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Making important information, memorable

Are your messages Sufficiently Sticky?

Why is it that most people can remember stories, anecdotes, fables and gossip – often from many years ago, but seem to quickly forget a crucial mission statement, or a detailed sermon about customer service from the owner of a business? As Dan and Chip Heath point out – it’s all to do with the message’s level of ‘stickiness’

In their book ‘Made to Stick’, the brothers Heath highlight and address one of the biggest frustrations I hear from business owners – “My team just don’t listen or remember what I tell them!” What the book confirms is when information is forgotten, it has more to do with how the message is delivered.

Repeatedly when we want our team to remember something significant (e.g. why customer service is important) we set about telling them in great passionate and logical detail, backed up by compelling statistics, the reasons why we should look after customers – However, unfortunately what your team may be hearing is something akin to the Peanuts cartoon series muffled trumpet sounds used by Charles Schulz to portray the voices of adults.

The authors of ‘Made to Stick’ highlight a formula that makes messages far stickier. They’ve fashioned it into a simple (albeit a bit cheesy) acronym – S.U.C.C.E.S. Simple. Unexpected. Concrete. Credible. Emotional. Story. Essentially they rightfully suggest that to make messages stick – you should use a Simple Unexpected Concrete Credentialed Emotional Story instead of a longwinded, data-heavy, logical rant!

An example for the ‘why customer service is important’ conundrum might be to gather your team together and offer this succinct proposal – ‘The reason we all get out of bed and come to work is because of  our customers. They are the only reason we exist’ Then ask them for their viewpoints on that. It’s likely to be a very memorable discussion.

Yours in profitable and enjoyable Business

Jeff Austin
Actual to Ideal
Bunbury Business Development

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