Regarding business, success is built on the foundation of positive communication.
Everyone plays a vital role in helping you reach your goals, from your marketing to your customer service staff.
But what happens when everyone isn’t on the same page?
Partition walls are invisible walls that separate departments, divisions, or teams within a business.
They're often built as a result of silo’d thinking, miscommunication, misinterpretations, and misunderstandings between different parts of the company.
Eventually, these walls can become entrenched in a company's culture, making communication and collaboration very difficult.
Sadly, this is a one-way ticket to financial mediocrity.
Partition walls lead to inefficient processes, decreased customer satisfaction, and a lack of iterative growth. All of which damage the bottom line.
Fortunately, an obsession to great communication will resolve the issue.
Now maybe you’re wondering why marketing should collaborate with customer service or the warehouse?
The answer is simple: to uphold your brand’s personality.
When people use the same language and share the same knowledge, the brand message remains consistent across all departments. The more consistent the shared language, the stronger the tribe. The stronger the tribe, the better the brand. This helps ensure that your customers will have a consistent experience with your company, regardless of which department they interact with.
But how can you break down the partition walls between departments and get them on the same page? And how can you identify where they are?
Depending on the size of your business, you may find that you have various partition walls between different departments. The most extensive wall, however, usually lies between your internal and external teams.
Internal Company Personality vs. External Company Personality
Before we discuss bridging the gap between departments, let me clarify that this is a normal problem.
In fact, almost every business has likely experienced some form of this disconnect at some point. This is because each department has its own set of goals, processes and procedures that drive the way they function.
Therefore, it's only natural for each team to feel isolated and, sometimes, even resistant to change. While this is a typical business concern, it remains to be a real problem that requires an immediate remedy. Otherwise, partition walls could escalate and decrease productivity and morale if not addressed quickly.
So how can we bridge the gap between departments?
By creating a single unified brand personality both internally and externally.
Internal Company Personality
Much like humans, companies can externally present themselves differently from their real, unadulterated internal company personality. We all know the internal conflict that transpires when people do not genuinely express their true selves.
Your internal company personality is created through a series of company policies and discussions. The company’s internal management develops this personality. Employees and company personnel experience this internal personality. In other words, your internal personality reflects your culture.
As we all know, your culture is your brand — it’s who you truly are. And this internal personality is the entity that communicates with your consumers directly. Sales calls, customer service interactions, and other forms of direct communication fall under this external communication umbrella.
It's important to consider how your employees interact with customers and how they represent your brand during conversations. During these interactions, your internal company personality takes center stage and reveals itself in the way you present the company. This will play an important role in how your external marketing efforts are created.
Typically, this wouldn’t be a huge problem for businesses. The only time it does is when there’s a misalignment between your internal and external company personality.
Speaking of external personality, let’s take a look at it more closely…
External Company Personality
Unlike your internal company personality, a.k.a. your true self, the external company personality is a created persona. In other words, you can develop an external facade that deviates entirely from your genuine self. As mentioned previously, this presents a huge problem.
Your marketing team typically establishes your external company personality. They are responsible for how your company communicates with consumers indirectly.
What does that mean?
For instance, indirect communication covers communication materials like your ads, website, social media accounts, and email campaigns.
Your external company personality often reflects your desired public image. However, the desired (external personality) and the reality (internal personality) don’t often see eye to eye. This leads to an undesirable misalignment with severe repercussions.
In an ideal world, your external personality should align with the identity you've already established internally.
This, however, is only sometimes seamlessly achieved.
Having two separate forms of communication, internal and external, your messages can become disjointed. In other words, what your website and advertisement say deviates from how your personnel communicates with customers. Customers may receive different messages, leading to confusion and a lack of trust.
Therefore, you must create a consistent voice across all channels.
For example, your customer service emails and phone calls should reflect the same content as your company's website. Failure to bridge this leads to mixed messages, which may leave customers confused.
To establish a unified communications strategy, this split personality needs to be mended. This includes ensuring consistency across all channels and training customer service agents to use cohesive language.
Creating a unified communication approach can help close the gap between customers’ expectations and the service they receive. You may also find that your sales and customer loyalty increase with a united front.
At Wizard of Ads™, we can help you craft a unified messaging strategy to increase customer trust and satisfaction. From direct mail to digital campaigns, our tools ensure a consistent look, feel, and message across all marketing efforts.
We understand the importance of consistent messaging, especially when it comes to building customer relationships. To learn more about how we can help, book a call with Ryan Chute of Wizard of Ads™ today!
Ad Writers and the Split Personality They Create
Now that we’ve established where the divide is, you may wonder how it happened.
Unfortunately, your ad writers may be the culprit, especially when they need insight into the sales and customer service departments. Allow me to explain.
Your ad writers make up a majority of your external communication. They’re responsible for your ads, billboards, social media content, website copy, and other forms of readable material.
However, we all know that one advertisement must gain the prowess to make a purchase decision. Therefore, when customers interact with ads first, they will want to learn more about the company through other marketing touchpoints.
During this scenario, prospects will expect the same level of communication as observed in the ads. For instance, they will visit your website to read some content or hit the inbox of your customer success agent. Any disconnect will seem off-putting, giving your company some “Business Personality Disorder” vibes.
With that said, ad writers must thoroughly understand the entire business culture and its language. Access to exclusive lines, brandable chunks, and the unique business personality will help align ads to the company’s culture. Failure to do so results in a seemingly split personality between the ad writer and your other marketing touchpoints.
To get your ad writers up to speed, consider opening the channels between each department. This will provide a better understanding of all the relevant business touchpoints and foster more effective communication as a whole.
Moreover, once the copy or ad is written, it is helpful to have the customer service department review the material. Doing so ensures that your team can continue the conversation with the customer and build upon your written message.
Once the other relevant departments continue the conversation that the ad writer started, your sales will increase significantly.
However, this means that only some sales will close immediately.
In fact, it is common knowledge that buyers usually take multiple interactions before they are ready to make a purchase.
Therefore, your sales team must also prepare to continue the conversation.
The Partition Wall Between Ad Writing and Sales Training
When it comes to your business, your sales team is one of your most vital components.
Like your ad personnel, sales professionals can move people from interest to purchase. That said, it is of utmost importance that your ad writers and sales team work in tandem.
To accomplish this, ensure your sales team is trained and updated on all the latest campaigns, offers, and promotions. Doing so allows your sales team to build on the messaging established in your ads, resulting in higher close rates.
It is also crucial that your sales team reports back on their sales activities. This can help your advertising agents refine their messaging and better target future ads to match the customers' needs.
Now, I know that this may seem like a complex process.
As an adman myself, being told to keep up with the sales team's activities can be challenging. But trust me when I say this is the key to successful lead generation and conversion.
By working together, you can ensure that your messaging stays on track and your customers receive a positive experience.
Story, Culture, and Experience According to Ray Seggern
Now that we've identified where the partition walls are located and the parties involved let's discuss how to bridge them.
Luckily, there are others on this topic.
Bestselling authors Jeffrey and Bryan Eisenberg have put together an “executive storyteller’s guide,” which contains techniques for breaking these walls. In fact, The Fortune 500 companies that were given advance copies and implemented the advice have responded with enthusiastic reviews.
The book describes how to use storytelling and data to create new opportunities, identify gaps and optimize sales and marketing.
It also offers techniques for building relationships, understanding customer needs, and creating a shared vision.
Another renowned marketer and content strategist, Ray Seggern, has also taken up the challenge of providing sound advice on this topic.
In fact, he suggests that there are three core pillars for successful marketing: Story, Culture, and Experience.
Seggern argues that you can create a powerful narrative that resonates with your customers by unifying these three pillars.
Now, you just can only lock your sales team and admin in a room once they formulate a cohesive personality.
Instead, Ray Suggern suggests the following workshop:
Here’s the basic formula governing the three pillars: identity defines activity.
Your external actions will always be influenced, or at least be affected, by your internal personality. In this context, your company culture nudges business activities into action.
Remember what we talked about regarding internal and external company personality? It always begins internally, and the external must follow through. Your culture comes first before the story and experience.
Your corporate culture will serve as the foundation when developing your narrative. Through sales training, you hone your company’s internal reality. Your sales and customer service teams typically perform this.
You can ensure that each interaction is cohesive by providing them with the proper tools and giving them clear direction. Failure to ensure that your message aligns with your culture can lead to a less-than-ideal close rate.
Furthermore, it can cause customers to perceive your brand and its values negatively. That said, your culture should be consistent and supportive of creating a positive customer experience.
Now that your identity is in the right place, your story follows. Using the culture as the basis, the story becomes the foundation of your marketing strategy. It's how you convey to customers your culture— who you are, why they should trust you, & what makes you different.
Aside from staying true to the culture, the key to powerful storytelling is to adhere to client-centric storytelling. That means emphasizing your customer’s underlying felt needs, wants, preferences, and desires. By banking on what tugs the emotional triggers of your audience, you make your message more impactful.
But how do you know what customers want? Simple. Communication.
To craft this compelling story, advertising agents must communicate with your sales team to understand the needs of your audience. Doing this allows you to create a compelling account that resonates with your audience.
Once they clearly understand your market, your advertising team can create a narrative around your product. Ultimately, the goal is to communicate a compelling brand message that your internal teams can continue.
Have you ever felt high and dry? Being promised so many great things only to receive something dissatisfactory and mediocre. Heart-breaking, isn’t it?
Well, that’s what your customers experience when you over-promise and under-deliver. This is what experience aims to address.
Experience is the culmination of your story and culture. This pillar discusses your deliverables or what customers will experience when customers choose to trust your brand. Perfecting your experience means aligning how you deliver with everything you promised in your message.
Failure to align your customer experience with your message can lead to customer confusion and dissatisfaction. In other words, you must deliver exactly what you promised. As a result, customers will become disengaged with your brand, leaving negative reviews and even defecting to competitors.
Overall, you must ensure your message, culture, and customer experience are working in harmony to create a successful sales pipeline. Only then will you build trust and credibility with customers, encouraging them to repurchase and even become full-fledged brand ambassadors.
Get Your Sales Training Aligned With Your Advertising
While it may seem overwhelming, customer experience is of utmost importance.
That said, aligning your sales training with your advertising is key to creating a consistent, engaging customer experience.
When done correctly, every department in your company will benefit. What's more, your customers will notice the difference.
Therefore, you must ensure that the advertising and sales teams are well-versed in each other's work, processes, goals and values.
By keeping everyone informed, you can create a unified approach when it comes to customer experience and sales.
Thus, everyone from your sales reps to your ad personnel will provide customers with the best service possible.
At Wizard of Ads™, our talented ad wizards specialize in creating cohesive ad campaigns that integrate with your brand.
Taking the time to understand your unique needs, we can tailor ads that resonate with your values, goals, and vision.
So when your customers interact with your brand, they’ll get the best experience possible.
Don't let the partition walls between departments keep you from creating great experiences for your customers. Book a call with Ryan Chute today to get started on your road to success!