So, we have identified that we stink at communications (at least in the bigger picture sense) and that we are going to do something about it. And that is reworking our BRANDING model. We are going to sink into developing a marketing plan for our department (a micro-marketing plan) a plan within a plan.
While we must be true to the company’s overall business model, we can still make sure that our department, whether risk, safety, security, worker’s comp, HR or otherwise, is a source of benefit for our organization and its employees.
So, let’s start at the beginning. Part 2 – Defining Our Customers
On the face of it, this sounds rather easy right? Our customers are our fellow employees. But truly, it’s more than just our fellow employees – it’s our vendors, our clients, our community, our insurance agency, our Boards, etc…. If you are a school district, then you surely understand the complexity of the situation.
Okay, so are customers are more than just employees, so why do we need to worry about all these other customer groups? Why is it important? “We don’t need more customers, our department is not a profit center and there really is no point to building a customer base. ” If you believe those statements, then you are in big trouble.
We need to worry about building up good customer relations for several reasons. Let’s think about those for a minute. Let’s say we are a school and we need to put in a new playground. Our Board puts it on the agenda and takes it public (we’re gonna need bids), but we have had a terrible track record with incidents that result in injuries, and our Risk Management Department fights with the parents of the injured students even when we know we are at fault for the injury. The parents show up to the Board meeting and go haywire, vendors refuse to bid on the project when it’s let because they don’t want the adverse liability exposure on the back-end of the claims process……
Your image, your BRAND, has tarnished the process. Your BRAND has contributed to future liability by potentially inviting the worst vendors in the industry to bid on your project. Get the picture? Good… let’s move on…
So, now that we agree that we have more customers than just our employees, let’s think about what our best customers look like and how we communicate with them. Why do they like us? What communication methods work best for them? Is it twitter, facebook, email, web posts, blogs, newsletters, face time, or some other method? We will use this information to build up several parts of our micro-marketing plan.
Take some notes on the questions above – we are going to dig in to each of these issues in more depth later in the series.