Business Habits

Naughty and Nice Business Habits, Part 2: Naughty

Overview: Previously, here on our blog, we brought you our “nice” list of business habits. This week we’re presenting the second of two installments, which can only mean one thing: It’s time for the “naughty” list! Read on to find out which business habits we discourage!

This is the time of year when everything is decked out in tinsel, garland, and the holly and the ivy. So we’re taking a cue from the man who lives at the North Pole and making a list of naughty and nice business habits.

Last week, we went over our “nice” list. Which means we’ve arrived at the really fun part: The “naughty” list! Here are some things we recommend business owners avoid partaking in, lest they receive coal in their stockings.

Inconsistent Branding 

Nobody wants their audience of customers and potential customers to be confused about who they are and what their values are. That’s why businesses with inconsistent branding make our “naughty” list.

Does the logo on your website match the logo on your social media accounts? If not, your audience is likely to be baffled about the reason, or whether both platforms are even part of the same company.

Does all of your content and customer communication demonstrate a consistent tone of voice? If not, your audience is going to suspect you don’t have your act together.

And here’s a big one: Are you thinking about abruptly changing the name of your business? Like a certain social media platform we could name? (You know the one… They unexpectedly changed the name of their platform from a widely recognized word to a letter of the alphabet.) If so, your audience is going to KNOW you don’t have your act together.

Keep your branding consistent and your customers will understand what you’re all about!

>> Related Reading: Establishing and Maintaining Brand Consistency

Overreliance on AI 

Millions of technology users across a wide variety of industries are excited about the ongoing AI revolution. And ChatGPT and similar tools can be helpful if used strategically.

But at this point, many people can tell when an email or a direct message they’ve received was written by a robot. And a significant percentage of AI-generated marketing content has that unnatural, “something is off” quality. There are already algorithms and apps designed to detect when content was written by AI and filter it out so it doesn’t make its way in front of human eyes!

That’s why we recommend having a real live person proofread and edit any AI-generated content you use for your business, and adding a touch of humanity. This will ensure that a sufficient amount of your brand voice and your own personality shine through.

By the way, this blog post was NOT written by AI!

>> Related Reading: 5 Reasons Why Marketers Should Not Use AI Tools

Viewing Customers (and Staff) as Nothing But Dollar Signs 

Here’s another naughty business habit: Seeing your customers as nothing but dollar signs!

Remember Ebenezer Scrooge at the beginning of A Christmas Carol? All he cared about was money, and he viewed his clients only as a means to accumulating more money.

Don’t be like Scrooge! Each and every one of your customers is an individual with their own life, their own interests, needs, and way of conducting business. Treat them with respect — you know, like Ebenezer Scrooge at the END of the story. (Whoops… spoilers for a 180-year-old book!)

And speaking of Scrooge, he also learned to treat his employee (good old Bob Cratchit) with kindness and respect. It can be all too easy for business owners to slip into the habit of viewing employees as tools for making money. But they’re people too! The holiday season is the perfect time to re-evaluate how kindly and fairly you’re treating the hard-working people who keep your business going.

Launching Products or Services Too Quickly 

It’s always exciting when a business introduces a new product — or a new model of a popular item, or a new flavor, or a new piece of entertainment. The novelty of a “shiny new thing” is hard to deny.

But the excitement can quickly turn to major disappointment when it turns out the new product or service was rushed to release. Sometimes it’s a tech product that failed to go through proper quality-control steps before it was made available. Sometimes it’s a video game that was shipped out even though the developers know it’s full of bugs and glitches. And sometimes the problem is a business accepting orders for a product despite not having enough inventory to fill the order.

However it happens, the end result is the same: Customers are frustrated and angry, their faith in the business is damaged, and they’ll think twice before making another purchase from the same company.

Before you start selling your “shiny new thing,” ask yourself: Is it really, truly ready to go? Will customers be able to use it as intended as soon as they receive it? If not, you may want to consider a delay to ensure a successful launch.

>> Related Reading: Heads Up, Threads Up: What You Need to Know

Neglecting What Customers Really Want 

Here at MyUnlimitedWP, we’ve been watching the progress of Meta’s social media platform Threads with great interest. When it first launched as a would-be competitor to Twitter, some of us were skeptical.

And at this point, it seems like we were right to be so skeptical. After an astounding launch, in which Threads became the fastest app to reach 100 million users, statistics for active users plummeted. Recent numbers suggest that Threads activity is down almost 80% from its peak.

There seem to be a few reasons for this. For one thing, when Threads launched, it was available as a mobile app, but not as a website. Although mobile devices make up a massive percentage of internet use, it may have been short-sighted to ignore users who would prefer to access a social media platform via a computer.

Also, while Threads was promoted as an alternative to Twitter at a time when Twitter was faltering due to a series of poor management decisions, Threads ultimately failed in its ostensible mission to provide a superior experience. In its early days, Threads was cluttered and finding desirable content was a challenge.

If we had to summarize why Threads has unraveled, we’d say the people at Meta were in such a hurry to try to push Twitter off the mountain that they forgot to ensure that their own service was a viable alternative. For that reason, Threads is a great example of why “neglecting what the audience wants” has a place on our “naughty” list. Let that be a lesson!

In Conclusion 

And there you have it: Our “naughty” list of business habits. If none of these habits are yours, breathe a sigh of relief. If you do have some of these habits… well, there’s always time to change!

You know what else can be naughty and nice? Websites! Most of the time, websites created with WordPress, Wix, Squarespace, and Shopify are NICE! But when technical problems rear their heads, those websites might start to feel NAUGHTY.

Is your website acting naughty? Consider getting support from MyUnlimitedWP! We’re as industrious and helpful as Santa’s elves! Contact us today!

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