Howard Schultz, the founder of Starbucks, is always good for a quote. We came across one the other day which got us thinking. It said:
“Starbucks is not an advertiser; people think we are a great marketing company, but in fact we spend very little money on marketing and more money on training our people than advertising.”
Who would’ve thought that Starbucks spends more on training than on advertising? However, it is Starbucks staff that make the company.
This is the case in so many b2b companies. Many b2b companies are in the service business, delivering products to their customers on a regular basis. This means that the person who is seen most frequently by the customer is the driver of the delivery vehicle. The person who is talked to most often is the Customer Service Representative who takes the order. Even the person supplying technical support may be seen more frequently than the sales rep.
Our question to you is this – how much training do these ambassadors of your company get in customer engagement? They may be trained to drive the truck. We are sure that they will be trained to take orders and mend machines. However, how much training do they get on how to project your company’s brand values to the customer. Indeed, how many know what your company’s brand values are? How many are trained to sell value rather than sell products?
We should all take a leaf out of Howard Schultz’s book and see the training of customer facing staff as a critical marketing expense.