So what is it that draws customers in to a company and gets them excited about coming back? Creating a remarkable customer experience is how today’s best-in-class companies differentiate themselves from their competition. It starts with “branding” your company and then hiring the right people to deliver the intended experience.
Branding essentially defines your promises to the customer, what they should expect from your services and products, and what is differentiating about your company from the competition. To the customer, your brand is the experience you provide. To ensure employees are delivering the intended brand experience to their customers, leadership must define a culture that aligns with the brand, develop processes and procedures to support that culture, and then hire employees who can deliver that experience.
Not all brands are created equal and they don’t happen overnight. They are built from the ground up. In order to support and deliver your intended brand, there are two primary factors:
• The roles employees fill must support delivering the intended brand
• Employees must be able to perform with competence in their roles
Naturally, most companies focus predominantly on the second factor, striving to ensure that employees can successfully perform the functional aspects of the job. Unfortunately, far fewer companies understand that performance, by itself, is not enough to create a truly memorable and resonating experience with customers. The search for the perfect fit is too frequently limited to the narrow scope of competency (the ability to do the job). This is especially true when it comes to the use of hiring tools and, in particular, assessments. In fact, the majority of hiring assessments just measure knowledge, skills, and abilities that are intended to predict potential for job performance, but do not identify candidates who can deliver a consistent brand experience. Employees are the faces, hands, and hearts of your brand. Job performance is transactional; it is how they deliver the intended brand that is a company’s unique opportunity to stand apart from the competition.
Thirty years’ worth of applied experience in partnering with successful brand-focused companies has taught us that job performance is not the only factor critical to success, especially when it comes to authentic brand delivery. A company’s hiring process should include assessing job candidates for their brand delivery potential. When companies fall short in hiring the right people, the customer recognizes almost immediately, whether it be a poor experience, an inconsistent brand delivery, or even just a forgettable transaction. To put it simply, a company hires its customer’s experience when hiring the people who deliver it.