Saturday, October 13, 2012

What Your Company Outsourced Its Policies?

Most company policies coincidentally favor the company.

Instead of respecting customers, they’re more about making excuses, creating insurance, inhibiting creativity, controlling costs, avoiding accountability, building deniability, protecting executive egos, appeasing shareholders and covering corporate asses.

But what if, once a year, companies held an open forum for customers to submit ideas for new company policies? What if, instead of operating solely inside their own heads, organizations let the people who know their product best (and the problems thereof) to shed light on smarter ways of doing business?

Hell, companies outsource everything else. Why stop there?

Consider the implications of letting customers design your policies:

Ownership. People want to put their fingerprints on the things they love. If customers had a real role in shaping the way they were treated, loyalty would skyrocket.

Engagement. Social media isn’t a sales tool, it’s a hearing aid. If customers could voice their ideas through those listening platforms, brand engagement would skyrocket.

Loyalty. When you help paint a fence, you don’t stand mute while punks spray graffiti. If customers had a greater stake in the company’s architecture, belonging would skyrocket.

Reputation. Flexibility is a policy worth having. If customers saw that the company had a disposable mindset, goodwill would skyrocket.

Look, policies suck. And everyone knows it. Especially the customers.

But if companies outsourced that function to the people who matter most, perhaps there would be less friction in their daily interactions.