Why feel-good ambassadors deliver the greatest return in customer experience
As consumers seek experiences and generally become harder to please, the best brands are saying goodbye to staff, and hello to brand ambassadors.
Simple smiles win
Brands full of staff who are happy and proud in their work really shine. We’re drawn to positivity. Those serving us in Nando’s, Virgin Atlantic and Apple radiate feel-good. They bring an extra spark to the experience.
Fanatics charm us
A sense of genuine passion for the brand and product brings authenticity. True brand ambassadors exude energy, and it’s contagious. Think Lego store, full of those proudly still in love with their childhood favourite. Book worms in Waterstones, beauty addicts in Sephora, animal lovers in Pets at Home, the wanderlusts in Kuoni – wow, because we’re all drawn to passion. It makes such a difference. The Harry Potter Studio tour would be a very different experience if it wasn’t guided by mega fans.
One of the biggest buzz words in customer experience is ‘theatre’ – but what does that really mean? Well John Lewis recently hit headlines for sending their staff to drama school – teaching the tools and techniques of the stage to ensure every customer interaction is as magical as possible. When we visited we could absolutely feel the difference. Turns out, there really is a little theatre in us all.
Empowerment builds bonds
Independent, liberated teams glow. Brands who empower staff are renowned for brilliant service, Lush and Pret are great examples. Lush colleagues are genuinely passionate about the cause, know products inside out and there’s a real sense they love what they do. They are well cared for too, with incredible company-wide parties and celebrations which show them just how valued they are. But the real genius for us is the ‘surprise and delight’ budget staff are in control of. They can give customers gifts and do incredible product displays (writing off sellable stock) all to create theatre and memorable moments. Pret have something similar, a big charitable cause for staff to be passionate about, but also the ability to give away freebies. The key is these give-aways and gifts lead to customer wow-moments – but crucially are the choice of colleagues. They are in control. It’s powerful and that feel-good oozes in the experience.
Going against the grain gains traction
Lush hit headlines by taking a stance on social media. Tired of the fake, robotic game of algorithms, they wanted to hero authenticity and real community. So they are no longer on social media, instead their staff cultivate the feeling of closeness opening dialogue in human ways like email, telephone and face-to-face in stores. The revolution has begun.