Looking for brand ambassadors? Try your employees

Company executives spend countless hours and dollars looking for a competitive edge, from launching a new marketing campaign to sprucing up the lobby with customer-friendly amenities. Unfortunately, in these efforts, many organizations often overlook a potentially potent weapon: employees.

Sure, ad campaigns can certainly drive sales, consultants bring great ideas, and tactics like Mommy Bloggers can boost your credibility with third-party endorsements, but focusing on employees — your human resources —gives you a remarkable edge.

First, your employees are generally the point of contact with customers; the face of your organization. Think back to a time where you received terrific service, and how you felt about the company. Good employees can leave a great impression, while unhappy employees reflect poorly on your company.

Secondly, employees frequently field questions from family and friends at everything from neighborhood barbeques to Little League games. Happy, well-informed employees will present your organization in a much better light. Unhappy employees likely use the opportunity to bad-mouth you.

So, what’s the best way to engage staff? For starters, speak with them. Ask them how they’re doing, what they’re seeing on the front lines, and for suggestions to improve your business. You’re still the boss, and nothing says you have to implement every idea, but those closest to the work know it best, and that’s valuable in this difficult economy.

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