May 25, 2014

What Business Can Learn From UK Elections Speak the truth not spin. Speak in words we understand. Speak as if you have lived rather than studied. European and local elections have been held in the UK this week and irrelevant of your political views, it is another sign that people just don't do spin. Why is the voting so unpredictable? Why is there anti establishment movement? Listening to people about why and how they voted, people are tired of the constant soundbits, the evasive answers, the collective message rather than the party line. They are tired of being manipulated by messaging and brands need to recognise this is not just happening in politics.... media is your customer's voting system. Liken that to customer service and brands can learn some key lessons Listening does not mean what the "spin doctors" think people are means listening from living in the world rather than your business world. If you make a mistake, just say sorry. Just tell the truth and deal with it as openly as possible. Policitians across all parties don't seem to want to admit mistakes, yet we all make them. Admit them, move on and work hard to put them right. Values are important. If you don't hold yourself to the standards you espouse, no one will ever believe the words you say. That means losing great people, it means removing friends which is tough....but without hard decisions on individuals you risk the welfare of the whole. Answer the question asked by your customer rather than giving the line that has been agreed by your brand. Being successful in the past is no guarantee for the future. You biggest competitor....complacency. The value of the truth. People see through lies, no matter how well you think you have hidden them. Words have the power to change the world. Imagine if Martin Luther King had said "I have knocked on doors and understand your issues. From that we have created policies. If I was in power, then I would have a mission which will be tracked by key performance indicators" People demand honesty. People demand an answer. People demand accountability. Therein lies a business opportunity.....because the brands that can ACTUALLY deliver their promises, ACCEPT when they fall short, ADDRESS what caused it and APPEAR human whilst they do all this...will be way ahead of their competition! Do you have the 4 A approach to your customer?

Anna Farmery

Social Marketing Architect, Speaker, Author and in spare time completing PhD on the future of the social business model

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