I invited Rachel to write a post for us today about ensuring that your employees are successfully communicating your brand to your customers.
4 Ways to Improve Your Employees’ Communications with Customers
In corporate communications or marketing departments, employees are trained to communicate professionally. However, most company employees won’t have this same training. To boost your company’s communications, image and relationships with outside customers, clients, vendors and suppliers use the following tips.
Make Branding Accessible
Create a branding guide or “brand bible” to send out to company employees. This guide should show employees examples of how to present information to those outside the company (and inside as well). Will they be showing PowerPoint presentations to potential clients? Show them what a main screen should look like with logo placement, appropriate fonts, etc. Also include several examples of what internal slides could look like. Having a template to follow eliminates mistakes and consistently presents your company brand to the outside world. Create templates for email shout-outs, email signatures, presentations, company branded products (like pens, t-shirts, etc.) and more and give plenty of examples of how these pieces should look.
In addition to the branding guide, place the example templates referenced above in a shared space easily accessible to company employees. Whether that be a drop box location or company internal drive, make sure employees know where to find these files so they can easily create their communications pieces using the right branding.
Hold a Communications Crash Course
Eliminate communication faux-pas by hosting an internal communications crash course. This course should be short (think lunch-hour brown bag seminar) but give helpful, easy to implement advice to employees. To help the principles stick, give the employees a takeaway. This can be a worksheet with helpful links to websites that review grammar, examples of “the good, the bad and the ugly” as far as emails go, etc. Make the course fun and engaging to inspire employees to reread or review their communications and see what they can do to make them better.
Set the Right Example
Is there an internal company newsletter? Or email blasts going out to all employees? Make sure these pieces adhere to the company branding and practice good communications skills. Making sure all communications employees receive from the company executives, human resources and communications departments helps establish the status quo and will give employees another example to look to when crafting their communications to those outside the company.
Provide Correction when Appropriate
Maybe you’ve had a client or customer complain about inappropriate or informal communications. Or perhaps you were copied on an email that wasn’t professional. Either way, when a glaring mistake occurs, take the opportunity to provide feedback on how to improve. While these situations can be tricky to handle, it’s better to set the right tone for your company’s communications.
Speak with the employee and consider involving the employee’s manager (if escalation is necessary). Provide some one on one instruction to ensure the mistake doesn’t happen again.
Following these guidelines can set your company on the right track to having consistent, professional communication with those you do business with—something that can help establish your brand and image.
Rachel works for Built For Teams; intuitive HR software which helps businesses to succeed by encouraging employee growth.