Is the Customer Always Right?

In the good old days, the customer was always right.  So are they any more?


Well, no. Partly because of the size of some businesses now don’t allow for any sort of human engagement with the people on the ground in a store/warehouse/pub; partly because some customers will try anything on to get what they want; partly because our bullsh*t filters are all really good these days, so we know the likely right/wrong outcome; and partly because some people are just wrong.

The point is this:

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Eight Things I’d like to see in iOS 8

It’s Apple’s World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC) 2014 next week, so I thought I’d join the speculation bandwagon and propose eight things I’d like to see in iOS 8.

1. Actionable email

Trash or More?…that’s not enough. Why can’t we swipe across an email and bring a whole host of option icons like trash, flag, move, calendar, remind me later (a la Mailbox or Dispatch)? Email is boring enough as it is, and so often requires an action, so why not bring it to life a bit and make it work?


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Of, by and for…why a co-operative should be a perfectly promotable business model

The co-operative is currently going through a bit of a tough time which got me thinking back to some work I did a while ago to try to help express the uniqueness of a co-operative business model.

One of the things I explored was about businesses having to excel in one, two or three aspects…most can’t do all three, but I believe a co-operative is uniquely placed to utilise this model…

Businesses need to:

  • Be of the customer: a business that shares the values of its customers 
  • Be by the customer: a business that is shaped and run by its customers
  • Be for the customer: a business that is focused on an excellent customer experience

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Two ideas for stakeholder feedback

Before asking your stakeholders for feedback, work out what you need feedback on

It’s been just over 2 weeks since my previous blog on the 9 and a half step strategic process which I’ve been following and part of the reason this blog is a little late is because of all of the stakeholder engagement and feedback I’ve been involved with and am preparing.

This is also my first mobile blog-from my iPad, sat in a Manchester apartment between today and the next!

Today’s blog is about stakeholder engagement and getting feedback. Working for a co-operative means that I’m not in short supply of stakeholders…many of which want a say in how the strategy I’m developing will come into being. I think I’ve learnt two really important things for stakeholder feedback:

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A year to change the world

I return to blogging inspired and enthused…I’m going to try to blog every two weeks about my new position:

Writing a communications and engagement strategy for The Co-operative Membership by December 2013.

Clearly, I’m not going to talk about the details on here, but processes, ideas, thoughts, how it’s going and the like and share my revelations (or not!). The first being to think about why on earth an engagement strategy would even exist…

In most other businesses, the idea of engagement is relatively simple – it drives trade. For our co-operative, engagement has to do more than that. Co-operative members engaging with a core set of values and principles does far more than just drive trade – it can lead to loyal ambassadors and advocates of a fantastic idea of members coming together to meet social, economic and cultural needs and aspirations. Awesome starting point then. In fact, it could be too huge! There are so many things that member engagement could encompass – I’ll need to focus on the core principles of what it means to be co-operative and the benefits that may bring to the business.

Wish me luck!