Unfortunately, a lot of businesses are so focused on their bottom line that they forget about some of the important steps they need to take to achieve business success and profitability.
One of the best things a CEO or manager can do for their bottom line is to encourage a culture of connectivity.
How can you start embracing moments of connection, both with employees and with customers?
The answer comes from leading social marketing strategist and CMO of Brand Innovators, Ted Rubin.
Ted’s message of Return on Relationship (#RonR) has helped business owners across the country to empower themselves and their employees to embrace moments of connection.
4 Tips to Encourage Connectivity Within Your Company’s Culture
Every company has some form of engagement with their customers. You have receptionists, customer service reps, and sales people – all of whom are on the front line of your brand.
Even if your company has gone completely digital and you don’t have a receptionist, you still connect with people digitally.
Just because you have a digital company doesn’t mean you don’t have to focus on relationships any longer.
As a matter of fact, digital businesses need to work harder to make a connection with their customers. They have to digitally mirror what a customer would experience in a face-to-face personal connection.
This is what customers want, and the companies that provide that for them are the ones they’re going to buy from.
So, what can you do to encourage a culture of connectivity in your company? Here are four steps that can help.
1. It All Starts with the Top People
There’s no way you can effectively encourage your employees to embrace connectivity if you and/or your managers don’t do that very thing.
It’s not enough to say: “This is our culture. Do as we say.” You have to walk the talk.
We all learn by the example of those in authority. Therefore, you and your management team need to be willing to do the things you ask your employees to do.
Answer emails before you go home. Learn people’s names and actually use them – this includes the names of your employees, collaborators, and your customers.
It doesn’t mean you have to learn and memorize the names of thousands of employees and customers. But it does mean you’re willing to take the time to learn at least a few of them on a regular basis.
2. Think Ahead and Anticipate Your Customers’ Needs
Ted loves Amazon. Why? It’s because their service is continually evolving.
How do they do it?
They listen to their customers.
They look at the ratings and see what people like and don’t like. Then, they make changes accordingly.
Evaluating their customer’s wants and spending habits has allowed them to create an online retail store that can actually anticipate what their customers want to buy.
You can do the same thing by listening to what makes your customers happy.
To do that, you need to get to know your customers and their buying habits. And the only way to accomplish that is by connecting with them and taking the time to listen to what they have to say.
3. Hire the Best of the Best
When changing the culture within your company, you need to make sure you have employees that are on board.
When interviewing people, be observant and ask questions to determine if they’ll pay attention to your guidelines and training – and then put it into practice.
Your current employees should be willing to do this as well.
In a way, the employer-employee relationship is kind of like a parent-child relationship.
In both situations, training is a must. Training helps children and employees to learn how to be responsible for themselves.
And the more a child or employee does right with the responsibilities given them, the more trust you can have in them.
Even if they make a mistake, you’ve built up enough trust in them that you feel comfortable giving them the benefit of the doubt. You know they’re going to do all they can to remedy the situation and come out stronger.
Anyone who doesn’t possess that kind of attitude – the willingness to learn, take on responsibilities, and continually improve – will not fit into your culture of connectivity.
4. Teach Your Employees to Ask, “How Can I Help You?”
A pet peeve many people have is they don’t feel heard or important. If they go into a store searching for an item, they feel like they have to hunt down an employee who ends up not being too keen to help.
Your business will never achieve greatness if you or your employees have this sort of attitude.
You need to teach your employees a simple phrase that will make customers feel valued, heard, and important: “How can I help you?”
That’s it – that simple question can actually help you build a brand that people want to invest their money into.
From Here On Out, Make Sure Your Company Is Connection-Centric
People are no longer interested in a sales person simply telling them why they need to invest in a product or service.
Consumers crave connection.
They want to have a connection to that product or service, as well as to the company behind it. Without that, most consumers have a difficult time handing over their hard-earned money.
When you turn your company culture into one that is connection-centric, you’ll be in a better position to give customers what they really want.
You’ll do more than that, though. Changing your culture into one where employees are empowered to embrace moments of connection will make your employees happier, too.
Your employees will enjoy coming to work. They’ll enjoy sharing their ideas and working on your marketing and sales projects because they will feel they’re a part of something bigger, something important.
Who doesn’t want to go to work every day feeling that way?
Do you want more tips about how to keep your customers and employees happy throughout the marketing and purchasing journey? Get more tips from Ted on his blog, or on his social media pages: Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Ted also encourages you to reach out to him anytime via email or phone call: firstname.lastname@example.org and (516) 270-5511.
ABOUT TED RUBIN
is a leading Social Marketing Strategist, Keynote Speaker, Brand Evangelist, Acting CMO of Brand Innovators, and Co-Founder of the recently launched Prevailing Path. In March 2009 he started using and evangelizing the term ROR, Return on Relationship, hashtag #RonR. Ted left his position as Chief Social Marketing Officer of Collective Bias on August 31, 2013. He remained a principal shareholder until the November 2016 acquisition by Inmar.
In the words of Collective Bias Co-Founder John Andrews... "Ted, you were the vision, heartbeat and soul of Collective Bias, thank you for building a great company. From innovations like cbSocially to the amazing relationships you built with the blogger community, clients and employees, you drove the epic growth. You will be missed!"
Many people in the social media world know Ted for his enthusiastic, energetic and undeniably personal connection to people. Ted is the most followed CMO on Twitter according to Social Media Marketing Magazine; one of the most interesting CMOs on Twitter according to Say Media, #13 on Forbes Top 50 Social Media Power Influencers, and number #2 on the Leadtail list of Top 25 People Most Mentioned by digital marketers.
Return on Relationship, ROR, #RonR, is the basis of his philosophy… It’s All About Relationships! His book, Return on Relationship was released January 2013, How To Look People in the Eye Digitally was released January 2015, and The Age of Influence… Selling to the Digitally Connected Customer is due April 2017. Connect with Ted at TedRubin.com or @TedRubin.