Category: Consistency


In times of economic uncertainty, it might just make the difference for your business.

Worried_coupleBy Steve Martin, CMCT

The messages of impending doom, which appear to be broadcast with increasing frequency by business leaders, analysts and media commentators, share some striking similarities to another forecasting favorite – the trusty weatherman.  Even the language is the same, with talk of storm clouds brewing, a bleak outlook and unpredictable conditions ahead.

Of course all predictions, whether meteorological or economical in nature, can be wrong.  But this happens less often than one would expect – forecasters are very often correct.

There are exceptions: few seeing the 2007-8 financial meltdown is one of the more cited examples of recent wrongs.  In general, it is easier for people to remember when forecasters “got it wrong”, rather than when they get it right.  It’s unlikely the topic of discussion at the water cooler starts with someone remarking how much they admire the morning news weatherman “for getting it right again”. They are much more likely to comment if he was wrong, simultaneously signaling that, and “had they known better, they would have brought their umbrellas to work.”

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Surprises Revealed by Recent Research for the NHS

Appointment By Bobette Gorden

Recently, the result of a fascinating set of studies sponsored by INFLUENCE AT WORK, BDO and the National Health Services UK (NHS)was released.  Steve Martin, CMCT and director of the INFLUENCE AT WORK UK office led this research with Dr. Suraj Bassi and Dr. Rupert Dunbar Rees of BDO.

This research examined DNAs (Did Not Attend/No-Shows) in doctor’s offices.  DNAs are a significant and costly problem all over.  But according to The King’s Fund, a health think tank based in the UK, there is an estimated direct loss of £700m annually due to patients failing to come to their appointments or failing to cancel in time. 

The goal of this study was to find simple and cheap approaches to reduce DNAs.  This pilot study is now being peer reviewed by the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine.

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Should I Stay or Should I Go?

GroupInALine By Steve Martin, CMCT

In a 1981 single that went on to feature in VH1’s Top 100 Greatest Hard Rock Songs, UK punk rock band The Clash asked “Should I stay or should I go?” The question posed in their song is likely to be asked as often today as it was upon its release thirty years ago – and not just pertaining to matters of the heart; but to matters of business too.

Every day millions of customers and consumers ask themselves if ‘they should stay or go’ when finding themselves waiting in line for a service and not knowing how long their wait is likely to be. Shoppers may switch lines in checkouts hoping to pick a faster moving one. Web users might refresh their browser in the hope a chosen download will run faster. Customers contacting a telephone helpline may abandon a current call and call back later in the hope that the wait time will be shorter.

But what are the factors that people use to decide whether they should stay or go and what are the potential implications for business when it comes to ethically influencing and persuading customers?     

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