According to the 2016 Edelman Trust Barometer, customers consider employee voices more credible than CEOs. For companies with customer-facing field workers, this makes the employee representation of your brand essential to your marketing efforts.
But for many companies, nurturing employees to be strong advocates is an eternal struggle without effective internal communication tools, with a Gallup survey finding that 70 percent of employees aren’t engaged at work. This is why internal marketing communication is so important.
And yet, a recent survey by Altimeter found that 45 percent of companies are making employee advocacy a key priority in 2016. Here’s why making sure your company has internal communications software is the first step in creating word of mouth marketing for your brand.
1. Employees Are As Valuable As Your Customers
At Disney properties around the world, living up to the credo of being “The Happiest Place on Earth” is a tall task. But Disney meets the challenge by having effective internal communication tools and message discipline with their employees.
They do this by treating their employees as well as their customers. Walt Kurlin, a Disney facilitator, says employees “are your internal customers. How I treat my customers and how I treat my employees—I have to do both the same way.” Implementing apps for employee communication is one way to do this, as they provide a highly-visible platform for both employee engagement and recognition.
2. Best Practice: Every Customer Interaction Is Marketing
Half of today’s employees are already posting messages on social media about their employer. Add the additional power of internal apps for employee communication to the customer-facing conversations your field workers have, and you can see why internal communication influences so much of your external marketing.
Employees in the field are often the first human contact with your customers, so best practices are important. The way they represent your company plays a large part in how your customers perceive your brand. All marketing departments are chasing word of mouth, which comes from personal connections that can’t be replicated with advertising.
The more effective your internal communication is, the better your field workers will be able to generate word of mouth. When employees are connected through internal communications software, you can be assured of goal alignment because your workforce is receiving important updates, including customer feedback, that reinforces purpose and engagement.
3. You Realize Your Company Mission Alone
This is something some of the biggest companies in the world realize early. Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz wrote in his book, Onward, that employees, “are the true ambassadors of our brand, the real merchants of romance and theater, and as such the primary catalysts for delighting customers.” Which is why Starbucks invested $35 million to create their Leadership Lab for all 9,600 store managers.
When companies scale, it becomes more difficult to ensure everyone is on the same page without effective internal communications tools, let alone to have that message expressed correctly externally. The companies that recognize investing in how you talk to your employees–such as by using apps for team communication–reflects how they’ll communicate to customers will reap rewards that advertising can’t buy.
As Richard Branson, the founder of the Virgin Group, says, “Take care of your employees and they’ll take care of your business.”
Employees are the voice of your company, so it’s essential to put them first with effective internal communication tools. Apps for employee communication like Beekeeper are built to boost employee engagement by through group messaging and campaigns.
With the increased engagement internal communications software affords, you can ensure your employees take the next step in becoming advocates for your company’s mission.