A brainy business is one that understands the brain. And because it understands the brain, it also understands people, customers, clients, employees. This year [2020] has exposed the brain death of so many businesses because they are overly reliant on websites to address issues that require human interaction.

Many businesses genuinely do not know how to relate to people and the way they have treated people in 2020 will not be forgotten. Referring customers to a website with a FAQ page is inadequate. Having a number on your website that refers people back to the website wastes customer time while insulting them. 

People need people who understand human problems, from a human perspective. People want people who can help in real time. A computer, a chatbot, a questionnaire does NOT get it. There was a running joke in the TV series Little Britain, ‘The computer says No’. What 2020 is unravelling is that a computer or website saying, ‘No’ is not funny; it’s potentially lethal. 

Supermarkets

When your customers cannot get food to a vulnerable, isolated person who is not on the internet and you do not offer a practical alternative source, you are not serving your customers.

Banks

If you are not taking care of customers who do not use the internet, you are failing a valuable area of society; and you are not serving your customers.

Utility Suppliers

If you are not automatically putting all your customers on the best tariff immediately, you are not serving your customers.

Business is unbalanced in the brain department

Most business runs on the mathematical principle of ‘profit first, people later’. They might not admit to it, but just look at the sway the accounts division have in any firm.

Yet, people are your customers, your service users, your greatest advocates. Yes, your business has a bottom line. But your customers have an end of the line and for many, that has come to the forefront in 2020.

Explained in brain terms

To put this into brain language, I will refer here to Dr Jill Bolte Taylor: 

For those of you who understand computers, our right hemisphere functions like a parallel processor, while our left hemisphere functions like a serial processor. The two hemispheres do communicate with one another through the corpus callosum, which is made up of some 300 million axonal fibers. But other than that, the two hemispheres are completely separate. Because they process information differently, each of our hemispheres think about different things, they care about different things, and, dare I say, they have very different personalities.

The left hemisphere in business is money, profit, and loss. The right hemisphere is turnover and people. Yet the two depend on each other. We need greater investment in the right hemisphere in business. People need to engage with people.

Dr Jill’s Ted Talk is called  ‘My Stroke of Genius’ and was recorded in  2008. Business needs to learn from it otherwise we haemorrhage opportunities to make the world a better place.

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