Strategy and Sausages:
A British Strategic Planner in Germany
Thursday, 16 August 2018
Pity the Postmaster
In days gone by, the postman's main fear was being bitten by an aggressive dog. These days, the email postmaster is probably more at risk of being attacked by angry customers, but more of that later.
A new study by consultants Globeoneshows that only 18% of German companies communicate a purpose (the benefit to society at large) in their claims. But, as Globeone point out, having a claim with what appears to be a higher purpose expressed in it is not enough: "However, the use of a strong purpose goes far beyond the development of a brand claim – it must be lived by the entire organization, because otherwise the credibility of such a positioning is not given. " Quite often, even if the management are behind the purpose, it doesn't filter down to those who are actually communicating with customers. Take an example: Deutsche Telekom. To cut a long story short, I seem to be unable to send emails to BTinternet users. You'd think that 2 of the largest providers in Europe might actually be able to work out that their users want to communicate with each other, but it seems not. Here are just some statements from my email conversation with the Postmaster: "unfortunately, there is no way for us to force other providers or administrators to accept messages from our servers. We think that BT's policy is not wrarranted and that "SPF" really does more harm than good. Thus we do not have an solution for you at this time." "we are afraid that it will take some time until our customers can send e-mail to customers of BT again." "We are familiar with the behaviour of the servers from btinternet.com and we stay in contact with btinternet. But we can't promise you a fast solution." These emails were inevitably signed off with the claim "Life is for Sharing", which I would like to amend to "Life is For Sharing. Except with BT customers." I don't blame the Postmaster. He/she/they have a fairly thankless job, dealing with problems and customers that make a rabid Rottweiler look like a poodle puppy. But I do think that people on the customer interface should have training on the implications of what the purpose means for them in their customer-facing role. Of course, there will be problems and hitches. But it's how these are dealt with that makes the difference.
When I was little, I wanted to be a spy. I got off to a good start, studying Psychology at Trinity College, Cambridge but somehow got side-tracked into the wonderful world of advertising and marketing.
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