completely loyal to his or her country--er, company--and unabashedly committed to promoting its products or services. Ask your employees, "Would you buy our product or service?" Better yet, ask them if they would recommend your company to their family and friends.
If they say no, you've got a problem. Why should customers use your products or services if your own employees are not willing to buy them? If your people lack confidence in your business, you need to find out why and take corrective action.
Imagine the positive impact when employees are proud to use your products. They will naturally encourage others to become customers and can do so with genuine conviction.
Finally, reward your employees for their ambassadorial service in a timely and visible fashion. If their behavior is not supported and rewarded, change will never take place. Try these ideas:
*Handwrite a thank-you note to the employee, being specific about what they did that particularly impressed you.
- Offer them opportunities for additional training and development.
- Seek out their opinions and ideas. Let them be "in" on things.
- Acknowledge them publicly in newsletters or articles.
- Offer monetary or benefit bonuses when possible.
- Have the especially good ambassadors train others in your organization. Give them leadership opportunities and lots of feedback.
When you identify important values for your employees, guide them through the problem-solving process, open your company to change, and allow plenty of time for them to feel comfortable in the role of ambassador, you will reap the benefits of a marketing concept whose surface has only been scratched.
Leann Anderson is the owner of Anderson Business Resources, a Greeley, Colorado, company specializing in customer service, marketing and high-tech etiquette. E-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.