Branding Your CRM System. Improved UI/UX leads to better employee engagement.

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  1. 1. Branding Your CRM System In order to improve their overall performance externally, more and more corporations are looking at how their brand is translated and communicated internally to their employees. Building the social enterprise to improve business results involves changing business processes, encouraging collaboration and building/leveraging your brand to employees. Building the brand internally involves a series of steps, including ensuring employees are surrounded by the brand in everything they see, read and hear throughout each working day. Creating a branded UI/UX for employees, aligned with the branded UI/UX most companies deploy for customers/consumers, provides a platform for effective internal marketing. Employees with a strong connection to their employers brand are predisposed to provide better customer service and be a direct extension of brand values and culture. Key Takeaways: R A D I A N T 1 B E B R I L L I A N T 1
  2. 2. 2 Companies Want Employees to Understand and Espouse their Brand Values, and Act as an Extension of the Brand. As more companies look for the changes and tools that will help them compete in an increasingly complex marketplace, were nding more are also looking internally at how their employees can become more effective brand ambassadors. Why? Its a great way to help employees make a powerful emotional connection to the companys products and services. Without that connection, employees are merely hired hands to carry out the cor- porate mission, rational actors without emotional attachment to the brand. Theyll focus most likely on metrics meaningless to the customer (call time vs customer engagement). In some circumstances, this leads employees to undermine the expectations set by execu- tive management. If employees do not understand customers expectations of the brand they will do disservice to the customer and the brand. In other circumstances, employees who lack belief/understanding in the brand will lead to disengagement or, in extreme cases, hostility toward the company. As Colin Mitchell wrote in a Harvard Business Review article a few years ago, Weve found that when people care about and believe in the brand, theyre motivated to work harder and their loyalty to the company increases. Employees are unied and inspired by a common sense of purpose and identity. Companies as diverse as Coca Cola, Virgin, and open source technology provider Red Hat understand that it takes more than one hall poster advocating corporate values and culture to instill brand values in their staff. For success, companies must view every com- munication with employees as an opportunity to embed brand values. For better brand alignment, Virgin Media even re-writes the scripts in senior management communications to be more conversational and less corporate1 . Companies want Advocates from Within, Not Just Customer Advocates. Companies are waking up to the fact that employees are often underutilized as a resource for marketing the brand to others. The use of customer advocate programs in marketing is well established: most marketers are familiar with Fred Reichelds pioneering research and his use of the Net Promoter Score (NPS), which quanties how likely a customer is to recommend a product, service, or company to someone else2 . This measure has been around for a number of years, used widely by the worlds top brands to determine the effectiveness of brand engagement programs as well as identify both brand advocates and detractors within a customer base for targeted activity. From a Salesforce.com R A D I A N T 1 B E B R I L L I A N T
  3. 3. 3 perspective, the NPS compliments tools like Radian6: NPS identies advocates and de- tractors, Radian6 provides more particulars about what theyre actually saying about the company or brand. Interestingly, research on NPS has shown a shift towards asking em- ployees whether theyd be willing to refer their friends or acquaintances to the company3 . This shift from measuring and looking for customer advocates towards employees as external advocates highlights a growing trend. Put simply, the best advocates for growing your company could be investing 8-10 hours daily working on your premises. Internal Branding is Growing in Importance to Senior Executives. Measures of employee brand equity, and developing internal brand communities attest to the growing interest in determining how developing a successful internal brand translates into improved corporate metrics4 . Developing an internal branding program, of which their salesforce.com UI is one of the most visible tools that employees interact with each day, can help with: 1. Improved customer service employees who embrace the values of the brand invariably project a better, more brand consistent image to customers. 2. Reductions in staff turnover employees who are brand loyalists are less likely to leave than switchers who perceive the company as nothing more than a monthly paycheck. 3. Savings in recruitment brand loyal employees can help companies cut recruitment costs through referrals and using their personal networks to garner applicants for available positions. 4. Motivation the Fortune 100 is populated mainly by brands who not only service their markets well, but also perceive their employees as key stakeholders for communications and encouragement. Leveraging the Social Enterprise to Build the Internal Brand. To many, merely adding software or cloud access to the internal systems, and sprinkling in some training is all it takes to build a social enterprise. Theres no doubt that the ex- ibility of platforms such as Salesforce.com, and their various products targeting Customer Service, Sales and Marketing offer one of the fastest, and easiest ways to make large and small businesses more socially oriented, collaborative, and attentive to internal and R A D I A N T 1 B E B R I L L I A N T
  4. 4. 4 external stakeholders. Yet we also recognize that where change is concerned its the human element, not the technical aspects, which is often the difference between success and failure. Getting employees to embrace changes to their daily processes and tasks is critical to ensuring money invested in new platforms or applications delivers as outlined in the specication documents. While we know that salesforce.com products and services help companies give incredible tools and information to their employees (literally at their ngertips), the potential to use these tools to advance the internal brand is huge. The best way to encourage employees to advocate and promote your brand is to ensure it surrounds them, and provides a method to continually explain and evolve what the brand means. Branding the UI for their salesforce.com applications would be the central component to achieve this goal. What We Mean by a Good Branded UI/UX. Lets take a step back and ask more generally why customers value a good user interface and user experience. Most people would agree that a good interface leads to a good experience by providing users a way to get what they need, easily, intuitively, quickly. For example, one of the reasons for the success of the iPod, iPad, and iPhone is the easy to navigate, compelling yet simple approach to providing access to information or features. Yet its not simply the interface, or the design, but the entire marketing ecosystem around Apple products that truly distinguishes the brand and creates loyalists among its cus- tomers. The Jobsian inspired look and advanced touch features, the elegantly simple packaging and instructions, the hyper-cool advertising it all adds up to a total positive branded user experience, across both the technology and marketing. As Apple and many other companies have learned, good branded UX always starts with trying to gure out how we want people to feel about the brand. What emotions should it convey? What does it mean to them? Then, the UI needs to do its job of saving time or money or effort. Done well, it enhances their brand experience, and provides a pleasant surprise or even amazement. It also provides an ongoing tool to educate employees about the brand. Our view is that employees are no different to consumers when it comes to valuing a good branded UX. Just as most brands would never dream of subjecting their customers to a dull website or mobile application, so too should they avoid arming their most valuable assets, their employees, with a dull interface that ignores user needs. R A D I A N T 1 B E B R I L L I A N T
  5. 5. 5 Its More than Slapping a Logo on the UI. When we look at developing a branded UI/UX, our rst task is to get underneath the skin of the brand: its meaning, values, and perceptions. Often, we work closely with the SFDC technology partners to determine how functionality and marketing can align, to ensure we not only look branded, but have the capability to reinforce brand messages on a regular basis. Far more effective than a corporate culture poster, the UI is a living, changing centerpiece of a variety of processes managed or accessed by the employee, with the power to truly build and reinforce a single vision of the brand. Heres the process we undertake to develop a branded UI/UX: Stage One: Listen and Learn. 1. Get immersed in the brand and corporate context, quickly, through our RBI process. Internal & External marketing examples Corporate Culture, Vision, Goals & Objectives Brand tenants and guidelines Rapid Brand Immersion (RBI) 2. Uncover the user context to ensure the solution builds on and enhances what is currently used to accomplish the task or process. User Context Review existing process/procedures (incl. stakeholder IVs) Ideal State SFDC Usage Technology Opportunity Assessment R A D I A N T 1 B E B R I L L I A N T
  6. 6. 6 Whats In It for Me? As a salesforce.com salesperson or partner, you may be asking this question. The answer is simple: more sales! By enhancing your presentations with an example of how a branded UI or UX might look across a few common devices, you can start to talk in the language of the brand youre presenting to. By incorporating the importance of internal branding and marketing of the brand to employees, you can gain support from executives who are now regularly challenged to deal with this issue with something more than a poster near the coffee machine or quarterly all-staff brieng. More importantly, the person you are presenting to is someone who has not just bought into their brand they own it es- pecially if theyre in marketing, sales, CS management or at the C-level. Show them their brand in the right way, in an engaging and clever fashion, and youll have them on your side from the start. References 1: http://www.brandchannel.com/brand_speak.asp?bs_id=221 2: Reichheld, Fred. The Ultimate Question: Driving Good Prots and True Growth, 2006. 3: http://zanesafrit.typepad.com/zane_safrit/net_promoter_score/ 4: Ceridwyn King, Debra Grace and Daniel C Funk Employee brand equity: Scale development and validation from Journal of Brand Management (2012) published 5 August 2011; and P. Raj Devasagayam, Cheryl L. Buff, Timothy W. Aurand, Kimberly M. Judson, (2010) Building brand community membership within organizations: a viable internal branding alternative? Journal of Product & Brand Management, Vol. 19 Issue 3. Stage Two: Think and Act Create the branded design platform, ready for technical development and deployment. Branded Design Platform Mood Boards Depicting Experience Wireframes and Design Templates User Interface Design (UID) R A D I A N T 1 B E B R I L L I A N T

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