Stress-Free Ways To Qualify Employee Branding Vendors Today
Many organizations think that they want employees to eat, sleep, and breathe their brand. Just think of how many cheesy onboarding videos you’ve had to watch. What these companies don’t realize is that brand over-saturation leads to staffer burnout. It’s all about balance. More specifically, you need to create an effective employee brand engagement strategy that’s authentic and learner-centered. Fortunately, employee branding vendors can help you create top-notch training resources that don’t go overboard. You just need to know how to qualify vendors to maximize online training Return On Investment (ROI). Well, you’re in luck, because these 7 tips can help you evaluate vendors, minus the stress.
1. Verify Their Credentials In Niche-Specific Directories
Niche-specific online directories are designed with targeted buyers in mind. As such, they cover all the selling points and services you’re looking for, from company overviews and specializations to customer types. The site knows what you need to maximize value for money, so they highlight all the essentials and make it easy to qualify vendors. The catch is that you need to find a reliable directory with fraud prevention measures in place. For example, users need to sign in to leave a review.
2. Read User Reviews For Top Employee Branding Vendors
Speaking of reviews, user opinions are another great way to verify employee branding vendors. It gives you the opportunity to evaluate all the pros and cons of working with them. There’s also a summary statement at the top so that you’re able to gauge the tone right from the start. Finally, check out the performance overview. This calculates all the star ratings and satisfaction scores. It’s always best to take a combo approach. While ratings let you evaluate vendors at a glance, reviews dive deeper into Customer Experience (CX).
3. Evaluate Their Training Solutions
Employee branding is a specialization area. However, you can use a broad range of training solutions to achieve your objectives. For instance, you might launch an Instructor-Led Training (ILT) strategy that features simulations and branching scenarios. Then again, you may just need an outsourcing partner to enrich your brand training just-in-time (JIT) library. There are two places to peruse the employee branding content providers’ menu. First, their directory listing features a list of training solutions they offer. Then you can move on to their website for more info and additional services.
4. Test Out Vendor Support Services
Vendors usually mention their support services in directory listings and company websites. But you should test them out to see how quickly they respond, not to mention how much they value customer care. For example, send an email or leave a comment on their latest social media page. Does it take them a week to reply or is it within a matter of minutes? More importantly, how do they respond? Are they able to answer all your questions or is it obviously a scripted reply? In most cases, vendors try to win you over with top-notch customer service, and that service should carry through the entire project. As such, poor communication during the qualification process is a major red flag. That said, you shouldn’t automatically cross them off the list if they wait a day to respond unless, of course, it happens time after time for no good reason.
5. Visit Their Landing Page
Directory listings also include a link to the vendor’s landing page, which features everything from success stories to team bios. Pay careful attention to the overall branding. If they’re going to help you build your brand culture, theirs should be clear and cohesive. Another factor to consider is their brand messaging and tone. For instance, all the site aesthetics reflect their brand identity and values. Finally, see if they have a help desk or contact form for client support, or even social media links so that you can engage with them directly.
6. Evaluate Online Portfolios
Online portfolios contain the vendor’s top work samples. In some cases, they might not be able to include actual deliverables. For instance, they’ve signed a non-disclosure agreement and clients won’t allow them to showcase their content. If so, employee brand engagement companies should create custom resources for their portfolio as it’s the only way you can evaluate their work, short of hiring them for a test project. Last, but not least, every sample should include some background info, like the objectives, challenges, and use cases.
7. Send Employee Branding Request For Proposals (RFPs) For Accurate Estimates
The best way to qualify vendors individually is to send RFPs. These requests highlight all the key project details, such as your budget, wish list, and timeline. Vendors respond with personalized proposals and estimates. Just make certain to include submission deadlines and contact info so that they can ask questions. For example, they may need to know more about your employee preferences or delivery schedule before they respond. You can also follow up with a one-on-one meeting to discuss project specs and compare your top choices.
The right employee branding vendors can help you steer clear of common mistakes, namely, mistakes that hurt your bottom line. Just follow these golden rules of outsourcing to vet vendors and choose the best partner for your project. Also, keep in mind that some vendors may already be booked, so have a few backup solutions just in case. Time is of the essence, thus, the last thing you need is to put all your L&D eggs in one basket. Then scheduling conflicts put everything on hold.
How do you draft a winning RFP once you find the right outsourcing partners? Read our eBook Employee Branding Outsourcing: How To Choose The Perfect Solution To Build Brand Advocacy for tips to evaluate vendors and maximize ROI.