PP 188: Cultivating a Thriving Workplace Culture with Kenneth Bator
Quick Show Notes: Kenneth Bator
“We’ve got to treat people like people.”
Kenneth Bator works with clients to create a culture employees enjoy working in and customers enjoy returning to. His B+C+S system stands for Brand + Culture + Strategy and Alignment, and in this episode, we chat about just that!
We discuss the cultures of several well known businesses, the importance of bringing experts onto our team, standard operating procedures, and more!.@kbator & @thekimsutton discuss how to build small business cultures which welcome employees & customers https://thekimsutton.com/pp188 #positiveproductivity #podcast #culture #smallbusinessClick To Tweet
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Episode Transcription – Kenneth Bator
Kim Sutton: Welcome back to another episode of positive productivity. This is your host Kim Sutton and today I am thrilled to introduce our guest Kenneth Bator.
Kenneth is the president of Bator Training and Consulting. Kenneth, welcome.
Kenneth Bator: Thank you so much. My pleasure to be on the show.
Kim Sutton: I would love if you would introduce yourself a little bit further to the audience, tell them what you do and how you got on the journey that you’re on today.
Kenneth Bator: Certainly. You know, in my stock answer, especially at networking events, when people ask me, you know, “What do you do?” I usually answer as little as possible. It’s usually gets a little bit of a laugh, gets people’s attention, but what I really do is create environments where employees actually want to come to work, and customers want to keep coming back. And I do that with what I call my B plus C plus S formula, which simply stands for brand culture and strategy alignment.
Kenneth Bator: In other words, that answers the questions of what is the image that we need to portray out in the public? What’s the experience because everything today is really about experiences. What’s the experience we need to create both for and through our employees? And how do we drive more of the right business star business?
Kim Sutton: That is so huge and that is so timely. I actually just let a client go earlier this week, because while she was selling something to her clients, and to her perspective, team members, once entering the team, everything changed. And it was actually Well, it became impossible to be part of the team because everything was so out of alignment. It I couldn’t support it anymore.
Kenneth Bator: Yep, yep. I you know, all… Every good consultant, coach or service provider such as yourself has fired a client before. I fired one this year, I fired one last year. Man, they were they were good people, but they just frankly didn’t get it. They didn’t understand that it really does start at the top and if you’re creating creating an environment where employees don’t want to go to work where they don’t want to participate, they don’t feel like they want to come in, It makes it really, really difficult not impossible, but close to it to create an experience for your customers or your members, your clients, whoever it is that you serve. So I completely understand.
Kim Sutton: Oh, yeah, and the and when you have team members who are posting stuff to social media for you, eventually that feeling is going to work its way into the words, even if they’re not said, Oh, it’s important.
I mean, look at Zappos, I have to say, I’ve never personally ordered for them, but I’ve, I know enough about their culture that I know they’re doing it from the inside out. And maybe that one day that I do buy shoes from them, I’ll completely understand but I’ve heard enough about their culture and how they treat their clients to know that they are doing something right.
Kenneth Bator: Now, it’s interesting that you bring up Zappos I’ve never purchased anything from them either. But I’m always very keen on learning about cultures, especially ones that are really highly regarded. And I happened to be at a conference I want to say two or three weeks ago where one of the executives from Zappos was speaking about their culture and how they they really do have an employee’s first mentality.
Kenneth Bator: And you know, a lot of times people especially type A managers and leaders think that that’s soft, and it’s like, Hey, you know, it should be customer first and so forth. But they actually, you know, create a pretty strict system, but still are able to have fun.
They actually… The speaker even talked about the fact that they adopted their values in and basically some of the system and standards from those that the Navy SEALs use and they’re definitely not soft. But they talked about, you know how they really focus on the employee how they give them the right structure and expectations of them, but but also allow them to not only have fun but being highly involved in what the organization is doing, whether its involvement in the meetings or involvement in strategy I was I was really impressed with with what they shared in terms of the Zappos culture.
Kim Sutton: Now, in full disclosure, I’m an Infusionsoft certified partner. And when I went to my certified partner training over three years ago, I was also six, seven months pregnant with twins. So this could have been pregnant delirium or something. I might be making up words here. But I seem to remember them saying that they could be getting this all wrong, but they have like a probation period for new employees. And if the employee at the end of the probation doesn’t think that they can adopt the company, motto and mission and everything, then they will actually be Pay them to go find another job. Interesting. Yeah, it’s just phenomenal that they want to make sure that everything is so in alignment.
(Transcription still being cleaned up. Thanks for checking it out.)
Kenneth Bator: Yeah it’s interesting I’ve I’ve worked for some some good cultures in the past as well. They certainly didn’t pay people to leave in that way but they were very very wise and encouraging people that you know, if you if you felt that you couldn’t be happy here, let’s talk about it. And you know, let’s see what we can do about finding you position someplace else because they didn’t want people that didn’t fit into into their way of doing business.
Kenneth Bator: In fact, and the name escapes me — I really need to look this up –but one example that I use in some of my training is there’s a grocery store chain in the northeast, where they liberally ask new employees, you know, what do you want to do? And you know, they usually get the ubiquitous you know, first answer well I’d really like to move into stock or be in management at the grocery store, usually stop and say, No, no, no, no, no, no. What do you want to do? And then it usually comes out like, well, I really want to be a guitar player or I want to be an engineer. And they use that, because they understand that, that they’re not always going to keep an employee for life that people have a passion, and then they may have a certain career aspiration that doesn’t necessarily fit long term with the grocery store. But what they do is they treat their employees like people and say, all right, well, in the case of the engineer, we’re not building any new grocery stores anytime soon. But maybe there’s a position or maybe there’s some work that we can have you do that will help you learn some skills that will eventually help you to be this great engineer. And what that does is it creates Not only this, this really positive culture and high morale But also, you know, while somebody may only work there six months, 12 months, 18 months, you know, they they end up being a customer for life, they may never work there again. But they might end up being a customer and their family being loyal consumers to the grocery store for 10 2040 years. So it makes a lot of sense.
Oh, absolutely. I’m even thinking about those extravagant, like Super Bowl displays that we see here in America and the grocery stores, you know, where they take an assortment of soda cans and have to figure out how to build the football helmet so it doesn’t fall over on customers who are walking by. There’s something for an engineer.
Yep, exactly, exactly.
So in our pre chat, I would love if you brought up a little bit of what we are talking about, and I’ll just refresh and also fill the listeners in. We were talking about how often as coaches and or consultants, we think that we need to go and work on our own systems and policies. Everything because we’re doing it for our clients. I’d love if you explained to the listeners where we were starting to go, and then we cut that off so that we could bring it into here.
Sure, sure. I’ve been doing I’ve been doing consulting for about 15 years for for small businesses. And I would say for at least 12 of those years. I always thought, well, being a consultant or a business coach was much like being a great mechanic that if you needed to work on your own business, you know, much like a mechanic would need to work on his or her own car, that you just simply did it because you had that skill and you had that expertise, but frankly, over the last two or three years, I don’t know if I got hit upside the head or something finally clicked in my mind. Or I just happened to get some clarity and working with some other consultants on my business that I realized that the mechanic analogy is completely the wrong analogy that you very well may be a great consultant. Much like a brain surgeon may be a great brain surgeon. Um, but working on your own business, sometimes you may very well be like a brain surgeon doing surgery on his own brain, probably not. In a lot of different respects. And yeah, I could I could tell to the last two or three years that my business has is really benefited not only from a productivity standpoint, but also from a profit standpoint, and being able to trust other people trust somebody else. As of right now, as we’re recording this to completely redo my website, something I used to do before on my own. I’m using a consultant to help me develop a true marketing strategy despite the fact that I do have skills in marketing and branding. You know, while I do an excellent job of helping clients really see where their brand and possibly their marketing tactics need to go, I’m in my own business much like my clients, you’re just too close to it, you really do need to get not just another professional skill, but another professional opinion on what you’re doing.
I know that’s very eloquent as far as podcast host goes, amen. My podcast actually set up launched six months before it did. However, with my design background, I thought I needed to design my logo. And I couldn’t get it right. For six months, I had 40 episodes with guests ready to go when I finally launched three days after I found my graphic designer. Because I gave them the story. I told him what I was trying to do. Within a day he turned around the perfect logo to me now this is not typical folks. It’s not always gonna be a day thing. But I couldn’t believe that I had stalled for six months because I couldn’t number one get my logo the way I wanted it myself and number two because they didn’t think sooner to outsource it.
Yep. No, I completely hear you, Kim. My website is like your example of the podcast. Um, you know, I always felt that Well, hey, I know marketing. I know, branding, I should be able to do this on my own. But you know, to put it bluntly, it always looked like crap. It I finally realized that, you know, hey, you know, while I have certain skills that are very valuable and very expert, one of them is simply not graphic design. Um, while I know branding, I can’t make anything visually look pleasing. And so the web designer I’ve been using has has taken me into some new areas. of not only where I want my brand to go but how visually it really needs to look which I would have and I would have never gone down that road now having said that too and in I teach some of my clients this when it’s appropriate is is you also have to realize you know what makes sense to delegate and outsource and and what you’re really good at you know where your skills are and to use the the website analogy I’m one of the things that I found is one of my skills and I always joke that I only have a few skills but the ones I have are really good I can’t I can’t make anybody a great meal or fix anybody’s car to go back to the mechanic analogy but you know, I write very well yeah, that’s that’s that’s one of my skills. So even on the website, you know, we we agreed that Okay, I’ll write the copy because nobody knows my business and my point of view is Nobody can write as well as I can, um, at least not from a copywriting standpoint for for my own business. So I’ll take care of that. But you do all the visual. And that’s created a nice little synergy between, you know, two professionals that have very, very different skill sets. So you know, much like a service business. And one in particular that I’m working with right now, which happens to be a financial institution, the Midwest, great CEO, very smart is delegated a lot of different things. But one of the things that he kept on his his own on his own plate, which I was 100%, behind is his we realized and he had the epiphany that of the whole management team that he was the best in terms of mentoring people. And so yeah, that was one thing that he wasn’t going to delegate. It’s going to say, you know what, I’m going to delegate some of these road activities. I’m going to delegate working On this, this new business structure, but one thing I’m not going to delegate is being the main mentor among our management team because that is a skill that I have. And that’s been good for that business. So yeah, understand understand, you know, where your best skills are, you know, what you do want to keep is as a business owner or as a solopreneur. And what Okay, just isn’t isn’t your ball of wax and where you might be able to get somebody with, with a little bit more expertise than then you can? I think that’s, that’s a big productivity tip in and of itself.
Did you happen to hear how I realized just how much time I was spending editing my own podcast episodes for the last three months instead of delegating?
I did not. But I bet you’re gonna share that with a skill.
Five hours a month, I was spending editing my own episodes. Now I’ve shared this on a previous episode. The only reason I asked you, if you had heard it because I shared it in a group that we’re in together. But hey, we shouldn’t be spending all of our time in in Facebook groups, or else we need to get more clients, right? Yeah. But my client billable rate is not inexpensive as I’m sure yours is not either. And I when I realized how much money I had basically flushed down the toilet by being ineffective and editing my own episodes, I just I needed that wooden plank to hit me on the head, actually, or maybe it did. And that’s why I realized, because for less than $500, all of my editing went out the door and the income that can now be made in that time is far more than $500. Far more
Yep, no, I completely understand. And it’s one of those things too. And it’s, it’s a trick that I use sometimes is I will actually give myself a certain window of time. Um, for instance, I was I was working on a very brief article early this morning that I like to put out every week. And I had a really good idea on what I wanted to say. And so I literally it was 7:35am Pacific Time To be exact. And I said, you know, at 8am this is gonna be done. And sure enough, I finished it, and it was 759. And so I spent 25 minutes on writing an article and that was, again, you know, a skill that I have. So I can I can put those out there pretty quickly. Same thing with my YouTube show. I do edit that myself, but it’s something that I not only enjoy, but because my YouTube show is a pretty simple and straightforward production usually takes me about maybe 15 minutes to edit that. I’m now going back to the website just because that’s that’s a top of mine. And it’s a good example, when I want to redo my website. Each time that was about a half a day. Project and you know, like, like you, you know, my my fees aren’t inexpensive. I mean, I charge between at least 150 to $250 an hour. And if I’m going to spend a half a day to work on my own website and not even have it be at the brand level that I need for my business, that’s four or five hours that I could be making money with, by serving my clients in a skill that I do really well, and then turn around and pay somebody who really is an expert at web design to do it much better than I can
exactly or be writing eight to 10 more of your half hour articles, which is more exposure. Exactly. Well, the cobblers kids shoes are often the ones that are broken, right, isn’t it?
Yes, and I’ve heard as a brand expert, I’ve heard that a few times with several of my visual branding. So is as tough as it is for for somebody who was naturally on the, on the disc personality profile somewhat of a control freak to let some of this stuff go, you know, eventually, you know, logic takes over.
Kim Sutton: Oh, absolutely. So when you’re working with a new client, are there any common themes that you see that you need to start pulling together and taking care of right away?
Kenneth Bator: Usually the biggest thing is, is structure with the team. There’s a number of different common issues that I see right off the bat, but I would say nine times out of 10 we don’t have any system or structure on how to help our employees be productive. In fact, yeah, on on shows such as yours and articles that I write the number one tip that I give, and especially to people you know, it’s it’s, it’s like the airplane conversation, what do you do and you talk about your consulting and they say, Well, is there one tip, you know, because I’m not gonna buy your book. I’m not gonna hire Is there one darn tip that you can give me that can help me in my business? And I said, Sure, if you do nothing else, it work with your team to create service standards. And don’t just simply write them yourself as the owner or CEO, literally work with your entire team on putting together What does service look like here in our business, what’s the experience that we need to create for each other and for everybody that we serve, and if you do that, and that’s usually where I end up starting with most of my clients, but if you do that, you’re automatically going to be one notch above every competitor that doesn’t do that. Because if you work with your front lines on service standards, then you’re you’re getting everybody involved. You’re creating buy in, you know, when you when everybody agrees upon things, such as we’re going to answer the phone within three rings. We’re going to greet the customer within three seconds when he will walks into the door, we’re going to resolve all problems within 24 hours. And if we can’t resolve problems within 24 hours, we’re going to call them within 24 hours and tell them why and what we’re doing to fix it. And when you have a list of those types of things that everybody agrees upon, you get buy in and you’ll also get some some self management and everything becomes clear as to this is what is this looks like in our business.
Have you ever had to work the system by Sam Carpenter? I have not.
I have not apparently I have to though. Tell me about it.
Sam Carpenter owned if not still owned a virtual car call service. And his clients hire his company to answer the phone and, you know, route them through and take messages and all that. However, at the beginning of the book, he’s telling the story about how they were struggling. They didn’t have any standard operating procedures in place. It got so bad that I believe he was living out of the back storage room of his business. But he started getting the standard operating procedures in place, he enlisted the support of his team members to help improve them. And he gave them he actually gave them incentive to help improve, you know, if your suggestion to improve this policy or this procedure drastically improves the way that business is managed or anything, you know, there’s going to be a financial reward. And it’s, by the end of the book, it’s, I feel like I’m giving away a movie, let’s just say a lot has changed as a journey that he went through, but it really got me thinking about standard operating procedures in my own business and in the businesses of my clients. I’m really fortunate when I have team members come on, they’re around forever. I mean, the only way that they are out completely is if there’s just some personality clash, and I don’t clash with many people, period. I mean, even even the client was let go earlier this week. You know, I’ll be friendly. and answer questions if there are any. It’s just some people have to go. However, you know, the communication has to start from within. And as good leaders, I found that we have to be open to communication from our team members. And I love how you said that that grocery store, ask them what they want to do. Whoever I bring into my team, I asked them what they want to do, because I don’t want to give them a task that they’re going to be completely bored with, because I know they’re gonna find another because all my team members are consultants, they’ll find a team member or another client, I mean, that will give them something else that they’re interested in, and I’ll get shoved to the bottom. So I’d rather know that they love what they’re doing. And I’d rather know that if they want to do something else if they see something else that we’re doing and they want to learn how that they feel comfortable approaching me and asking, you know, will you teach me Will you give me resources and it’s always gonna be yes. Be colors of team awesome for a reason.
Kenneth Bator: That is awesome. I like that name.
Kim Sutton: Yeah, it was actually coined for my family. My husband I in my two sons way at the beginning, but it’s it’s been adopted by the business and now we’re just the circus here with all of our kids and animals.
Kenneth Bator: It sounds like a fun circus. But to go back to your point is Yeah, we got to treat people like people. Yeah, I truly believe that if we’re out of the Great Recession, and we obviously are and in some ways, but I think one of the biggest casualties of that great recession was employee engagement. I think we we learned to do more with with less and i think that you know, just having a one on one with a team member is kind of gone by the wayside. And in literally I’m surprised even with all of the reports, all the articles all the The different news outlets that are promoting employee engagement and the importance of it. I think, in fact, Dale Carnegie even had a study that said 75% of employees in the United States are disengaged with their employer and Gallup followed that up. I don’t know, they they deliberately followed it up. They actually estimated that the United States loses from a total business standpoint of at least 450 billion dollars a year from lack of employee engagement. Yeah, so yeah, we really need to get back to you know, the Stephen Covey’s Seven Habits of Highly Effective People of seek to understand and then to be understood, it’s proven that that you can increase profits by actually getting your team involved. You know, while I work on branding and strategy as well, you know, a lot of things gonna come down to culture. And you know, when my clients truly do work on employee engagement and getting the whole team involved so that you can get, you know, a maximum productivity out of your out of your best resource, which is your people. You know, rather than just working them to the bone, like they were a expense on on the balance sheet or the income statement, I should say, it really does transfer into profits. I mean, my clients that work with me, you know, one year, two year, three years, you know, they see income increases of over 100% I think the average is like 124%. And yeah, the main thing that we change is getting other people involved and getting them to want to be involved. Yeah, it’s, it sounds very simple, but you know, what’s what’s common sense isn’t always common practice and I’ve seen it time and time again, when when you can get everybody engaged. It truly is. leads first to increase productivity and then to to increase profits.
Oh yeah, definitely increase company culture, like a greater focus on company culture can even reduce the amount that you need to pay people to stay around because they love their job and they’re willing to work for less. Not everybody, but some people are willing to work for less when the culture is better, especially when there’s greater opportunity and and communication.
Yep, I’ve seen that before too. Yeah, it’s certainly there. There has to be a decent level of compensation. Um, you can’t be 70% below what everybody else is paying because you know, people need to live too, but I’ve seen it before where, you know, people are getting paid on on the lower end of the bubble, and still getting paid fairly but lower than they would with some competitors, but stay because they have work life balance there. are respected at their work. They don’t have a knot in their stomach when they’ve got to get up in the morning and go to work. Yeah, that that makes a huge, huge difference. And I talked about experiences earlier. And I think and Zappos mentions this as well, this was also said in the conference that I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, is they focus on not just simply creating an experience for their customers, but also and for and foremost an experience for their employees. And I think that when employees truly have a positive experience, that they stay longer, they are more productive. Now I’ve seen it in the bottom line, as I mentioned before, it’s much like I use an analogy when when I talk about experiences of restaurants, and that you know, there are restaurants where I’ve had some terrific amazing top level food, but will never go away. back because the food was the only positive thing about it I had to wait two hours for it the service the chairs weren’t comfortable you know the tables were on top of each other yeah it was it was didn’t get the value for the price but there are places that I frequent all the time where frankly the food is very very average I mean it’s good I mean much like the income of employees you have to be in a range and you can’t be terrible but yeah the food is just okay but everything else about the experience is top notch The service is excellent the TVs are exactly where I want them to be. The The seats are comfortable the lighting is is the right ambience and so on and so forth. Yeah, so it the experience is all about all of the different aspects of the business both for the employee and for the customer. And you know, when when the experience is truly top notch, you know, That has a tendency to Trump some of the other things like in my restaurant analogy the food or, or in an employee standpoint, the the income being just slightly lower than it may be someplace else.
I am all of a sudden getting memories of my first job out of college. I was an interior designer in New York City, and unexpectedly got pregnant with my first son shortly after I got a job. And it amazed me up until that point that in the interior design department, there were 11 of us or so that people weren’t staying around very long. I couldn’t really understand it until I was pregnant and had to start going to my doctor’s appointments. I would miss an hour or two of work and I would be docked for a half day or a whole day of work. And I was floored. Like how can you take a whole day of my personal leave because I was gone for an hour. That’s just wrong. Where’s the company culture there?
I would I would guess that They probably didn’t even give you a very good explanation as to why they do
it. Because that’s the way we do it.
Yep. Yep. I hear that all the time. And the clients that can get past that. The the ubiquitous Well, that’s the way that we do it. That’s the way that we’ve always done it. You know, I work with very, very well, and we have a great time and in what we accomplish, those that just can’t get past the well this is this is how we do it here arbitrarily without a reasoning because there are some things that we don’t need to change that we truly need to embrace. But let’s not just simply do it because we’ve always done it that way. Or there’s a piece of paper and a policy from 17 years ago that says we should do it that way. Yeah, let’s look at the reasoning behind it and change what we need to change. You know, those folks that that can’t let go of this is the way we’ve always done it. Usually Don’t become a beta training and consulting clients
to know how many times I took work to work on for that company.
Oh, probably daily.
Oh, no, never. Because I wasn’t passionate about the job after
that, you know, company after that, yeah, of course,
who give the, you know, unlimited sick or personal time? Yes, there are always going to be people who get more time off or take more time off. I mean, hey, look at me, I’m a mom of five. I would undoubtedly have to take more personal time off than anybody else. But if that were an option to me to have a job, if I ever had to go back to the workforce, that would give me unlimited time off. If my kids got sick, then you better believe I would be taking work home as often as I need it, or as often as I need to just because that was such a valuable part. That’s all I’m saying.
Kenneth Bator: Yeah, no, I agree. I remember from a personal story I remember being, I don’t know 10, 12 years old and my grandmother — they’re lived with us — And this was at the end of her career. She worked for a bank in Chicago, which was called First Chicago. It’s long since been gone. It got merged into bank one and now it’s part of chase or whomever. But she used to bring she was she was an hourly employee, and she used to bring home work from time to time.
Kenneth Bator: And I remember you know, my dad telling his mom, my grandmother, you know how ridiculous that was that she wasn’t getting paid for it. And you know why, you know, why are you letting them take advantage of you? And she would always say, you know what, then I did this. They didn’t ask me to do this. I did this of my own volition. And she always used to tell my dad. Yeah, they respect me there. Yeah, she enjoyed actually getting up and going on the train and going to work for that bank. And it had to do with with her feeling like she was truly part of something and not feeling like just another employee. Absolutely.
Kim Sutton: In your business besides website outsourcing, are there any other big points or big tasks that you have outsourced in the last few years and I would love to know more about the changes that you’ve seen in your own business as a result.
Kenneth Bator: You know, I think the biggest thing from an outsourcing standpoint is you know, I I actually work with other consultants from time to time on my business on aspects that I actually am an expert on. Um, for instance, yeah, I’ve talked to a consultant for a few weeks and and generally you know, I won’t from a consulting standpoint, I won’t work necessarily with somebody long term, but on short term basis basis sees you know, I’ve worked with other consultants on branding or strategy, um, to to get that different perspective. Sometimes it simply validates my thinking which in and of itself, is a value because then I will vacillate my head. It’s like, Alright, I’ve got a second opinion and they do agree with direction here. And other times it really does take me in another direction. For example, you know, I purchased a short term consulting program to talk to an individual across the country for five different sessions on my marketing message and branding. And he basically changed my whole messaging, um, which I just started to incorporate in my business. In the past, I’ve always been focused on my tagline, which is creating environments where employees actually want to come to work and customers want to keep coming back. And yeah, he mentioned you know, you’ve got to sell the result and not the experience. You know, the the message is fine, but people To understand what’s what’s the end game, and it forced me to go through numbers of my clients and how they increase their business, how they were able to take what I taught them and what I work with them on to, to actually transfer to the bottom line. And I found that wow, you know, my clients, on average, grow their business by about 17%. And they grow their income by about 124%. Um, so that’s what I lead with now. Now, I still use some of what, what some may call the soft messaging, but I lead right off the bat with you know, this is this is what my long term clients experience, the ones that use me for at least a year or more on these, these are the results that they get, and it’s beginning. Frankly, I just started this a month or two ago. It’s beginning to really get some traction and get the emails in and get a phone number. So that’s probably other than the website, you know, a another example of of trusting an outside source in in my own business,
it sounds like you probably pulled together some great numbers for some case studies to
Kenneth Bator: A few, you know, it’s the my favorite case study, frankly, which is a client I am currently working with have worked with for at least two and a half years is a financial institution. And while I work with a lot of service based business, businesses, restaurants, hair salons, and so forth, the firm’s in the financial industry are a little bit easier to get those numbers because they’re there. They’re public, but one in particular is a financial institution out in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Kenneth Bator: And yeah, they came to me first, to help them with some strategy, but noticed that there was a lot more brand confusion. They served a lot of different and disparate groups, they work with government employees, and then they also work with teachers and then they work with police officers and they’re, they’re all great people, don’t get me wrong, but you know, having having worked with police officers many times before, and also having been a son of a teacher, a high school teacher for 40 some years there that while they’re both good people, they think very, very differently, you know, they have very different focuses very different backgrounds.
Kenneth Bator: And to create a brand that’s gonna resonate with, with all of these different types of group groups is is a challenge. And what we eventually came up with is is their tagline was the glue and it was a tagline that not only they use for years and years and years, but most importantly they live that in the unique experience that they provided to their customers. And that tagline was simply “Banking on a first name basis.”
Kenneth Bator: And we went through a number of conversations on this, but the cliff notes version was basically who wouldn’t whether you’re a teacher or a police officer running profession wouldn’t appreciate banking on a first name basis. So we created and leveraged that particular idea in a lot of the brand messaging and the marketing that we did, not only externally but also internally to reinforce what we were already doing doing well, and they just took off. They really did is the CEO said they, they see it in the bottom line and the increase in the loans that they do and the increase in the products that they sell.
Kenneth Bator: Um, yeah, so that that to me is actually my favorite case, study. Especially especially since Barb the CEO goes out of her way to give me kudos. But as I always tell her the reason it works so well and continues to work is because she and the rest of our management team are so diligent about actually implementing the ideas that we talked about rather than just having a conversation so that that’s probably my favorite one today.
Kim Sutton: I like that, “Banking on a first name basis.”
My husband is actually the manager of an e-cigarette shop, And he has some days I feel like he’s working at cheers because he talks about his regulars. And he’ll tell me stories about and he’ll, he’ll show me the screenshots people his regulars will send him Facebook messages on his days off about what the other employees are doing. And they wait until the days that they know he’s gonna be there because they know that they’re going to be getting higher quality service because he does know them. You know, he knows their name when they walk in the door. He doesn’t have to ask for their VA P card when they go to checkout he knows what flavor of you know liquid they want but he’s got that down it’s not it’s not what drink Do you want Bob it’s like what liquid Do you want today?
yeah that’s that’s not uncommon at all you know I’ll give you two examples fun from the financial industry and one from from restaurants from we often talk about banks that have tellers and or personal bankers that have been there for a long time you know that brand is very much Julie behind the teller line or or Jenny at the personal banking desk, you know, where people wait longer and say no, you know, Jenny’s my personal banker. I’m gonna go in and see her in one of the restaurants that not only did I work with, as a as a consultant, but also as become one of one of my go to places. You know, I literally become friends with one of the managers I texted I said, Hey, you work in tonight? Because I know a fuse work and that I’m going to get my meal exactly the way I want to. And you know while when he’s not there, you know, certainly I still have a very good experience, but it’s always just a little bit different
than when he’s there. Oh, definitely.
Yeah, my kids prefer to eat on the nights when my husband’s cooking
and the nights that I’m cooking can this has been an absolute pleasure chatting with you? Where can listeners find you online and connect with you and get to know more about what you do?
Kenneth Bator: You know, the best way is simply to go to the website, which which will be redone. But that’s simply www.BTCINC.net. There is a lot of complimentary content on their website. They can get some some very quick tips on branding culture building and strategy. And obviously all my contact information as well as a contact form is there.
Kenneth Bator: And people that you know, just simply love to talk to me on the phone can call me direct, that simply 714-681-2821 and we can talk about how we can we can apply the B plus C plus S formula to their unique business to raise their productivity and profits,
Kim Sutton: fabulous listeners if you’re driving or on the elliptical while you’re listening. You can go to thekimsutton.com/pp188 at your convenience and you can get all the links there as well. Ken, thank you so much again. Do you have one last piece of parting advice, not the one that you offer on planes but another piece of parting advice that you can give
Kenneth Bator: The best piece of advice that I can give other than the service standards is to work with your team to set goals. Much like the service standards, you know whether you’re a team of 10 or a team of 100 or even 1000, find a way to get your team involved on goals and the strategy for your business because when people do truly feel like they’re involved, there’s there’s buy in and then implementation and execution of a strategy just simply becomes that much easier.