Why Internal Branding is Central to Customer Experience Management

Artist: Ingrid Baars www.ingridbaars.com
Artist: Ingrid Baars www.ingridbaars.com

Working in a company with a major brand introduction and transition we allocate our resources also to our “Brand program”. As I assume that many readers also have to deal with brand transitions (your world and customers are changing is it nog) post included.

Source: http://www.customerthink.com/blog/why_internal_branding_is_central_to_customer_experience_management written on May 14, 2009 By Lynn Hunsaker, ClearAction

Customer FocusWhy is it that only 12% of customers judge specific leading suppliers as extremely customer-centric (CMO Council Customer Affinity study), while 56% of those same suppliers think of themselves as extremely customer-centric? Possibly because of the way we tend to narrowly define customer experience in the first place, and our human nature to view customer-centricity from our own – rather than the customer’s — perspective.

It Takes a Village!
Customer experience is broad — it represents the customer’s journey from realization of a need until the need no longer exists. As such, widespread involvement throughout an organization is essential in fully managing customer experience. All of the recent customer experience studies report broken linkages between functions’ and business units’ goals, data and actions, incentives and desired behaviors, and survey results and business results. Tendencies to focus on IT solutions, statistics, simplified metrics, customer acquisition, or isolated opportunities have over-shadowed the realities of people and processes and culture as the most important determinants of customer experience. If execution is broken, examine the foundation rather than fill potholes. A key element in the foundation of customer experience management is internal branding.

What is Internal Branding?
Internal branding is a multi-faceted cultural journey guiding everyone company-wide in managing their personal impact on customer experience. Outside-in, or customer-centric thinking and behavior among employees and executives alike is fostered through internal branding. If reality is to meet or exceed customer expectations, then whatever has been promised to customers — through all forms of media and interactions — must be lived throughout the organization. Internal branding is living and delivering your brand promise.

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Engage Employees
Firms with high employee engagement levels have 12% higher customer advocacy, 18% higher productivity, and 12% higher profitability (Gallup, Building Engagement in This Economic Crisis, February 2009). Internal branding goes beyond internal ad campaigns and employee loyalty efforts – to engaging everyone company-wide in consistently delivering the brand promise. Consistent emphasis in simple ways is a defining factor in nurturing a customer-centric culture.

1. Build passion for the brand promise
2. Make the customer experience vision prominent
3. Weave the customer experience vision into existing business processes
4. Be vigilant about primary (customer-centric) and secondary (self-serving) motives
5. Stream relevant customer sentiment data to all employees
6. Embrace warning signals
7. Manage timely & quality handoffs
8. Nurture a learning organization
9. Scrutinize metrics & incentives for balance

Manage CEM Holistically
Internal branding is essential to long-term customer experience results. Reducing negative word-of-mouth by 1% results in 300% revenue growth over increasing positive word-of-mouth by 1% (London School of Economics Advocacy Dives Growth study). Experiential marketing, references CRM and loyalty programs certainly have their place in customer experience management, but customer-centricity — as measured by customers — continues to be an elusive goal without strong internal branding.

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Lynn Hunsaker mentors executives in Customer Experience Optimization, to deliver brand promise.

Artist: Ingrid Baars www.ingridbaars.com
Artist: Ingrid Baars www.ingridbaars.com
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One thought on “Why Internal Branding is Central to Customer Experience Management

  1. Nice post.How we think and behave inside very much indicates our outer behavior.Same thing applies with organizations.It is very essential that we explain and train our employees with what our brand is,what is is for,for whom,and how employees can be a part of the brand success.Internal branding would ensure that the experience customer’s encounter are consistent no matter where a customer interacts with the brand,whether its at a retail store,on mobile,website or in the advertisement.
    Here is a post on how Starbucks builds internal brand engagement:http://www.businessweek.com/smallbiz/content/dec2009/sb20091210_167541.htm

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