Last week a friend told me he thought the whole world needed what we do. After I deflated my ego, I realised he had a point.

Suddenly we’re in a weird world where people need to be more human. In fact the one thing clients have asked for most since lockdown is empathy training for conversation and writing.

We’re speaking and writing all the time – to customers, to employees, to all our stakeholders. And we need to be clear and compassionate.

Most people find this hard and the evidence is in your inbox. Have a quick scroll through the emails you’ve had from different companies in the last few weeks.

How many of them are 5 or more paragraphs? My current winner is 17 long.
How many of them use the words ‘unprecedented’ or ‘challenging’, clichés we switch off from?
How many of them are unclear, cold or just downright cringy?

I’m collecting examples of the good, bad and ugly. Unfortunately, the good list is very, very short. Here is a corking example from clothing company, Boden.

Boden message

I’m normally about giving my knowledge away for free. But companies need my help right now so here are 5 reasons you should hire us.

1. See the wood for the trees

A banking client has had to design a whole new customer journey virtually overnight, to help customers in need. From inside the system it’s harder to see how customers will experience it. So they asked us to bring their customers’ perspective and help them create an experience that works for them, not just the process.

(Oh and we’ve worked with more than 200 different companies, in almost every sector, so we know a bit about different markets too).

2. Get clear thinking

Writing isn’t just putting words on paper. It’s about thinking. Thinking clearly. And that sounds easy, doesn’t it? But hardly anyone does it. So we came up with a process – Afiatone, 5 easy steps to get your thinking crystal clear before you start writing. Our clients are getting phenomenal results from it. Ring me and I’ll tell you what’s happening for them.

3. Would you ask an electrician to fix your toilet?

You could. But the chances are you wouldn’t be that happy. If you’ve got a problem with your language, how you write and how your customers respond, you can fix it yourself. Or you could talk to a team who’ve done specifically this, for many, many businesses, for over 20 years. We’ll help you identify where the problem is, work out how to fix it with you and give you the tools and training you need to change things.

4. It’s more than words

How do you know if you have a problem with language? It might show up in poor responses to customer letters. You might have increasing complaints and escalations on the phone. You might feel a disconnect between how your people behave and how you communicate.

Whatever the symptoms, the prescription might not be as simple as rewriting a few things. That’s why we call ourselves language strategists.

We understand the behavioural science and how people make decisions. We get the neuroscience, why customers (and colleagues) feel how they feel. We’re brand strategists who can weave vision and values seamlessly into behaviour. We’ve designed workshops and training that have reached more than 35,000 people in person, and remotely. And we have some pretty awesome copywriters, too.

5. Senior marketers think we’re ace

I could keep listing reasons to work with us but I’ll just leave it here…

“Over the past few months Ben has been helping us to transform our organisation and the way we communicate – elevating our customer experience and making us more human in the process. Ben is incredibly engaging, knows what he is talking about and has been a pleasure to work with. What started out as a relatively small piece of work looking at the language we use every day has morphed into a cultural transformation project which has captured the imagination of the whole organisation.”

Simon McGuiness, Head of Customer Experience

If one of these 5 reasons connects with you drop me a line and we can talk more.