TLF Gems Newsletter October 2021

Your monthly CX and insight newsletter from TLF Research

Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer the negative elements in your life, don’t sit at home and think about it. Go out and get busy!

Dale Carnegie

One of the hardest things to do in any organisation is to figure out what should be standardised and what should be tailored, what should be mandated and what discretionary, what should be process-driven and what seen as a matter of judgement. There's no definitive answer, but our links this time might help you think through those questions.

There are often unforeseen "second order effects", so more important than the decision you make is the ability to listen, learn, and make things right when something goes wrong.

Thanks for reading,

Here are 7 things we think are worth you time this month

Design For Everyone

This is a brilliant campaign from RNIB about how useless most packaging is for blind and partially sighted customers. The video makes the point in a really memorable way, and it's hard to disagree that "Everyone should have the right to know what they're buying".

Find out more: Design For Everyone

The "Socialist CEO"

I've been reading a lot recently about Dan Price, the CEO of Gravity Payments who looks more like the bassist in a Christian rock band than your typical exec. He made waves back in 2015 by taking a big salary cut so that he could pay all his employees a minimum wage of $70,000. He was lauded by some, lambasted as a socialist by others, but the interesting thing is that it seems to be paying off. "In the six years since I made that decision, we’ve tripled our revenue, our headcount has grown by 70 percent, and we receive hundreds of applications for each job opening."

Read: The "Socialist CEO"

Get Out Of Jail Free Cards

If you're as bad at Monopoly as I am, you'll be very familiar with the sense of comfort a get out of jail free card gives you. Innovation expert Paul Sloane suggests it as a tool to encourage innovation in cultures that are risk averse or where people may fear being blamed for trying things that don't work out. Great idea! "The Get out of Jail Free cards are fun and playful but they underscore a serious message. We need to try more new things more often."

Read: Get Out Of Jail Free Cards

How To Get Great Service

I often think that restaurants provide a brilliant microcosm of how customer service works in pretty much any industry. In this piece Jay Rayner quotes the experts on what makes for great service (empathy), and what the customer can do to get it. “'It’s about being present, noticing what’s happening and anticipating what’s needed...'”

Read: How To Get Great Service

No One Is Average

There's an old joke about 3 statisticians hunting deer: the first one shoots but misses to the left, the second one misses to the right, the third one shouts "we got him!" When we design products and experiences we're often guilty of the same thing—designing for an average that doesn't really exist. The Design Lobster newsletter explains just how disastrous this can be. "Individual fit is a simple idea, but a profound one for all of us trying to design for large groups with varying requirements."

Read: No One Is Average

Sensory Marketing For Intangibles

I really enjoyed this piece from Roger Dooley in which he discusses some ideas he had for using "sensory marketing" with his book launch. "Want people to remember your product, service, or brand? Go beyond visual marketing and appeal to their other senses."

Read: Sensory Marketing For Intangibles

Top Reads: The Great Mental Models

The world is complex, far too complex for us to fully understand every aspect of it. So how is it possible for us to, say, cross a road safely, or start a business? We use a simplified "mental model" that helps us to think through the questions we face. Farnam Street argue that the quality of your mental models, and your ability to use a variety of models to apply different lenses to a situation, is crucial for finding opportunities and avoiding problems. This book makes a persuasive case, and provides a toolbox of mental models to start with. "Better models mean better thinking."

Top Reads: The Great Mental Models