We must have a Mission Statement! Our competitors have one and it sounds really good. In reality, it is just corporate peer pressure.

Many of the old-fashioned Mission Statements were forged out of the corporate need to satisfy investors or to sound good in the corporate world amongst competitors. I am not saying that they were all bad but many were not, and are not fit for purpose because;

  • They may have been forged during a corporate junket on the 19th green
  • They may have been delivered at great expense by a detached third party
  • They sounded great but had no substance in practice, process or performance
  • You had to do it because our customers expected one, it’s a box ticker!
  • They are too inward looking and doesn’t understand the Customers Real Needs

In the Social Revolution world, the world of instant judgement, your mission must be customer focused. We call it the Customer Focused Mission (CFM). What’s the difference?

Firstly, the CFM is yours. You develop it and you own it. It expresses Your beliefs about Your organization.

You need to discover your CFM by continually asking your team “ What are we trying to achieve here”?

If you are going to genuinely think about this and you want to build the reputation of your organization then the best advice I can give is to do it yourself and engage with your own internal and external customers. By starting with this approach, you are demonstrating that your people and customers are important; you want to understand their real needs and you want to imbue great pride in what you do.

After all, why hire people if you are not prepared to listen to them? Everyone in your organization must be important. You are paying them a wage. You chose them, and I assume that you are content with your recruitment process.

So, most folk want to add value, or at least do a good job. Most folk like to feel like they belong and most folk take pride in what they do. Therefore, everyone has a view about the organization. Whether listening is formal or informal, it’s worth just putting the kettle on and asking your employees what they think.

It’s no different with customers and your feedback systems need to provide simple opportunities to understand the Customers Real Needs and listen to what they are saying effectively.

People are BEAR’s so invest time in understanding your customers Beliefs, Actions, Emotions and what Results they expect and you have the foundation of a fantastic, relevant CFM that your organization can genuinely believe in and not just buy into as part of a personal induction process and tick yet another box.

In this Social Revolution world having the bedrock of a relevant CFM reinforced by genuine feedback and managed by your team is more powerful that any tweet or post. It is much easier to engage in social media, it is just the click of a button to the sender, than it is to actually speak to someone and truly understand what they are saying to you. That takes a little bit of organization, a lot more confidence and you just cannot hide behind your screen.

Of course, it will be deemed to be more efficient and easier to score if feedback is done electronically. You will always be able to justify the fact that 8 out of 10 is good, or at least better than most! It’s much more revealing when someone tells you personally that the service you provided was either “Great” or “Poor”. There’s no hiding place there! Be honest, isn’t that what you really want in 2018? To be effective, to plan your next development inches with your team and to use your resources efficiently at the lowest cost?

Yes, you can get a feeling about how well you are doing from social media interaction but most responses are fully considered, particularly if you are asked to rate 1-5 stars. I am beginning to find those surveys inconvenient, if not intrusive.

It seems as if social media has failed if you cannot connect with everyone, or have thousands of followers, but a good feedback system doesn’t need to talk to every customer because the value and depth of each personal interaction is more likely to lead to a greater number of genuine referrals than relying on the number of “likes”.

2018 is the Chinese year of the Earth Dog. “Dogs” are loyal and honest, but cautious and prudent and according to my research “Dogs” will do everything for the person who they think is most important. There’s no more important person than your customer. 2018 should be the year to make sure you create or review your CFM honestly and collectively with your team and one of the best actions you can take is to talk first and tweet later, the responses will be more insightful and have greater value.