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​by Bryan K. Williams

It's amazing who some business leaders allow to represent their company. On a recent trip, I stopped at a sandwich shop to order some lunch. After the employee told me they ran out of the sandwich I ordered, I asked for another sandwich suggestion; to which she promptly replied "None of the sandwiches here"!! Wow.  Perhaps it did not occur to her that by suggesting one of her company's sandwiches, I may actually enjoy it, return, and potentially refer others…all of which translate into additional revenue (plus more job security). 

To guests, the person serving them IS the company. That employee's actions, words, and everything in between are a direct reflection of the company. In general terms, an ambassador is someone who represents something or someone. For example, the U.S. ambassador to Brazil is the chief representative of the U.S. in Brazil. This means that everything the ambassador does and says is a reflection of the U.S. The guest does not care what department you work in or how long you have been working there. All your guests know is that you are an employee, therefore, you should be an advocate of the business. 

A culture of world-class service flourishes when your entire team has a sense of ownership. As a leader, be sure to instill that feeling of personal ownership in every employee from the recruitment phase and on through the remainder of the onboarding process. Tell employees that their presence and contributions matter. They should know that their team is (and will be) better because of the talents they bring. 

Of course, all this talk of having ambassadors also means that your company must be worthy of being represented. Is your business a place where people are proud to work and represent? Why or why not? Being an ambassador is an esteemed position that should not be taken lightly.  Each action at every touchpoint has specific consequences (both positive and negative). So if you are a manager, ensure that everyone on your team is a great representative. From restaurants to spas to hotels, world-class service begins with ambassadors. Ambassadors who are proud of their company and eager to provide exceptional service with consistency and conviction.

Supplemental section for leaders

The best way for leaders to build a team of ambassadors is to be a shining example of how ambassadors are supposed to act.  Beyond being a role-model, here are four practical tips for leaders to implement:

Set high performance and service standards - Be clear about what those standards are.  Give vivid examples if you need to. 

Communicate those standards - Use multiple resources like pre-shift meetings, newsletters, email signature blocks, screen savers, bulletin boards, daily voice mail, etc.

Give performance feedback - This is one of the biggest opportunities for improvement amongst leaders.  Your team needs to know how they are performing in both good and bad times.

Reward excellence - Be careful how you reward performance. I've seen many managers celebrate when performance expectations are met.  It is fine to acknowledge when expectations are met, but reserve your praise and celebration for when expectations are surpassed (or at least consistently met).

To learn more about being a superb ambassador please watch this short video. 


About Bryan Williams of B.Williams Enterprise

Dr. Bryan K. Williams is the creator of the popular BWTV training series, and the author of two books: Engaging Service: 22 Ways to Become a Service Superstar and Work Like You Own It! 20 Ways to Go From Meeting to Exceeding Your Customers' Expectations. Bryan's passion is world-class customer service, and has facilitated workshops and delivered keynotes all over the world for various companies. He speaks on a variety of topics related to service excellence, employee engagement, and organizational improvement. As a consultant, Bryan works closely with companies to design, develop, and implement sustainable service strategies. His company's online store includes a growing collection of customer service products that are well-suited for your training library.

Contact: Bryan Williams / 240-401-6958

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