When most people think of a “brand ambassador”, the first thing that comes to mind is a celebrity paid to promote a brand. And this is still a strategy used in many areas of the beauty industry.
However, clients are returning to more intimate sources for recommendations on spa services and products – family, friends, and social peers or trusted professionals. And they’re doing so both through person-to-person interactions and social media platforms.
Who has more personal daily contact with your clients and shares more information about your brand and products than the highly trained and trusted employees under your own roof? No one.
So, the question really isn’t “Should I turn my spa employees into the brand ambassadors I know they can be?” but “How?”
The good news? It’s a lot easier than you think.
There are essentially three steps:
- Educate and excite your brand experts.
- Encourage them to give your spa the ultimate endorsement.
- Reward your ambassadors for a job well done.
Step 1: Educate & Excite
Your team members are already knowledgeable experts, but here are a few easy ways to elevate them to full-on brand ambassadors.
Open an ongoing dialogue about company news and happenings (e.g., upcoming product launches, top-line business plans) and invite them to weigh in. This creates an environment where employees are invested in and excited about your business. An internal e-newsletter with contributors and periodic team meetings are two ways to do this.
Don’t stop there though. Encourage your team to share guest responses and create solutions to improve them. Once their initiatives are approved, allow them to roll them out. This is also an incredible way for you to build a general sense of what motivates and interests your clients as well.
Another way to build excitement about their work is to allow your ambassadors to experience as many of your spa products and services as possible – not just as an employee but also as a client. The opportunity to be in the chair and above it yields the most educated (and excited) field experts around!
Step 2: Encourage the Endorsement
Don’t just arm your staff with your brand philosophy through the education you provide. Actively encourage them to share their personal experiences with the services and products offered in your spa.
Result: the ultimate brand endorsement from the ultimate brand expert.
Once they’ve fully absorbed your brand philosophy, urge them to share what they know in their own words when talking with clients during appointments.
With your guidance, involve them in brand marketing efforts on social media by:
- Including them in your education and demo efforts
- Introducing them as trusted brand ambassadors
- Offering opportunities for takeovers (on Instagram, for instance) to share their expertise
And encourage them to share what they love about your brand through their personal social media accounts.
You can even incentivize these interactive experiences by allowing them limited-time exclusivity for trying new products and services and promoting them through their own social media channels, for example.
Step 3: Reward a Job Well Done
Everyone loves being rewarded for work they’ve done well. Often, people interpret this to mean a monetary “reward.” But while bonuses and the like can be quite effective, recognition doesn’t always have to be monetary.
A personal note or directly recognizing someone’s work is often reward enough. A congrats among other staff is also an amazing motivator and can actually entice a little friendly competition among your ambassadors!
And publicly noting one of your own, whether through a press release, blog announcement, or other social media post, is a wonderful (and shareable) way to recognize great work.
There’s even an opportunity to loop back to other steps. Perhaps an ambassador is rewarded with a personal spa experience or receives an opportunity for an exclusive product trial. The possibilities are endless!
On a final note, remember that when implementing any new program, success and effectiveness take time. Keep ideas flowing and ambassadors rotating through the opportunities you create to help your team understand and become comfortable with the inevitable shifts involved in program development that works for your spa. This will take you and your team far in maintaining forward momentum and a positive attitude.