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Sometimes you have to tell people that nothing has changed

I engaged in the well-known and popular bank holiday activity of DIY this week – and it was while I was doing what is part of the normal process for me, and working out what I needed to get from B&Q, that I encountered the problem I am sure many people had at the same time. Just when was the B&Q open on the Monday?

I checked the website – bank holiday? Not a word of it – 20% off everything until the end of the day but you wouldn’t know it was in any other way special.

B&Q Store locator, it's normally open

Hunting of on the store locator, I found my nearest store, and relatively easily located the opening times, all nice and standard, the shop was normally open 8 till 8 all week – which is nice, but what about the bank holiday?

Nothing. And this is the problem – as it turns out (because I had to go), B&Q is open normal hours on the bank holiday, but their site doesn’t tell me that, because nothing has changed so they have ‘nothing’ to tell me.

A simple “we are open as normal on bank holiday Monday” would have answered all my questions

This reminded me of my little election experiment last week, when I looked at a few random councils to see how they had done elections. Once or twice in the process I went to a county council website, and found nothing about elections at all. That’s because counties run elections on a four year cycle, and this year was (for these councils) not one of those years – so no elections. The districts had elections, but the county sites didn’t tell me that (quite a few county sites don’t acknowledge the existence of the districts)

This is another case of nothing happening, but I think we all-too-quickly fall into the assumption that our customers know that. I, for one, struggle with the line between districts and counties, and I’ve read the LGA document on it. The public don’t always know. At least one person in our social circle phoned their county council to ask where their polling card was, to be told there was no election.

A simple “there are no county elections this year, check with your district council” would have answered the question.

So, if there is an external event affecting your customers, and they might reasonably think that it affects you, too, then why not tell them, that nothing is happening?