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Let’s rise above the drama.

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Parents know never to argue in front of their kids – it’s a given. Rowing mums and dads make for insecure children quicker than living in a place devoid of Poké Stops (don’t expect your child to be grateful for living in a five bed detached cottage in an exclusive village on the south coast, not these days). So why on earth are Tesco engaging in such a public argument with Unilever when it will only serve to unsettle their customers?Is there method in their madness?
 

There might be, although it’s still a dangerous game to play. First up, the Tesco v Unilever fight is merely serving as the poster boy for industry-wide issues. A feeble pound means that someone has to foot the bill for increased production costs and producers are trying to make sure that someone is the retail industry.

Tesco’s beef with Unilever means that they’re making a very public statement about their commitment to keeping prices low for their customers – and that’s a massive step in the right direction. Remember what they did to dairy farmers last year? Now that’s one public battle they got totally wrong!

I’m pretty confident that the dispute with Unilever will be resolved and consumers will have to deal with price hikes, but even so, the publicity makes Tesco out to be on the side of consumers (I never thought I’d be typing those words). I’m guessing that eventually they’ll ‘bow to public pressure’ to restock their shelves with favourites like Marmite and Hellmann’s mayo and so only be increasing prices at the request of their customers. Cunning or what?

But what if bad publicity is unwanted?

There’s a bigger game being played in all of this and it’s thanks to the fear being stirred up by our beloved media. Whatever you think about June’s referendum result, the hysteria UK news outlets are trying to whip up is going to end up as a self-fulfilling prophecy. You can only cry “economic doom” so many times before it actually starts to happen. So what to do?

Let’s take back control.

Small businesses need to start fighting back. Let your customers know that you’re not worried, that everything’s OK and you’ll always be there for them.

Basically, be the opposite of a rowing parent.

If you can afford to, don’t play around with your prices at every financial twist and turn – stay consistent and only react when you can at least see the medium term picture. Instead of overloading your customers with new discounts or offers, entice them with new ranges or services – show them you’re growing despite what The Guardian is telling them about the state of the economy. It’s also important to keep true to your customer service promise, because a business that suddenly starts quibbling at returns looks like one that’s going down the pan.

“Keep calm… and know what your customer needs”

Or maybe it’s just my mug that says that? If you know how your market sees your business and what they want from you, you can keep on providing customers with exactly what they’re looking for. Here at The Monachie Project, our customer service insights provide businesses with the Golden Key that unlocks their full potential – whatever the state of the economy. Now’s the time to make sure you’re talking in the right way to your market so that you can rise above the negative chatter being generated by a bunch of cynical journalists. Ready to rise above the drama and get some work done? Get in touch and be the responsible parent your customers need.

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