On the face of it, the bus driver is paid by the hour to get passengers safely from point A to point B. But most of the value he creates for the bus company, not to mention the city, has nothing to do with his driving ability. It’s in the empathetic work of reassuring passengers…

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In a commercial world, we use stories tactically to convince and convert prospective customers. We work hard to change minds and capture hearts, with persuasive words and evocative images in an attempt to make an emotional connection with the people we want to reach. The stories we tell our customers form our external narrative. We’re…

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We are sometimes in the dark about what our customers want, so we make assumptions or ask them in the hope of happening upon the truth. There is a third way to get closer to our customers—one we regularly overlook. People’s actions and reactions can reveal more about their internal dialogue than their words. When…

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Despite everything we know about the benefits of fostering customer loyalty, most of our marketing is designed to change what people think or do in the short term. We change the label from white to yellow to get a millisecond more attention. We offer discounts on product lines we want to shift and when we…

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Just two days before Christmas while every other retailer was happily dealing with long lines, the outdoor clothing and travel equipment store was empty. Not a customer in sight. They should have been doing a brisk trade in torches, camping accessories and stocking fillers, yet the assistants had plenty of time to finesse the ‘Boxing…

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When Shaun sent through a link to an article declaring ‘storytelling dead’ and asked me to comment, I wasn’t at all surprised to read what followed. The piece suggested that because attention spans are shrinking your customers don’t have time to pay attention to your story. Here’s a snippet of the rationale that followed: “…it’s…

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It was 10 am and the queue at the cafe serving coffee that’s less than 48 hours out of the roaster was ridiculously long. The line moved impossibly slowly, and yet not a single person left it to go to one of the many cafes that could serve them a forgettable drink in moments. Leaving…

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It was just a short internal flight, you barely enough time to get comfortable in your seat—46 minutes to be exact. That didn’t stop the guy who had mistakenly been ‘downgraded’ from business class to economy from blowing a gasket. He complained loudly, his finger stabbing in the direction of the gate agent’s face, while…

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As soon as she handed the keycard for the upgraded room to the formerly disgruntled (now beaming) guest, the receptionist smiled and handed her a second card. Her eyes held those of the woman who had been complaining loudly only five minutes before. “Would you please consider giving us a review on Trip Advisor, the…

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