A recent experience got me thinking about the challenges of communicating a new product or service. Not externally to potential customers – most businesses have a process for that (in marketing, PR, signage, etc.) – but rather internally, to the people that have to perform the service or sell the product.
There are few things more frustrating to a potential customer than knowing more about the product/service/price/offering than the salesperson they are talking too. This has happened to me twice in the last 2 months, and both times it set me back a step.
The first was with AT&T and the new iPhone. I knew more about the trade in/trade up programs than the salesperson working at the AT&T kiosk. I had done my homework before going in to talk with him; his employer had not done their job in getting him ready for that conversation.
The second time, this past week, was at a Dunkin' Donuts. Not the most high-end place on the planet, admittedly, but they have spent a ton of money to introduce their frozen cappuccino (which I like better than the Coolattas, because they're not as sweet). However, out of the 3 different Dunkin' Donuts locations I've gotten the frozen cappuccinos in, 2 of the 3 shops had no idea how to make them and had to find a manager or get on a phone to ask for help. Needless to say, none of the 3 tasted the same … So much for franchise consistency.
So if you are rolling out a new product, service, or marketing message, take the time to make sure your staff – all your staff – understands what you are doing and how to answer the questions or meet the needs of your customers and prospective customers.