Monday, April 17, 2017

5 Ways to Create Content That Breaks Down Trust Barriers

Since the Brexit decision (and the gradual withdrawal process that began in late March), many U.K. consumers have been faced with a harsh reality: having to pay more for the products they want.

Still, I recently read a ShopSafe article that said Brits plan to continue buying as they always have. Why? Because they’ve learned to trust the brands they buy from -- they’re loyal to them. That’s pretty impressive. It got me thinking about what brand loyalty and trust mean and how content comes into play.

If I visit a company’s website and find no evidence of actual human existence -- no photos of team members, no phone number, no blog content and no links to social media accounts that have actually been maintained -- I usually assume the worst. This company might be a fraud or it has terrible customer service (or maybe it’s hiding something else entirely). Whatever it is, I assume I can’t trust it.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Why Every Smart Decision Comes Only After an Evaluation of Customer Needs

Contrary to what many believe about the most famous leaders and entrepreneurs in the world, they aren’t fortune tellers. They don't have to be, and you don’t either.

Companies are likely doomed if they commit to creating products they think their customers need, without actually stopping to verify if that's true. However, if, when they listen to those customers, empathy, creativity and innovation intersect, those companies can establish trusted relationships with customers.
And that trust can be based on a mutual transmission of value: The customers get their problems solved and the companies find out exactly what they need.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

6 Tips for Helping Employees Work Through Conflicts

Throughout my decades working in a leadership role, I've learned a lot about helping people through conflicts in the workplace. For example, Robert is a great guy. But when he started working with me, he was always getting into conflicts with coworkers. Part of the problem was that Robert tended to be aggressive with the other employees. He could come across as pushy, loud and overbearing. He is a good worker who cares about other people, but just didn't know how to show it. Helping him to work with his behavior took some time, but bore great fruit.
Understand that everyone is well-intended.

When I sat down with Robert, I first had to create a heart-to-heart connection. Like everyone, deep within his heart, he wanted to get along with people. I would get to that place with him by talking about almost anything other than his recent conflict, when he had yelled at another employee in a very intimidating way. We could talk about the weather or a sporting event or weekend plans. It didn't matter. What mattered was the connection. From that foundation, we could then go into the issue at hand. This is an effective way to put the person at ease so they are open to listening.