What CX lessons can we learn from Election 2017?

Written by Michael Smith on the 7th of June, 2017

George Orwell 1

'In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is revolutionary' - George Orwell.

Never over-promise and under-deliver. Always under-promise and over-deliver. Rules which are core to providing a lasting and positive experience that have been forgotten during this current election campaign.

Short term, spurious ‘promotional’ campaigns rather than statements of genuine intent have taken over, which for those who remember the infamous Hoover campaign, only lead to disappointment.

Worse still, the Government is in a state of inertia unable to reassure or sensibly deflect rhetoric. May’s position ‘on the fence’ worked with her Cabinet and Back-Bench but has failed with the voting public.

And here’s the difference. Like or dislike Corbyn, no-one can argue that he’s not passionate about his product. Conversely, May has no product. Just a desire to control a party divided on Brexit in order that she can get on and deliver it. Months spent inwardly appeasing have left her outwardly uncharismatic at a time when we want to see real leadership.

However, whilst Corbyn’s passion and sentiments strike a chord, the economics do not stack up. Promises have to be real and lasting, not spurious. Unaffordable policies and taxation will drive revenues and entrepreneurial appetite for investment offshore.

So is May complacent in counting on loyalty in return for doing the dirty job of Brexit? Probably not, as the result is an ever-shrinking economy and public purse. The cupboard will be bare! However, after the Gove and Johnson’s Brexit promises made pre-referendum on the infamous battle-bus, it’s not a point she’ll feel comfortable making. 

So what does this teach us about customer experience?

Ultimately only the truth will hold up over time. People may not always like the truth, but it is at least real. A brand is built on truths. It has to have a promise that it can deliver and be capable of sustaining and a personality that appeals to its customers. We accept that brands get it wrong and like them more when they are truthful, say sorry and put things right.

Unfortunately, political parties are not built on truths and have never said sorry, when they get it wrong. Both leading parties over the years, have broken brand promises and torn up traditional loyalties. What we are left with is a short-term, dysfunctional scrap for the disaffected and confused in the form of an election. 

Parties must determine who their customers are and strike up relationships based on trust and loyalty if they want to make a difference to this country moving forward. Let’s hope for all our sakes in the long term, that they do!

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