Spending almost three decades in commercial radio, I can attest to the fact that media is very arrogant. Having absorbed some of that throughout the years, it is a trait I have to continually check because it is not beneficial to my brand nor, most importantly, to my service to my consumer. If your company or business suffers from industry arrogance, you may want to check yourself also and correct the message you are sending to your customers. Let me explain.
I worked in music formatted radio. For years, across multiple genres, I learned how to use science and data to manipulate listenership and how to make demands of those utilizing our product. I heard, “WE make the hits.” The belief was that our product was so necessary to the success of the other cogs spinning within the entertainment industry, that “they” needed us more than we needed them. Every record label needed us to play their music. Every promoter needed us to help them sell tickets to their concerts. And yes, every listener needed us to tell them what information was important, what was happening in their community, and what was good music for them to listen to and purchase.
I am not at all suggesting that radio is not an important tool of communication, information, or in influencing public perception because it is. However, I am also saying its importance and role in communicating should not be viewed as greater than the ones radio communicates with. Neither should you view your business as greater than the customers it was created to serve.
With technology and social marketing changing the landscape of how consumers engage with business and how they make their product choices, arrogance of any kind can be detrimental to business success. The cancel culture is real, and when a consumer gets a whiff of a business or business owner caring more about themselves or a counter-consumer ideal, they will shout it from the social media rooftops, take their money, and move to your competitor. In the case of my industry, where anyone can purchase a microphone on Amazon and become an radio or podcast sensation, there was no need to turn to a competitor for the product consumers could now create themselves.
It is important to honor your customers. Work the word “serve” into your company culture and business language. Communicate to your customers (and potential customers) that you hold that great service in high regard. Remember the value your product brings to the lives of its consumers and keep that message first. Ask patrons how they feel about your product in an attempt to always provide greater value. Don’t tell them how to feel. Your customers need to receive the message, loud and clear, that you care and do not take their support for granted. This form of communication fosters consumer loyalty and will be reflected in your impact and revenue.