We think together a lot, more ideas bubble to the surface, more desire to see something good done.
We live in an age where there should be no excuses, no reasons why we cannot act - on our dreams, on our work, on making something amazing happen.
That is why it's all the more disappointing when companies do not embrace the tools to lean forward into the issues, communicate better, more effectively, with customers. The opportunity is right when something goes wrong. At the time of this writing, I have no power and have been on hold with PECO energy for an hour. I'm hanging up.
This is not the way to connect with customers in a noisy world. There is no amount of marketing material the energy provider will be able to throw at me to make me do something. The time to act is now, on the customer service line. And the nice messaging on low emissions goes out the window when hundreds or thousands of customers are running their generators because they know they'll get nowhere with you.
There is an action as a reaction to lack of action, if that makes sense. Not doing anything is also an action and it has consequences - for people and in this case, the environment.
But I don't like to dwell on the negative, I do believe in karma and I like the good kind - for me and for the rest of us.
I wanted to introduce you to this gem from Tom Asacker, who's been an inspiration through his work and in the comments to this blog recently. It's called A Little Less Conversation - connecting with customers in a noisy world. It's written as a conversation between Tom and a business executive after an event.
Some pearls of wisdom (in bold), with my own additional thoughts:
- you can no longer benchmark and model the past in order to be successful in the future - just because you can, it does not mean you should. If you haven't read it, I urge you to read the conversation we had with Frank Eliason from Comcast.
Frank has given me hope, the company is backing him up with action. This is important to establish a connection. There is no loyalty program that will make up for letting down your customers. There is no stronger trust than that acquired by coming through.
- to construct their views of reality, people combine what they sense with what they already think, feel, and believe - truth is subjective, and that's why it's so hard to regain trust once you lost it. It goes to memory.
- the most valuable and scarce thing is a strong brand protected by an organization with unique capabilities to appeal to customers' changing priorities and preferences and ultimately, make them happy - do I need to elaborate? If you don't know what would make your customers happy, ask them. They'll tell you.
- people don't dislike change, not really. What they abhor is the unknown, because they can't envision it - no vision, no action. Hence the importance of communications. So that we're clear, listening is a big part of communications, or you won't know that communication in fact did take place.
- branding is about creating your essence by working with customers to uniquely add value to their lives - value is what the customer thinks, not the company.
- you are what you do (and why you do it) - are you doing the right things?
There are many more. I wanted to give you what resonated the most with me. I'm with Tom, we need a little less conversation. I say we need more "agent". What about you?