I learnt early in my career that Service organisations have millions of brand touch points delivered everyday by colleagues who interact with customers. Once you have defined the Customer Offer and Brand Story, aligning all the Brand touch points to give a consistent Brand Story is critical for success. This is the essence of the “True North” turn around plan at Co-op Food. There are lots of ways to do this:
Tesco has implemented Yammer – an ‘enterprise social network’, allowing them to realise a vision of having ‘over half a million valued colleagues effortlessly connected and aligned: Everyone, Everywhere’. To make this work, Tesco had to also change policies and processes: Tesco added in-store wifi and changed their policies to allow store staff to take their personal mobiles onto the shop floor.
Coop has changed the policy that allows colleagues to use their own mobile phones in the convenience shops , and they have uses several different tools ( WhatsApp, Slack ) to enable colleagues to communicate more clearly with each other. Posting pictures, chating and solving their own problems.
This has helped to create a sense of community between colleagues that extends across stores. Colleagues use the network to celebrate success, share learnings, ask questions and find answers. For example, bakers might share images of their morning display – and the service has even been used to share excess stock with nearby stores that are running low
Yammer has encouraged greater cooperation and a healthy sense of competition. Directors are also able to monitor conversations and can react quickly if required.