A while back a story was related to me regarding trust. The story is about a man who tells his wife that he’ll be home at 5:30pm one evening after work. The only problem is that he didn’t arrive when he said he would. He arrived 10 minutes late. “No big deal”, he thought. “It’s only ten minutes late”…
And, perhaps it may not have been, except the next day he did it again. “I’ll be home this time for sure by 5:30,” he’d tell his wife.
He arrived at 5:45.
What’s the big deal you might ask?
The big deal is that (when applied to business) you basically are losing trust every time you break your tiny little promise with your customers. And, let’s be honest – the husband was breaking his promise no matter how small a promise it was. Every time he showed up late his wife lost confidence in him. So, as a business, how often do you break little promises?
Let’s take it a bit further…
As a company that represents a particular product or service, what promise do you present to your customer on a daily basis? Now, how frequently do you break that promise by not fulfilling what you say you’ll do…no matter how small?
Do you promise particular hours?
Do you promise answering the phone?
Perhaps you promise a certain sales figure?
Your brand’s promise is important and when done correctly, your consistent application and fulfillment of your promise can bring great success and reputation. On the other hand, the opposite is also true. Be sure you are aware of that as you provide services (or not). It may only be 10 minutes to you but it could mean a lot of future business in the long run to your customer. So what is a company to do in order to regain trust if broken?
Here are the clear cut keys to regaining lost trust:
1. Do the opposite of breaking trust. Begin showing you CAN do what’s right on a consistent basis. Take small, but consistent steps to doing what is right. Over time, you’ll begin to show you are trustworthy. But start now.
2. Repeat the above point.
As a business or organization, you are in charge of keeping a bead on how frequently you fulfill your brand promise (your delivery of your product or service). You also are in charge of breaking it. It’s up to you.