Posted by: Chris | September 24, 2008

Absence Makes the FLSE Grow Ill-Prepared

Yep, pretty much hacked up that adage. But the principle still remains. Sticking close to those on the front lines in a service provision environment is not optional. Sure, it’s easy to go back into that tiny office—you know, the one that’s floored with brown, grease-resistant tile and black, oily grout, and walled with that mind-numbing-white textured composite used to make up the exterior of walk-in refrigerators—to squint again through the dim fluorescent lighting at the penciled entries in the latest, greasy-fingerprint-covered stock-on-hand chart (that will be in the stained trash can tomorrow), which sits atop that unfinished wood shelf that was screwed into the wall by a former, nameless, frustrated manager. But wouldn’t you rather go out front and build relationships with your company’s #1 most valuable marketing asset: its front-line service employees? You might even chat with a customer or two while you’re out there!

Truly, you (like your FLSE’s) must be your company’s brand. You are a representative (might I even say, ambassador?) of your company’s brand, both to your customers, and to those you lead.

So my initial question is, what kind of branding impression are you making on your FLSE’s? This leads to a scarier question: are you making an impression on your FLSE’s? If not, how is it that they are being regularly infused with your company’s brand? How are they being motivated to modify their POS behavior (and that’s “point of sale” behavior, just to clarify) to reflect differentiating aspects of your company’s identity? I’m not (necessarily) advocating a cheerleading, chanting, goofy, ranting pep rally (unless it works). Perhaps you could just start with a simple conversation?

Managers in the service industry, how do you do it?

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