Two stunningly simple factors that can fix your Brand Image

“Your brand is what people say about you after you leave the room. 
Jeff Bezos, CEO, Amazon.

As I was skittling through Twitter recently, this quote did well enough to get my attention. It wasn’t just the words used that made sense to me, but also the source of the quote — the frontrunners of the Customer Experience revolution — Amazon, also known worldwide as a brand that places the customer at the heart of their business strategy.

Not only did I find this quote powerful enough to inspire any business from a peripheral sense, but the takeaways from it appeared more valuable. 9 times out of 10 the people around you would say something nice to your face just because they don’t want come across as rude and offensive. And if you are/were an entrepreneur, you’d know exactly what I’m referring to…

But.. your brand, and everything it stands for, is literally built on the nature of conversations that happen when you are not present ‘in the room’.

Initiating and engaging in these discussions are usually two prominent groups — your employees and customers — both highly integral to the success or failure of your brand, its image and reputation.

Jeff Bezos on Brand Building

So, how can you, as a business owner, ensure that your employees as well as customers are kept happy, delighted and only have positive things to say, not just to you but to everyone else in the outside world?

1. Invest in Employee Experience like it truly matters!

For entrepreneurs, employees are the ‘first set of customers’ to cater to. How you treat and manage your employees has a direct impact on how they handle customers — the employee experience factor is inevitably crucial to building and sustaining a brand.

Don’t you want your employees to share good things about their workplace and defend your brand during all times? If yes, how do you ensure that they spread positive vibes about your company every single time?

An important ingredient in building a successful brand is creating truly happy and motivated employees.

Firstly, before taking measures to improve your employees’ experience, you’ll have to listen to your employees and understand what their pain-points are. DO they find the workplace comfortable? Are they able to maintain a healthy work-life balance? Do they feel motivated coming to work every day and do they believe that their work is making a difference?

But hey, if you’re going to ask your employees, straight to their face, whether they like working for you, chances are that you might not receive an honest response. Even if they don’t like working for you, no employee would want to infuriate their boss lest their honesty costs them their job!This is not how you gather employee feedback!

Ask them intelligent yet simple questions through employee feedback surveys and keep doing this on a regular basis. Measure various aspects of the employee experience such as workplace environment, team chemistry, work-life balance, relationship with peers, through these surveys. This way, you can find out what makes your employees happy or unhappy at any given point of time.

Unless you build a healthy work culture and environment, your brand image will remain broken. Because, ultimately, it’s your employees who represent everything your brand stands for.

2. Make Customer Experience your ultimate differentiator

Most entrepreneurs today, running either big or small businesses, would be aware of one thing for sure. This is the age of the customer and unless you serve the customer in the best possible manner, chances are that you will be out of business in no time.

Yes, the marketplace is brimming with competition. And if you lose customers, it only feeds your competition. Well, one aspect where most businesses are handicapped is the fact that not all customers complain when you offer a poor service/experience.

According to the White House Office of Consumer Affairs, for every customer who bothers to complain, 26 other customers remain silent. And interestingly, a typical business hears from 4% of its dissatisfied customers, as said in “Understanding Customers” by Ruby Neweel-Legner.

What does this mean to your brand? Quite simple! You need to collect as much customer feedback as possible.

Be available to customers wherever they are present.

To be able to do this, you need to invest in an omnichannel feedback platform. Most times, even really displeased customers will not be willing to voice their complaints if you go ask them in person. But try sending them an
e-mail or mobile survey and you’ll notice that the feedback you receive is a lot more divergent and honest. If the feedback is authentic, then the insights derived based on it can be used strategically to impact the customer experience.

And once your customers are cognizant of the efforts you put in to understand them better via feedback collection, they’ll become your most loyal evangelists!

Building a brand takes time. Building a customer-centric brand takes even more time and is really hard. And maybe that is the reason why there are only few companies like Amazon today. Your brand image is dictated by the perception that you inspire the people around you to have- your employees and customers.

So creating an experience for them that they will find nowhere else is, in fact, a rewarding and (almost) necessary goal for your business- because hey! If I were treated exceedingly well by a particular brand, I’d tell everyone - those in the room and everyone outside - about it! Wouldn’t you?