When we think of brand ambassadors, what often comes to mind are commercial icons such as Progressive’s Flo or Subway’s Jared Fogel. Their quirky personalities or personal stories are often the most memorable part of an advertisement, inspiring a sense of familiarity consumers are more likely to feel with other people, rather than a flat traditional brand.
The appeal power of “normal people” over spokespeople can also be seen in Honey Bunches of Oats commercials, where hair-netted and hard-hatted employees pitch the cereal from their posts in the factory.
This trend of using actual employees as brand ambassadors has been successful for companies wanting to bring credibility, likeability and memorable interaction with potential or established customers.
Fortunately, you don’t need a giant and expensive nationally televised campaign to have a similar relationship with your customers. Believe it or not, you can get a similar experience from your Zendesk, with specific tools designed help turn support desk representatives into identifiable characters.
Zendesk as a Brand Identity Tool for Employee Ambassadors
The brand-reinforcing aspects of Zendesk and its integrations make it easy to start a customer conversation and keep it going in a whole new way. These ongoing ambassador-customer interactions can generate a self-perpetuating, ever-expanding momentum with unlimited potential for lead generation.
Meet the customer where they are, in the way they prefer
Zendesk showcases employee ambassadors by making them easily accessible and conveniently available. They can develop their whimsical persona and show off their product savvy by engaging with customers on one or more of their preferred channels. The ability to manage support via email, web, Twitter, live chat, mobile, etc. can go a long way in fostering personal relationships with customers. For instance, Delta developed a special Twitter team with great success after realizing a significant number of its customers preferred this channel.
Create an ambassadorship group
You can create specific groups in Zendesk that have their own ticket views and business rules. This allows you to create special workflows for your employee ambassadorship team that can be used for training, handling support requests with extra care, and assessing service quality. Your ambassadors will be able to really show off their exceptional customer service as they stay on top of all their customer conversations and track the details of every support request. User tagging is another way you can know your customers even better, making it easier to address their individual needs and issues, and tailor your support services accordingly.
Give them a lasting impression
Using triggering, automated responses (macros), and user tagging employee ambassadors can look superhumanly thorough and informative. Personalizing these responses according to the individual ambassador’s personality will allow consistency in customer interaction. A great example of a company that’s using Zendesk to personalize its support is Groupon, which uses hundreds of macros to respond to recurring support requests. Groupon’s director of support, Joe Harrow, says specific agents are assigned to comb the company’s growing list of macros on a regular basis, updating and tweaking as needed, and adding new ones as they go along. That kind of attention to detail not only makes for an intimate support experience, it is a powerful tool for evangelizing your brand and your company’s culture.
Carry forward the ambassadorship culture
Zendesk allows for easy ticket sharing and collaboration among ambassadors. This can be used to showcase ambassadorship within your larger organization – demonstrating its effectiveness, and recruiting potential ambassadors.
Make it easy to be visible
Take advantage of Zendesk’s knowledge base and forum features to give employees easy access to a large fan base. Allow your employee brand ambassadors to personally contribute knowledge base articles and forum topics to generate a following. Set up lead generation blogs for them that are reviewed for effective keyword use and monitored for content before publication.
There is amazing power within your support team for building and nurturing customer relationships. Giving your support team the tools to double as brand ambassadors is just one more way your organization can fortify its customer relationships, build brand loyalty, and bolster customer satisfaction.
Ellen Berry is the content director at MyndBend., based in Winston-Salem, NC. MyndBend was established in 2001 by a team of web developers and graphic designers. They work closely with clients to develop powerful and usable web applications that can enhance and encourage strong customer relationships. They are also a Zendesk customer!