Who wants to talk to robots?
How do you feel when you hear:
“Your call is important to us, please hold…?”
I don’t know about you, but I feel like my call isn’t important at all.
So why do most companies still use so many trite, cold messages like this?
And if people buy from people, why do most organisations end up acting like robots?
We don’t mind buying from robots when they make things quicker and more convenient. It’s why bank branches are closing left, right and centre. But we like to know there’s a human to turn to if we need any help.
When humans have to follow a script or conform to a process, you’re making them act like robots. And no-one wants to feel like a robot.
Even when people are free to go off-script, to be more human, the company’s processes often hem them in. They want to do their best for your customers, but the systems won’t let them.
Change can be a challenge
If you run a business, you probably want your culture to be human, your brand to feel human and your communication to sound human. The problem is, it’s hard to change, especially for big companies with millions of customers.
The systems and processes that helped you scale get in the way of doing what’s right for customers. You worry it’ll cost too much to change and that will make investors unhappy.
It’s hard to make your vision of a better, more human company real. People don’t get it and change seems to happen so slowly.
Is there an answer?
Startups disrupt industries by giving human customers what they want. For example, we all need beds. Mattress company Casper saw an opportunity in an industry pretty much asleep at the wheel. You had to visit a store, get the spiel from an old-school salesperson and wait months for your bed to arrive.
Casper decided to do everything online, deliver to your door within days and take your mattress back if you’re not happy. Their sales grew to $550 million in just 5 years and they spawned a load of copycats.
The point is, they saw an industry looking after itself, rather than giving us what ordinary humans need and want – speed, value and recognition.
This focus is easier for companies starting out. But as they scale, they face the same problems all big businesses do.
Most fall into the same trap and become less human. They become robots and stop serving the very people who helped them get where they are.
The answer’s in your language
Changing is hard. Most programmes fail because change is hard to implement and tricky to make stick.
But there’s an incredibly powerful tool that’s effectively free, and mostly ignored – language.
Why is it so powerful?
We express our vision and strategy in language.
We lead and engage people using language.
We monitor and control through language.
Language is in everything from your strategy to your performance contracts. It’s all over your marketing, fundamental to customer service and it’s enshrined in your ts&cs.
Everybody in your organisation speaks and writes. So you really can reach everyone, from the postroom to the boardroom.
And if you’ve struggled to make change happen before, language is the subtle, but powerful tool you’ve been looking for.
What can language give you?
When you focus on language, you can get everyone connecting as humans, not just employees.
You can help people work as themselves – energised and engaged and more willing to cooperate to overcome barriers.
They’ll feel part of something bigger than themselves, more into your mission.
You’ll help them to be agile and confident, able to respond to customers’ changing needs.
You can create a more cohesive culture which means your customer service is in tune with your marketing.
You’ll find it easier to give customers what you promised.
You’ll make your customers happier which will keep them with you and reduce their need to complain.
It’ll make you more efficient and save you money.
When you change your language, you change how people behave.
More human, less robot.
If you want to make your business more human, ring me on +44(0)7909 221130 and I’ll help you get started.