When we think of brand relationships, we most often think about Marketing and Sales.
Marketing manages the relationship between the brand and the consumer, and the Sales team is responsible for the relationship between the brand and the retailer. These two relationships really drive bookings, sell-through and even re-orders.
Every department should focus on the relationships that they are building and how they interact with each other.
- Field Service Reps (FSR) – I am cheating here a little bit, because an FSR most often falls under the umbrella of Marketing. These tech reps are on the road daily, and are the friendly face of a brand or business. They manage relationships with retail staff as well as the end consumer at events. This truly drives sell-through and repeat orders.
- Customer Service Reps (CSR) – CSRs manage the retailer relationship from bookings to shipment release to repeat orders. A good CSR is able to do suggestive selling when there are back orders or holes in inventory. Plus, they manage the sales rep relationship to increase sales on the back end.
We had worked with a company that spent a lot of marketing dollars, but yet had the worst CSR team I have ever met. They were considered the lowest on the org chart, and it showed. Their morale was low, and they treated customers on the other end of the phone line with disrespect. As a ‘marketing supplier’ I was frustrated, because it didn’t matter how much in marketing dollars were spent, if the brand experience for the end customer was going to be a terrible experience. One negated the other.
- Credit – How a customer/retailer feels during the process of setting up an account, fixing warranty issues, or collecting payments sets the tone for the long-term relationship. If a credit clerk makes it difficult or treats the customer like a number there is a bad brand experience. This is an opportunity to find out their circumstances, make it personal and make the relationship sustainable.
- Finance – This is more about internal relationships. How an accounting department manages efficiencies in all departments can increase the ROI. When every person feels like they are making a difference in how a business is run and can see the benefits, they will work together towards a common goal.
- Operations – This is the most forgotten relationship. Proper management of product shipments and inventory keeps everyone happy, from CSRs, to sales reps to retailers and to the end consumer. How suppliers are treated has a trickle-down effect throughout an organization making everyone feel valuable.
It is about making it easy to do business with your company no matter who is on the receiving end of the relationship. Even a bad situation can be made better by a cheerful attitude and by being a solution based organization. When word gets out that you are a business that respects relationships, you will not only have your pick of the talent pool, but you will have created the recipe for success. Don’t forget – it starts at the top!
Make it easy to do business!
Download the PDF: Brand Relationships Affect the Bottom Line