You know the childhood rhyme, stick and sticks may break my bones but words will never hurt me. Nothing could be farther from the truth.
According to Wikipedia, the phrase first appeared appeared in The Christian Recorder of March 1862, a publication of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. It became a mantra of defense for kids who were the victimized by name calling. The truth is, words hurt—I mean, they can cut you really deep. In this age of social media, general audiences are no-holds-barred, brutally honest when a brand experience fails to deliver.
Words shared in conversation. Words written in a scathing email. Words posted in a review anonymously. Words can make and break a business. I’ve made really good decisions and really bad decisions in business. I’ve gained clients and lost clients—nothing to do with the quality of design work, but everything to do with the experience of the working together. I learned the weight of words the hard way and I want you to learn from my mistakes.
In 2019, I want you to spend some time mapping your customer experience. After a phone call, or an email, what happens next? At which touchpoint do you set yourself apart from your competitors? How can you ensure a favorable experience, even when the outcome is unfavorable?
Plan for the best and the worst to ensure the brand experience is overwhelmingly positive.