Reframing: spin, or finally asking the right question?

So the other day I had to commute in rush hour traffic.  When I moaned about this to my partner he suggested I try replacing ‘I have to…’ with ‘I get to….’  His job as a cognitive hypnotherapist uses reframing – helping people to see their past and future situations in a new way.  My job is about getting businesses to do the same – to reframe and focus their brand position by re-evaluating what ‘business’ they think they’re in.

Reframing has often been about putting a positive spin on a bad situation, and in line with this, the morning commute in heavy traffic might not be the best example!  Actually I got to see some parts of London I didn’t know and thanks to my SatNav I learned some handy shortcuts near home.  But I’m not signing up for a job driving in rush hour any time soon.

I think reframing is an important tool for understanding the real value of what you offer.  One of the key questions I help my clients answer is “what’s the real job our customers hire us for?”  It’s a great way of getting past the features you offer to a meaningful benefit and a clear purpose.

What also occurred to me this week is what a helpful tool “I get to” instead of “I have to” can be for innovating the customer experience.  Imagine if you drew out a map of all your customer touch-points.  And then asked yourself – what does the customer ‘have to’ do at each point?  How can we make that more of a ‘get to’ for them?  How do we give them a valuable experience?

Then try it the other way around – draw out the process from the employees’ point of view and look at what they ‘have to’ do step-by-step to make it work.  Maybe then look at what they ‘get to’ do for a customer at each stage.  I’ve recently started working with a client who stands out for their customer service – and I’m keenly aware that’s because their attitude is “I get to do this for my customer”.  Not “I have to”

What do people get to do with your brand?