When Is It Time to Let a Brand Ambassador Go?

Unless you’re a monster, letting people go is probably not your favorite part of the job. For many, the idea of letting a team member go gives them a nauseous feeling.

When Is It Time to Let a Brand Ambassador Go? But, ultimately, it’s important to your company and your team that every person gives 100%, including your brand ambassadors. In my experience, there’s no quicker culture-killer than having team members who aren’t contributing their fair share. This doesn’t mean you can expect every brand ambassador to operate at their peak every single day – sometimes they may have a 103 fever or a family member may be in the hospital. In those situations, we suggest extending grace.

But there comes a time when it’s better for both parties to part ways. How can you know when it’s time?

Here are 8 signs that it’s time to let your brand ambassador go.

1. The brand ambassador is not hitting KPIs.

In order for an experiential marketing campaign to be effective, you must set clear KPIs, or key performance indicators. These should be communicated to all levels of the organization, including the brand ambassadors. For experiential marketing campaigns, your KPIs may be units sold/shift, email addresses collected, samples distributed, social media follows, etc. If your brand ambassador is not achieving the goals, and you’re sure the goals are realistic, try coaching them first. Be kind, but clear in your expectations. If they are still not able to achieve the goals, unfortunately, you will need to release them from the team.

2. The brand ambassador is repeatedly requesting reschedules.

Brand ambassadors often choose experiential marketing because they love the flexible hours. However, sometimes reschedules can be damaging to the activation. We’ve had brand ambassadors ask to do a retail demo at 8am on a Tuesday…not an ideal time to reach customers. Ultimately, to keep great brand ambassadors, you will likely need to offer some flexibility. But if you find a brand ambassador’s reschedules are hurting the quality of your events or your relationships with event organizers or retailers, you should speak with them about what you see as a reasonable amount of flexibility. If you can’t see eye to eye, encourage the brand ambassador find a position that offers the flexibility they are looking for.

When Is It Time to Let a Brand Ambassador Go? 3. The brand ambassador has received a verified complaint from a retailer or event organizer.

We often send brand ambassadors to retailers or events on their own, without the HFA management onsite. Sometimes we find out in a spot check call that a brand ambassador was on their phone during the event. Or perhaps there was an incident with a customer or event attendee. Double yikes! In these situations, get as much documentation as you can – surveillance tapes, corroborating stories, etc. And, if possible, speak to the brand ambassador directly about the incident. Ultimately, you will have to determine if the claim from the retailer or event organizer is valid, and if so, if it warrants termination.

4. The brand ambassador has a habit of running late.

Almost everyone has been late to a shift or two, but when it’s a pattern, it needs to be addressed. At retail demos, running late can mean you don’t get your full activation time because a competing brand is coming in after you. At an event, it might mean you missed the rush, which could affect the number of engagements. At the very least, habitual tardiness communicates this role is not the brand ambassador’s top priority. It’s also a behavior that spreads like wildfire. It’s best to nip this behavior in the bud.

5. The brand ambassador lied on their timesheet.

At HFA, we have a 100% termination policy for any brand ambassador caught falsifying their timesheet. When working with remote employees, it’s imperative we have trust in the brand ambassador representing us and our clients. Lying about hours worked also conflicts with one of our core values, ethics. We’ve created entire protocols to ensure our clients are getting all the activation hours they are paying for. Read more about that in our blog on spot checks here.

When Is It Time to Let a Brand Ambassador Go? 6. The brand ambassador inflates their results.

We get it, we all want to hit our goals. But at HFA, inflating the results will result in parting ways. Similar to lying about worked hours, inflating results is a conflict with our stance on ethical activations. Some exaggerations are easy to identify – email capture for example. Others, like samples distributed, are a little more difficult. We take measures at HFA to spot misreported data. We understand calculations done in the field can have a degree of variance, but when there is an egregious difference between what was reported and the verified results, this is cause for suspicion.

7. The brand ambassador fails to complete their reporting.

This might seem small, but if a brand ambassador doesn’t fill out an end of shift report, you’re missing out on useful data that could help you improve not just your experiential marketing ROI, but perhaps your product formulation or larger marketing strategy. Most of our clients comb through the event reports to find nuggets of wisdom that can be shared with the larger organization. In addition to missing out on valuable data, we believe when a brand ambassador doesn’t fill out their report, it communicates they do not understand the value of their insights. We often comment on the end of shift reports to let the brand ambassadors know how important they are!

8. The brand ambassador no-shows their shift.

We don’t feel this needs much explanation. If a brand ambassador doesn’t show up to work, it’s time to look at termination. Our experience is when this area is not enforced, the brand ambassador almost always no-shows again.

If you are building your own demo team, we hope you are able to build a solid team of raving fans who hit their KPIs consistently. But, if someone doesn’t meet your expectations, our advice is to let them find a role where they will flourish. Your program and the individual will be better off for it!

What do find is the most common reason you’ve let brand ambassadors go?


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