Training Top 125 Best Practice: AAA Northeast Ambassadorship
AAA Northeast’s Ambassadorship program trained and engaged all 3,300 employees in the organization to become Club Ambassadors, who promote the features and benefits of the AAA Club’s roadside service, travel, insurance, financial, and other products and services both inside and outside of the workplace.
The executive sponsor of this program is AAA Northeast’s VP of Member Services, who spearheaded a cross-functional team heavily involved in the design, development, and marketing of the program. The team included multiple executives, including the VP of Branch Sales, VP of HR, SVP of Marketing, VP of Technology, VP of E-Business, and the VP of Travel. AAA Northeast’s president/CEO facilitated the introduction of the initiative with a communication to every employee in the Club outlining the key benefits and potential impact of the program to all employees.
The program was reinforced with a 20-minute interactive e-learning that provided an overview of Ambassadorship using animated videos to show specific examples. The e-learning also encouraged employees to share stories of when and how they demonstrate Ambassador behaviors. The Ambassador stories continue to be shared each month via e-mail, a specific Webpage on the company intranet, and throughout televisions in the organization’s 70-plus locations.
In addition, each employee in the Club is required to complete the company’s Membership 101 Curriculum, which is a five-module e-learning program covering a variety of topics to reinforce AAA Membership benefits.
Additionally, the company highlights an Ambassador Product/Service each month for reinforcement. This is done in a variety of methods, including e-mail, product/service-specific e-learning, intranet, televisions, raffles, additional employee discounts, and enhanced communication.
AAA Northeast is a multi-business organization, making it challenging to engage all employees to understand and promote the wide variety of products and services that are included with a AAA Membership. This was the first time the company broke down silos, putting the member first, and speaking to the overall value of the membership, as opposed to viewing a member as only a travel customer or insurance policyholder.
The approach aligns with the implementation of a customer relationship management system (CRM) named internally “Members First.” The CRM helps further breakdown silos by providing more relevant information about AAA members. AAA Northeast also is launching a mobile app that is synced to its CRM. It will allow all employees to create leads and send them to the appropriate business line when they are outside of AAA promoting the company’s products and services.
The Ambassadorship program has shown behavior change through the Ambassador stories received each month. The initial goal of the program was to receive an average of five stories per month. The company exceeded this goal by receiving an average of eight Ambassador stories each month.
Increasing awareness of AAA Northeast products and services as ambassadors has a direct impact on its goal of boosting revenue throughout each business line. To increase the number of AAA Savings Program accounts, AAA Northeast launched an interactive e-learning outlining the features and benefits of the program to all employees as part of the Ambassadorship Product of the Month program. Since launching the e-learning, the company has seen a substantial improvement in performance. AAA Northeast originally forecast losing approximately 43 accounts per month, but instead saw an increase of 97 accounts in July 2019 and 474 accounts in August 2019, which led to a significant increase in revenue.