That’s right, I said Brand Camp – the People Report and Black Box Intelligence (PRBBI) Summer Brand Camp, to be exact. This well-attended restaurant industry conference took place last week and included industry rock stars such as Kelly Vaccaro, Director of Training at Kerbey Lane Café, Heidi Collins, Director of HR at Pacific Catch, Kirstie Johnson, Chief Experience Builder at Enlighteneer Enterprises, Jim Knight, CEO of Hospitality on Point and many, many more.
Also presenting and attending was Amanda Hite, Chief Change Officer of BTC Revolutions and social media maven, who talked a lot about doing good, paying it forward and spreading love. But what do you do when your employees or guests *aren’t* spreading love with your brand? To the contrary, what if they are using social media to bash your brand or grossly misrepresent it?
You’re probably aware of one of the most recent examples of this – the Taco Bell employee who was shown licking all the taco shells. It was a PR and marketing nightmare gone viral: http://blogs.ajc.com/food-and-more/2013/06/04/taco-bell-on-the-defensive-after-picture-of-employee-licking-shells-goes-viral/?cxntfid=blogs_food_and_more
Bravely, the CEO of Taco Bell, Greg Creed, climbed on stage to address this issue directly in his presentation about how traditional marketing no longer works. Social media is now enabling every employee and every guest to essentially become your chief marketing officer, and they can either work for you or against you. Gone are the days when it was easy to control your company’s messaging and representation of its brand.
With that in mind, it is even more important that your employees are fans of your brand and working hard at all times to give your guests a great experience. Hiring the best employees, training them thoroughly and fully engaging with them is more critical than ever, as is extending a high level of trust to them.
According to Creed, “If we do not engage, interact with, deal with and really amplify the relationship we have with our team members, we are crazy to have the expectation that the customer experience will improve.”
In other words, you have to work to create team members who love your brand, who then want to share their positive experience and show your guests why they love your brand.
Different companies will, no doubt, have varying approaches to try to accomplish this higher level of team member engagement, but solutions exist today that can help. As part of Red Book Connect, we’ve expanded our platform to include many best-in-breed products that address the very issues outlined by Creed and others in the industry. Struggling to hire the best and brightest talent? Our paperless hiring and onboarding tool, GoHire, with ranking questions and assessments can help! Looking to train your new employees and help them grow and develop well into the future? Schoox, our social, eLearning solution is the answer. Want to schedule and communicate with employees seamlessly, while providing more flexibility to both staff and managers? HotSchedules is here!
Learn more about these and all of the Red Book Connect technologies at www.redbookconnect.com
Mary Kay Hyde | Director of Marketing | HotSchedules/Red Book Connect