4 Ways Your Employees Could Ruin Your Brand

Business.com / Strategy / Last Modified: February 22, 2017

Is your company's brand being destroyed? If so, make sure your employees are not doing one of these four things.

Much has been made of the invasive nature of employers in this day and age. They have comprehensive social media policies that apply even to personal accounts.

It may seem as if they are unnecessarily snooping around your personal life, but it’s all due to good reason. It’s part of how companies sell their services.

The reality is that customers are interested in the people working for you. Like it or not, if they find anything that’s inconsistent with your brand they are going to use it to influence their purchasing decisions.

In this guide, you are going to learn about some of the ways your employees could be unknowingly subverting your brand and what you can do about it.

Related Article:How to Build Brand Advocacy in 5 Simple Steps

1. Posting Extreme Political Opinions

It’s difficult to position yourself as a family friendly brand when an employee starts to spout white power hate speech on their personal social media page. These sorts of views and opinions can easily be attributed to the company, and it’s difficult to explain them away to the general public.

The fact that private and personal are separate is not enough to save your brand. You need to monitor social media.

Another issue you have to take into account is the fact that such opinions can easily create friction between your employees. You should be creating social media advocates not enemies. It’s true that extreme political opinions are generally unpopular and they can easily lead to conflict at work.

The problem you have is that you have to consider how you are going to approach this. You can easily tell the offended party to get over it, but the damage has already been done. You can’t expect a Jewish worker to just "let it go" when one of their colleagues is idolizing Hitler.

2. Unprofessional Images

It’s common knowledge that everyone is going to get carried away sooner or later. The issue is that sometimes these sorry episodes can end up on Facebook. The general public may be able to access these images and they give off the impression of someone who is unprofessional.

It’s difficult to take someone seriously when their profile picture on Facebook is of them passed out surrounded by beer bottles. The truth is there may not be anything to it and it was simply a wild night, but the general public don’t always see it this way.

Do you really need that sort of trouble?

Related Article:Employees as Brand Advocates: How to Gain Followers Through Employee Social Sharing

3. Poor Customer Service

As well as social media, the way employees speak to customers and the way they conduct themselves outside of the office can have a big impact on how people perceive your brand. There’s a huge 85 percent customer churn rate, and much of it is down to bad customer service. Any form of poor customer service will leave you in a difficult position because word of mouth marketing is so powerful.

It may only happen once in one-hundred interactions, but even this low percentage can destroy your brand. To make things worse, you may not even notice these bad interactions until people start to talk about them openly. And by the time you realize you have to act the damage has already been done.

What you can do about poor customer service is to double your efforts to monitor the interactions of your employees. If their manner is antagonizing customers, consider sending them on a training course. Reinforce the values of your company and the impression you have to make.

4. The Way They Carry Themselves

The chances are you occasionally send your representatives out to visit clients or they go to conferences in order to network. This can either make or break your brand. Send an enthusiastic and interested employee and they are going to make a positive impression. But send the opposite and it could do permanent damage to your brand.

Make it clear that anyone leaving the office to represent the company is a reflection on the entire company. First impressions count and it’s true that there are many companies that will refuse to deal with you based on one bad interaction they had with an employee.

Teach your employees what they have to do in order to make a positive impression. Make it clear that there can be no mistakes.

Related Article:Beyond the Mission Statement: Building Your Brand With Effective Storytelling

Last Word

Your employees should be your prime focus when it comes to branding and creating a marketing army. They can undo all the good work you have done up until this point. Your employees should be well aware of the effect they are having on the brand, as well. Many employees simply have no idea.

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