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Lessons from London Underground

Regular travellers on the tube will have heard this tannoy announcement at one time or another. But why does London Underground make it?

“Ladies and gentlemen, London Underground is currently running a normal service with no reported delays or unscheduled station closures.”

On the surface, the announcement is informative. It reassures the travelling public and manages their expectations.

But theres more
The announcement also manages customer expectations over time, and prevents them from taking the service for granted. This is frequently the challenge for businesses that provide an ongoing or recurring service. After a while, the customer begins to regard it as a hygiene factor and take the service for granted.

This tannoy announcement works on the drip-drip-drip principle of slowly and gently educating customers. Running a network of 11 lines and 270 stations, some of which is 150 years old, in and around one of the world’s busiest cities doesn’t always go to plan. But when it does, London Underground tells people so they learn to appreciate it!

Communication consultancy
If you’re providing an ongoing or recurring service, or something regarded as a public utility or commodity (even if it’s not), then please get in touch.

When writing B2B copy, I remind and reinforce a customer’s decision to choose you as their supplier.

On the consultancy side, I also conduct competitor and materials audits. This helps to draw out your point of difference (or USP), plus inform your tone of voice and house style.