A few weeks ago, I escorted our senior staff writer, Colleen Cormier, to the Apple Store – also known as my happy place. Yes…I am married to Apple. Each member of my family owns some kind of MacBook. We also own iPhones, iPads and iPods. If there is a little “i” in front of a device, I probably own it. I also provide an Apple computer for each of my staff members. This was Colleen’s transition to the “other side.”

My experience there is always a positive one, but something one of the employees said took us both by surprise. He said “I don’t use a Mac.”

A similar scenario happened not too long ago during a marketing audit we were conducting for a client. One of the employees told us he didn’t use his credit union’s products and services – not one. Why would a customer or member use your products if your own employees don’t?

“Internal branding and vocal brand advocacy from employees will be minimally successful at best if your employees don’t actually use your brand,” writes Susan Gunelius, president and
CEO at KeySplash Creative, Inc., in a blog at corporateeye.com. “How can they truly talk about your brand, advocate your brand, develop appropriate new products, and sell your product if they’ve never or rarely used it?”

Here are three reasons why your employees should also be your costumers/members.

Best Brand Ambassadors
Your best customers are the ones who not only use your products and services, but also refer you to their family, friends, business associates, etc. They are your best brand ambassadors. Shouldn’t that describe your employees? Perhaps an even more important question to ask is which of your competitors your employees are promoting, if they are not promoting you. When customers or members find out your employees do not bank with you, they probably ask where your employees do their banking and why.

Outstanding Customer Service
Employees who use your products and services have a deep understanding of how they work. This makes them better sales people and better equipped to offer solutions when customers or members have questions. All of your employees should be able to answer basic questions about your products and services.

See our monthly e-newsletter for the third reason. You also find information to help you determine if your financial institution’s annual goals support your bottom, as well as information on marketing audits and financial institution name changes.