Forget your signage, business cards, T-shirts and website. When you’re in a service business your people are the most important aspects of your brand. One of my business school professors expressed it with a simple equation:
Brand = n x t (365)
In this equation, “n” equals the number of people in your organization, “t” equals how many times each day they interact with a member or a prospective customer, and 365 is the number of days in the year. His point is that you can write whatever you want for your brand strategy, mission and values, but in the end your brand is simply the aggregate of everything your team does all year long.
In other words, technical credentials and physical capabilities are only part of what makes strong team members. They also need to be trained for, as well as understand and embrace, their roles as ambassadors for your brand.
Fortunately this is usually not that difficult. The attitudes, habits and values that make them great trainers and Coaches go a long way to also making them good people who you want to represent your business. Still, situations arise all of the time where the right answer is not obvious, and even the best employees appreciate having some rules to follow in making judgement calls.
It’s for times like this you need to make sure everyone on the team knows your answer to three questions:
When I raise these points many owners accuse me of “over managing,” but I find that, handled appropriately, team members actually appreciate this clarity. In fact, I challenge you to put these questions in front of your second-in-command to see if he or she comes up with the right answers. In the end, less ambiguity means less stress for your team and greater consistency for the people who visit your Box, and that’s the foundation of a great brand experience.