Talking Brand Building and Consistency with Rob Park
Helcim’s lofty goal is to become the world’s most loved payments company. As COO, Rob Park leads the company in its pursuit to redefine what small and medium businesses expect from their payments provider. In a recent episode of the One Billion Raving Fans podcast, we were lucky enough to sit down with him for a chat. We talked about all things brand building, including the importance of brand consistency, living up to your brand, building a team, mentoring juniors in the workplace and navigating the perils of social media when it comes to online brand reputation.
Be sure to check out the full podcast episode below. In the meantime, don’t miss some of our favourite insights and most valuable tips from this discussion we’re sharing in this article.
Talking Brand Building with Rob Park
We always like to kick off hearing more about our guests and exactly what they do. For Rob, that means hearing more about Helcim, a payments company that has given itself the lofty goal of being the most loved payments company.
As Rob explains, they are here to deliver a better payment service for small and medium-sized businesses so they can help them run their businesses and let them grow.
This brings us to the overarching topic of our conversation: brand building and reputation.
After all, as Rob says, the team at Helcim set out with this goal of being the most-loved payments company, knowing the industry doesn’t have the best reputation itself. (Thanks to things like long-term contracts with hefty cancellation fees, hidden fees, misleading sales practices, etc.)
So, this left the Helcim team (learn more about them here) focusing on precisely what they could do to differentiate themselves from other payments companies. Ultimately, they realized they could be the good guys in a less-than-stellar industry.
One way to start doing this is with company culture. As a fellow business based in Calgary, we then wanted to hear from Rob how being in Calgary affects the culture they have at their company and how they can provide for customers.
Rob explains that, as most of the team is based in the same city (Calgary), this comes with a lot of advantages in terms of company culture:
“Whenever there’s a problem to be solved or a question to be answered, everybody’s together, and you can just walk over to the expert and talk to them and get an answer right away. Versus having that physical separation that I think can bring fatigue to customer experience because the people who are providing the service and the help, can’t go talk to the people who build and make the products.”
Another notable element of their company culture is their hybrid work style. As of right now, Rob says, this means working two days per week at home and three in office. This gives the company the added advantage of focusing on mentoring junior team members.
How customer service and company culture overlap
This led us to our next conversation topic. As a company that prioritizes a “human touch” in customer service, we wondered how they support their customer service staff, enabling them to offer the very best service.
For starters, Rob says:
“You need to provide solid pathways for them to take the challenges they’re facing and bring it into feedback that makes a difference in the company and its products.”
He also lists several other important components, including creating a workplace that encourages autonomy, critical thinking, and good judgment.
Rob notes that the people making the biggest decisions in a company are often the furthest removed from the customers. That’s why, he says, the feedback from people on the peripheral side of things that are close to the feedback coming from the real world is so vital to an organization’s customer service success.
“I think that’s how you keep your customer service teams happy,” Rob says: “Value their contribution, show it in your actions and your decision-making, and provide ways that feedback they’re dealing with can go to useful places and solve problems.”
The importance of consistency for brand building
Offering incredible customer service at every step is one crucial part of brand consistency. It’s a must when it comes to brand building.
Rob also notes this consistency comes down to this question customers ask themselves: “Am I going to get what I expect to get?”
After all, Rob explains, building your products and your services with customer experience in mind is absolutely important. But then it also means living up to what you say you’re going to do for your customers and with your products or services.
Building your brand on social media
Next, we came to the topic of social media and brand building. As Shannon and Rob discuss, social media is a mixed bag. But when it comes to businesses having an online presence, it’s hard to avoid.
Rob explains that weighing the good and bad of social media is always on his mind. He worries about the adverse effects of social media, particularly on young people.
However, from a business standpoint, it’s often where you need to be for customers to find you. And this is particularly true for the payments industry, where there isn’t a lot of competition. So, if businesses aren’t on social media where consumers are likely to find them, they’re forced to go to big players instead and pay them a bunch of money.
Rob sums it up: “Ultimately, I think social media for brand building can be good. It can bring people together, and it can share ideas. And it’s a way for businesses to potentially punch above their weight because they can go get exposure that would have been harder to get at a time before social media.”
What Do Your Customers Expect?
We also want to touch on how WaitWell’s queue management software is helpful with brand building—particularly if you want to build a business or a brand known for elevated customer experiences, minimal wait times, and convenience. When the entire process of physically waiting in line is virtually eliminated, you’ll have happier customers, patients, or patrons.
And when it comes to choosing between your brand over another that doesn’t offer these services? You can guess which one they’ll pick! Click here to see how WaitWell works.