A #MakeMomProud Action Toolkit: 3 Steps to Earn Trust with “No Surprises” Language

My book, Would You Do That to Your Mother? The “Make Mom Proud Standard” for How to Treat Your Customers, identifies behavior that grows businesses through actions that earn customer and employee admiration.

These posts continue the learning for you with ongoing #MakeMomProud behaviors that you can learn from and emulate, with quick toolkits to assist you in your customer experience and culture transformation.

Does your company have fine print? Whether it’s a privacy policy for your website, a user agreement, or other documentation, chances are that your company has legal language that your audience is supposed to read. For many customers, these policies are mostly a nuisance to be skimmed or ignored entirely. In research published this year and conducted in 2016, researchers from York University and the University of Connecticut conducted an experiment with over 500 participants and found that 74% of participants skipped the privacy policy and those who read it averaged 73 seconds—quite a bit short of the 30 minutes it should have taken!

And yet, a recent round-up in the Wall Street Journal found that the updated policies of major organizations, revised for GDPR, got longer, not shorter (with Twitter clocking in at nearly 9,000 words!). How can you harness your fine print to empower your customers, so that you can earn their trust and improve their experience? Let’s explore in 3 steps.

The Problem with Fine Print

Comic: "A little light reading to go with that new insurance policy."

Most of us have signed contracts we don’t fully understand because, in our lives as customers, we’re constantly inundated with agreements, terms of service, and all sorts of things we have to “click-to-agree” to in order to do business in this day and age. It’s bad news though, for those of us devoted to earning growth in our businesses by improving customers’ lives, because—let’s face it—signing our names to something we don’t understand doesn’t feel good.

It leaves us feeling uninformed, uncomfortable, and worst of all, we’re left with a feeling of distrust for the company that required it. Obviously that’s not how we want our customers to feel about us. We want them love, admire and trust us! So, how do we structure a customer experience that eliminates fine print and the distrust that accompanies it, and communicate with our customers in a way that makes them feel empowered and informed? How can we #MakeMomProud with our customer communications?

Leading by Example: Lemonade Insurance

Before I lay out the “how,” I want to share with you an example of an organization that has done exactly what I’m talking about. Lemonade Insurance is a young company that has taken a very intentionally different approach to the insurance business. In my newest book, Would You Do That to Your Mother?, I included a case study about Lemonade, illustrating how they have built their company on the values of honesty and philanthropy to establish a relationship of mutual trust with their customers.

More recently, Lemonade is scoring high on the #MakeMomProud-O-Meter by eliminating fine print from their contracts with their Policy 2.0.

You don’t have to do more than glance over it to know that it’s completely different than any other insurance policy you’ve ever seen. The language is simple, clear and concise. There is zero jargon, and it’s (dare I say it?) even kind of entertaining to read!

If your stuff gets damaged or stolen

We cover stuff that you own, that’s normally kept at your home, and that was damaged by a fire, a burst pipe, or theft or vandalism.
We don’t cover cash, assault weapons, stuff that’s used for your business, or things that you willingly handed over to someone else to look after.

What’s not covered

This policy covers your stuff, up to a limit of $10,000 per year, for damages caused by fire or smoke, theft or vandalism, burst pipes or appliance leaks. Everything else, such as “I lost it,” “my dog ate it,” “my kid dropped it,” “my power went out,” “my computer died,” “my roof is leaking,” “I overfilled my bathtub,” or “I had a wardrobe malfunction,” aren’t covered. You can add coverage for some of these here.

Items worth up to $2,500 are covered automatically, but we won’t pay more per item unless they’ve been added individually. So please let us know if you have jewelry, cameras, or other valuables worth more than $2,500 each, so we can cover them fully.

Also setting it apart is that fact that you can actually read through the entire policy in just a few minutes, which is a major departure from industry-standard policies, most of which would take an hour or more to read. While it’s still being developed, Policy 2.0 is an “open source” policy, meaning that anyone in the world can contribute their ideas to make it stronger, and other companies are free to adopt it for their own use. I’m excited to see Policy 2.0 in action once it is officially launched.

Earn trust through clear language. @Lemonade_Inc is scoring high on the #MakeMomProud-O-Meter by eliminating fine print from their contracts. What about you? #CX http://buff.ly/2JjCrxN Share on X

Take Action to Nix the Fine Print!

Any organization will benefit from following Lemonade’s example of communicating in plain and simple language. As I say in the book: Clear language appears more real and human. You trust it more. In its simplicity, there’s nowhere to hide.

With all of this in mind, here are three fearless #MakeMomProud actions to earn customer love and admiration:

  1. Do a “trust audit” – go through all the communication you send to customers and identify any language and complexity that might make it look like you are trying to protect yourselves from customers, or that would create surprise moments for them. (check out page 196 of Would You Do That to Your Mother?)
  2. Identify the top ten “jargon-y” words that you use in your business. Start a “jargon jar” to remove language that no one outside your business would understand.
  3. Consider running your communications through the Flesch-Kinkaid readability test.

Clear language appears more real and human. You trust it more. In its simplicity, there's nowhere to hide. #CX #MakeMomProud Share on X

Your #MakeMomProud Action Toolkit Includes:

  • A video you can play in a huddle that immediately brings your team into this situation as a customer themselves:

  • A huddle card to use with your team to advance your progress NOW!
  • A case study featuring a business doing the work well
  • A printable version of the comic
  • #MakeMomProud-O-Meter

Download your toolkit now. 

How would your company act if every customer were your mom?

How do we cut through the rigmarole of business to give customers the treatment they desire, and employees the ability to deliver it?  Customer experience expert, Jeanne Bliss recommends making business personal to get the traction you need by focusing on one deceptively simple question: “Would you do that to your mother?”

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