The power of talking human

Sitting at gate A8 at McCarran International Airport, Las Vegas, on a tired Sunday afternoon, they announce that our flight to San Francisco is delayed. […]

Sitting at gate A8 at McCarran International Airport, Las Vegas, on a tired Sunday afternoon, they announce that our flight to San Francisco is delayed.

But none of the delayed passengers grumble.  The nice US Airlines lady was so friendly and straightforward in her announcement – none of the usual airline-speak or excuses; no talk about ‘de-planing’ or ‘on-boarding’ – that everyone just listened and nodded. And she kept us informed. Regular communication in a human tone of voice. Simple.  Makes you wonder why more companies don’t liberate their people to talk like people.

To pass the time while we wait, I flick through Twitter. Sportsmen celebrating wins, fans bragging and commiserating, campaigners campaigning , TV viewers bitching … and companies tweeting corporate-speak that no-one will read.  Even if they don’t ignore them, these corporate tweets simply confirm to people that these companies really don’t get it.

Just let your people talk human. Like the nice lady from US Airlines. Your customers will listen to them, they’ll start with the assumption that you’re trying to help them not hide something, and they might just think better of your company.

Photo credit: Michael Dorausch