Brand ambassadors are those who truly understand and are passionate about a company's overall mission. These individuals should actually embody the the brand. They need to always represent company values by reflecting certain attitudes and increasing brand awareness overall.
Some of these qualities are commonly ingrained in eCommerce customer service representatives, who are in frequent contact with clients. So making these employees take up ambassador roles often makes sense for companies.
Here's a look at tips for turning customer service reps into successful brand ambassadors.
1. Make training as specific as possible
When turning customer service professionals into brand ambassadors, training must be specific to the brand and the line of business. Others across the company need to be involved to provide constant feedback. Trainings should all be focused in on a particular brand message.
It's helpful to have one designated individual to provide these trainings, which will also help all employees align as one.
2. Push trust-building strategies
A true brand ambassador is easy to trust. Customer service representatives need to focus their tone and attitude around building trust. Patience is key, even when a caller is yelling or being unreasonable.
"A true brand ambassador is easy to trust."
This is where "the customer is always right" can factor into company attitudes. Acting angry back to an upset customer will not build that person's trust – just the opposite, in fact.
What better way to represent the company in a positive light than to actually be positive? Train brand ambassadors to listen carefully on calls and to always be friendly.
Forbes contributor Kate Harrison says that those creating the brand ambassador program also need to build up trust with employees. This will lead to positive interactions and happier brand ambassadors.
3. Personalized offers
Another way to build trust and increase sales is to push personalized offers. Encourage employees to ask questions about a customer's needs and pair those needs with a product or service. Customers love to feel heard and understood.
A report from Segment showed 71 percent of consumers are frustrated by an impersonal buying experience, and 54 percent expect to get some kind of personalized discount offer within a day of giving a brand their contact information.
Plus, 49 percent of those surveyed said they bought items they wouldn't have otherwise purchased because of a personalized recommendation.
4. Encourage reps to do more than just answer questions
Brand ambassadors should be prepared to make recommendations when talking to customers. Their role is no longer just answering questions and trying to get callers off the phone as quickly as possible.
This is a great time to talk to customers about products they may not be aware of or to push an upsell. Once that initial trust is built, a client is more likely to listen to someone who knows what they're talking about. Thus, brand ambassadors should know the ins and outs of the brand's products and current promotions.
5. Implement inquiry-based call routing
Show customers their concerns are important by having multiple specialized brand ambassadors available. Rerouting a call to an ambassador with more knowledge in a certain area will look even more impressive and will allow customer service representatives to study and master specific skill sets and areas of expertise.
Make sure customers are getting the best overall experience possible by training brand ambassadors to support and encourage the unique talents and experience of their colleagues.
6. Allow some flexibility
Successful brand ambassadors won't always need to read from a script. Encourage them to be creative while still following company policies and tone. This can help with some of the above points, like building trust or personalizing offers.
Because each customer is different, each interaction will be, too. Customer service representatives can take their positions a step further by catering their message, tone and offers to each person they speak to.
These six strategies will help you transition your customer service representatives into true brand ambassadors. Remember to implement specific trainings, push trust-building and personalized offers, encourage making extra recommendations, consider inquiry-based call routing and allow for some flexibility.
A successful brand ambassador will be well-rounded and thoughtful in everything they say or do when interacting with clients. And the first step is aligning brand ambassadors on values, mission and attitude.