A recent WSJ article noted that 10% of Microsoft employees (about 10,000 people) use iPhones to access their email, an interesting statistic when many smart phones that run on a Microsoft platform are available.
Closer to home, after canceling Comcast cable for AT&T U-verse, Comcast sent a rep out to pick up my equipment. In conversation, he revealed that he uses Direct TV at home, instead of Comcast, because Comcast did not offer discounts to employees and DirectTV was more affordable.
Both stories got me thinking: While your employees can certainly sell your product without using it, imagine how much more effective they can be if they actually use your product as well.
What can you do to ensure your employees become advocates for your products/services?
- Make Employees Customers. Even if you have to subsidize the product, make sure your employees use your product over a competitor’s. Car dealers have “dealer” cars so their sales people can speak intimately about the products they are selling based on their own experiences.
- Educate. Let your employees know everything about your product (good and bad). Don’t let them find out about any functions or problems from a customer. When the latter occurs, it can cause unnecessary conversations among the employees about the quality of your product.
- Transparency. Communicate with your employees regularly about your services. If you are making changes, tell them why. It will help them better communicate with consumers.
- Let Them Compare. You want your employees loyal to your products, so encourage them (and even subsidize) using a competitive product/service. This will allow them to see how your product is different and will help in emphasizing your product strengths from a personal experience.
- Ask for Feedback. When your employees are using your products/services, you now have a in-house focus group to gain learnings on how to improve your offerings. Asking for their feedback, and acting on it, will foster loyalty among employees and ultimately create a better product.
No matter how good your product or service, your employees are integral to selling the product and connecting with the consumer. Give them every opportunity to get to know your products and services better, and your efforts will pay off in so many ways.