By D’Arcy Rahming
A friend of mine, who shall remain nameless, absolutely hates working for the bank. She complains constantly about everything - the bosses, the clients, the hours, you name it. But she works, and works really hard.
I know her secret. It is her need for security combined with the bank’s understanding of internal marketing. You see, the bank gives her preferential treatment when it comes to loans. So she stays because she owes. Then, as soon as she finishes paying that loan off, she borrows again. This is a brilliant form of internal marketing by the bank.
I have another friend who loves working for a certain chicken establishment. I don’t know if they get free chicken or not. But I know that he certainly patronises where he works. One look at him tells me he is really enjoying his job a little too much. Which tells me they must be offering discounts on the food, because he, too, will be going nowhere soon. Except maybe to the emergency room if he keeps eating there and drinking those extra large sodas.
Marketing to your own staff is an often overlooked form of promotion in some industries. If your staff are happy, chances are they will refer other people to your business. You can see examples of this in the airline industry, where buddy passes are offered, or in the hotel industries where you can get discounted rates. The same can be done for virtually any business. A less obvious form of internal marketing is a ‘thank you’ system.
When I worked at Allstate in the US, my boss would always send me little hand written ‘thank you’ notes that I remember to this day. I did not realise that this was being done systematically until later, but I appreciated it nonetheless.
This was a good form of internal marketing, because it made me loyal to the company and proud to work there. There are many firms that do fun days, where they take the day off and take the company out. Although some people complain and are ungrateful, many others appreciate it.
I just threw a ‘thank you’ banquet, and my staff and clients reacted positively to just being able to dress up and receive an award that may have cost me a bit of cash. But it will pay dividends in the long run through customer loyalty and staff loyalty. So, my challenge to you is to think of ways that you can offer benefits to your staff. They will not only be loyal to you, but refer people to your business and feel really good about it.
• NB: D’Arcy Rahming holds an MBA from the prestigious Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. A lecturer at the College of the Bahamas, Mr Rahming has clients in general insurance, retail, the health and medical fields, sports federations and financial services. He is also treasurer of the Bahamas Olympic Committee. To contact him he can be reached at DArcyRahmingsr@gmail.com.