It is important for any business person and any company to have values. Business is the most powerful tool on the planet and it can make people’s lives better. To do this, and still keep your customers happy and revenue coming in, is a balancing act. One key element is that you can’t preach to your customers.
Starbucks found this out the hard way. The company routinely fights for different causes. They offer their employees opportunities to improve themselves and donate to worthy causes. However, when baristas tried to start conversations with customers about racial inequality it didn’t go as well as they would have liked. Customers felt uncomfortable and didn’t engage. Even when they agreed with barista, they didn’t want to talk about anything beyond their order and small talk. People ordered less because they wanted to leave quickly. The conversation didn’t happen and the business took a hit.
Another bad example is Pensys Spices. The owner of the company went too far in his fight for liberalism. He sent out an email newsletter on Martin Luther King’s birthday calling those who disagreed with him racist. The feedback was immediate. Pensys sales dropped 22% almost overnight. The owner sent out another email begging for people to buy gift cards to make up for lost sales. At the time of this writing, sales have not rebounded.
Support your values through your actions. Treat employees, customers, suppliers, and others according to your values. Promote charities and events that showcase those values. Just don’t beat your customers over the head with them. Even if they agree, they won’t stay your customers.
To see how a Modern Observer Group coach can help communicate with customers, schedule a call here or contact us at the information below. Modern Observer Group programs are based on the Businetiks system as detailed in the book, “The Businetiks Way.”