sheet of paper. Thanks to the receptionist that evinced every form of insolence, I was beyond livid and if I were to be a client or a prospect, that would have propelled me to quash any business interest or relationship with the company.
The marketing concept has evolved from being product-centric to customer-centric; and since customers determine whether the business lives or dies, every marketing effort should be geared towards offering high-value products/services and appeasing the customer. Further, it is still not just about pushing out products and services to the target public. Nowadays, it is essential for the companies behind these products and services to create a good reputation for themselves.
Customers now focus on what the companies behind those brands stand for, their behaviour, personality and reputation. The consideration of these factors influences a positive or negative brand image in the customer’s mind and the decision to associate or dissociate with the brand.
However, in service marketing, the idea of creating or building a solid reputation of any company is to sell the company to clients and in turn foster a lasting relationship with those clients. This should not be the responsibility of just the marketing department but everyone within the organization. From the man at the gate to the lady behind the front desk, every employee within an organization has a duty to ensure the positive outlook of the firm through their actions within and outside the walls of the company. These actions will keep or chase the customer away, and the consequences of the latter could range from unpaid salaries of employees to liquidation.
For most service firms, the employees are the ones who interface with the clients or customers while delivering their services; therefore, it is of paramount importance that they must uphold the values of the brand and project its personality at every touch point. According to a marketing scholar, Leslie de Chernatony, the employees embody a service brand and they directly and indirectly determine the way the brand is perceived. The impertinence of the security guard can trigger a negative perception of your company. Also, the lazy attitude of a cleaner can make your environment appear to be a less conducive place for business operations.
Staff indoctrination is a necessity for every organization, most especially service firms. It involves the proper inculcation of the company’s values and norms into the psych of employees. These values lay the grounds for an organizational culture where service excellence, reverence for all stakeholders (clients and visitors) and a customer-first attitude permeate. The staff must be trained and made aware of what is expected of them. They must be wired to see themselves not just as employees, but also as ambassadors of the company at any point in time. They must also be enlightened on how their different roles in the organization, and actions outside the organization, contribute to the entire marketing function of selling the image of the company in a positive light.
At the point of recruitment, the human resource unit must assess the values that are upheld by job candidates so as to ensure their compatibility with the values of the company. This is as important as evaluating their qualifications and work experience. The core values of an individual will determine his/her fit with the company’s culture- how things are done and how organizational goals are achieved within the company. Proper staff indoctrination and integration into the organization will only enforce the orientation that all employees have the evangelical responsibility of spreading the gospel of the company to the public.