A customer service call. An incident that requires crisis communications. The launch of a new product. Responding to a social media post about a product or service issue. These are all moments of truth for a brand. The way a company’s representatives manage moments of truth greatly influences a brand’s perception in the marketplace and society. For companies that rely on dealers or distributors to sell their products and services, as well as third-party channel partners to support those distributors or dealers, providing tools and resources to help them manage brand moments of truth can be complex but is essential.
Dealers, distributors and channel partners are more than brand ambassadors for the companies they represent. They are on the front line for brand interactions. Therefore, it’s critical for companies to ensure these stakeholders are fully immersed in their brand. It starts with understanding the framework for a brand – ethos, vision/purpose, core values, position, dimensions and promise to the marketplace.
Additionally, companies should provide their dealers, distributors and channel partners with specific training to help ensure consistent interactions in the marketplace. Training modules can include everything from response times, to messaging in verbal and written communications, as well as potential scenarios that are common for a brand and their products and services.
Companies should consider providing their dealers, distributors and channel partners with a centralized, easy-to-access repository for brand training materials. An ideal location is the channel marketing portal that is used to manage co-op claims and provides ad building capabilities, for example. This knowledge base within the portal can include the training modules described previously, as well as FAQs and instructional and role-playing videos.
While having training resources housed within a brand’s channel marketing portal, it’s also important to have clear escalation protocols and procedures in those cases where a dealer, distributor or channel partner needs to reach out to a corporate brand representative to provide assistance during a moment of truth. Those escalation thresholds can be captured within the knowledge base and cross referenced within the training modules. Ultimately, it’s important for dealers, distributors and channel partners to clearly understand they have resources available online and in person, when needed.
As the communication channels consumers use to interact and communicate with a brand continue to evolve and expand, it’s important for companies to ensure they are equipped to manage brand moments of truth, when needed. For brands that rely on dealers, distributors and channel partners as their front line to their customers, managing those moments of truth can be a daunting task. By creating the right resources and housing them in a central location for necessary stakeholders, as well as providing clear escalation procedures for when a corporate brand representative should be engaged, companies can position themselves to successfully manage crucial brand moments of truth.
About Channel Fusion
For nearly 20 years, Channel Fusion has provided brands and their channel partners with a wide variety of solutions and industry expertise. We continue to invest in the overall ecosystem of our channel marketing offering to ensure our clients provide their partners with an optimal customer experience. Our core technologies and configurable platforms are supported by a team of customer-centric “Fusers.” Let us know if you’d like to learn more about how we deliver desired outcomes for brands and their channel partners.