Why is it that negative critics always dominate the conversation about a brand, company, organization, or product while the rest of the happy, satisfied, and loyal customers are not heard from?
According to a study done in Texas, negative feedback is 11th times likely to be dominant than positive, satisfied comment. This 11 dissatisfied people will then talk to at least 5 (average) other people about their dissatisfaction.
This goes to show that perception is malleable and can be shaped on the basis of who is doing what to whom. Word-of-mouth works if it's positive, it could be fatal if it's negative and totally based on misinformation and has the purpose to damage the reputation of your organization, brand, or products. To say, in this world we live, going viral- can be both a bane and a boon.
The lessons in corporate and management history suggest that we need to take a stock, monitor, evauate, and strategize how we are projecting ourselves out there, what kinds of things are being said about us, and how we can favorably turn those conversations to our favor and advantage.
This is not about propaganda or fake news, this is an honest-to-goodness management of public relations. If you can't control how you want to be perceived, some one will create it for you and that is the least comforting things as an idea.
When was the last time you heard from a delighted customer? Why don't you toot your own horn, and harvest your own successes and achievements. You are not making it up, there is social proof on every thing that you will declare out there. What is worst is that the deluge of uber-the-top negativity has been allowed to poison the minds of those who are just fence-sitters and observers? There is so much on the line here.
That has to stop and you can make concrete, tangible, and long-term commitment to making it work. If you can post your comments on Facebook and Twitter account everyday, you can do more on this area than just being passive and reactive.
I called the bank one day hoping to speak to a banker about my lack of access to my online account.
I called the toll number and I got these options:
Press 1: For banking hours and locations
Press 2: Credit card questions
Press 3: For loans, insurance
Press 4: for other products
Press 5: for loss of card, etc.
Press 6: For online banking
I pressed 6 I got led to a number of options
Please dial your number
Please dial your birth date followed by a # key
Oopps, sorry I didn't get your number, try again.
I tried again and then the line went dead.
Can we just talk to another sane human being who has a moderate level of intelligence, can understand our frustrations, and can handle our issues adequately?
Enough of these robocalls!
A few years ago, I was a victim of the 'management by walking around' practice. Having been a staff myself, it confused me tremendously why management and executives have to do the rounds by walking around, pretending to be really curious and interested of personnel's work. What exactly can be derived by walking around the hall other than disturbing staff' precious time focused on real work and getting into chitchat with those that have nothing to do at the moment.
Visibility is good when there is a strategic purpose to visibility. Visibility alone is nothing.
Creating real genuine interpersonal relations is good but when it gets down to work, your boss is not your friend and vice-versa.
Also, this family vibe in many companies and organizations is also fake. This is not a family relation, this is business and you have a job to do and will get appraise at the next six-month mark.
There is a tremendous waste of monies and time on team building exercises meant to look like everyone is having a happy time, fetching water, building sand castles, catching people up when they fall, rappelling down ravines -all in the name of team work. There is no team work in that superficial encounters.
Real team work is about solving real problems and challenges as a team and experiencing satisfction from joint accomplishments.
He found me cutting some papers for my program activity for children. "This is work," I told him and he said, "good job," and turned around.
What is communication without strategic purpose?
It is like a cymbal being beaten incessantly without rhyme or reason.
It is the spam you don't want to receive.
It is the advertising in the television that you want to skip when it's on.
It is your company newsletter that is telling all the good news but not taking time to consider what bad news needs to be communicated too!
It is the talking without the regard for the needs of listeners.
It is empowering to talk and communicate in itself without the higher purpose of fulfilling one's life mission or organizational mandate.
Stop wasting your resources on one-way communication. It is good to build skills on communication but without alignment to the strategic objectives, it becomes a self-development crusade. It is just 'good-to-have.'
I was on a phone call last week talking to a major trade association staff. I inquired about the program I thought was still running and getting a lot of engagement from their membership based from the website page I viewed.
It turned out that that program did not exist anymore. It was terminated in 2015 after a few years running it due to many reasons. I inquired about other programs that they may have.
The staff, very knowledgeable about their association told me that based on their strategy, they would like to provide thought leadership through resources, information, knowledge products they produced on a regular basis. Because of this, they cannot be doing something else that might distract them or be contrary to this organizational goal.
Very well said.
I wish that a lot of organizations have effectively articulated and communicated where their organization is going and how to get there to all the vital organs of the organization, including the staff, volunteers, and key clients/customers.
As I was told, then I become more aware of their work and the kind of business strategies they have to operate effectively in this challenging environment.
The best strategies do not stay on the shelf, gathering dust. It is lived and experienced and harnessed by all the people and stakeholders that take time to develop and nurture them to shepherd its successful implementation.
I am a customer that is now more informed.
Did you know that Albert Einstein's brain was dissected after he died and scientists tried to figure out his genius by doing that? That is an extreme measure.
Most of the time, we try to decipher the inner thoughts of our leaders and managers to get a glimpse of their thought processes so that we can have clues to the rationale behind their actions and motivations.
Imagine your supervisor, CEO, head of the division, owner of the company starts doing something that nobody understands. This happens more than you think. Well, the old man doesn't know how to communicate or much less articulate where exactly the business is going and if our jobs will be the next in the firing line.
Companies who haven't made the implicit explicit suffer from unnecessary complexities. Without clear, rational, and strategic thinking, CEOs and leaders cannot articulate and galvanize support from their managers and staffers. Too many times, assumptions that do not conform to the realities of the market, and honest valuation of where the business is growing, where threats are coming from, on and so forth, lose its meaning. Take the case of Sears. The giant company folded up recently because the CEO has lost sight of why it was a great success in the past, forces a new strategy that is totally alien to their core DNA and thus imploded from within.
The challenge is getting the implicit assumptions out and putting on the table, dissecting it, challenging it, validating it, and raising it up to pass the standards of what the market requires and what assets the organization have/can muster. That is the place where strategic thinking starts in organizations. Alternatives can only be sought if the original idea has been validated to be no longer tenable in the context of the competitive landscape, obsolescence of product/services, or organizational failure.
Steve Jobs started with the strategy where personal computers are present in every homes-this strategy is part of the larger vision for computers to become part of the lives of people-not just in companies and institutions as computing tools for business. Avon believes in the Avon lady-as the business strategy that underlies the assumptions that the best distribution is through personal connections & word-of-mouth than using a store-front retail approach.
The best organizations have truly expressed in many creative ways what they stand for, their values and operational missions, their business strategies, and their stories that connect with their stakeholders in a compelling way.
The journey towards their next level of growths starts with understanding why the status quo no longer works/or why it is viable and define the possibilities that can come from that realization.
Do you want a piece of Einstein's brain? Hmmm.