We trust the people we do business with. We trust that when we go to the grocery store to get bread, milk, meat and more, the store will be well stocked and the food will be fresh. We trust when we go to a restaurant we’re going to get good customer service and the food will be prepared properly – and safely. We trust when we order merchandise from Amazon.com, or any other retailer, the merchandise will show up in just a few days. They even tell us when to expect it to arrive.
The word trust in business is huge. In the examples just mentioned, it is assumed; a given. But, in some areas of business, trust must be earned. Customer service is one of those areas, where trust is earned with consistency and, eventually, predictability.
It’s the same for any business, for virtually any product or service. Trust is not only for consumers of a retail store, the guests of a restaurant, or the business customer of a manufacturer. Trust is an essential ingredient in virtually every type of business transaction.
Then there is trust inside the business itself. A server at a restaurant trusts that the kitchen will do its job to get the food out in a timely fashion. The executive that is going to the airport to catch his or her flight trusts that the assistant made the appropriate travel arrangements. As consumers, employers, and employees, we have to trust every day. We trust people. We trust the process.
I recently took a vacation and went on what I call “A Day of Adventure.” I bungee-jumped, para-glided and went on a high-speed boat ride. My trust for others was at its highest level. I trusted that the young man wrapping my ankles to the bungee-cord would make sure the cord didn’t slip off as I plunged toward the river 15 stories below. I trusted the guide who I was connected to as we para-glided off of a mountain would get us back to earth safely. I trusted the pilot of our jet boat knew just how fast we could go as we went into a turn to avoid crashing into the walls of a cavern. I trusted each and every one of these people with my life.
Everywhere we turn, we trust. It’s unavoidable. From something as simple as going to the grocery store to the surgery team that is performing an open-heart procedure, we are forced to give in to trust.
And, we are obligated to reciprocate. The moment you wake up, you are obligated to create trust. It is expected you will show up on time for work, pay your bills on time, show up to your dentist appointment on time. You get the idea.
To bring this back to a focus on business, create trust and your customers trust you. Make the experience consistent and predictable. Customers who trust the experience, and like it, are likely to come back. They are likely to spend more and more likely to recommend you to their friends and colleagues. Trust me. It’s true.
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Shep Hyken, CSP, CPAE is a customer service expert, hall-of-fame speaker and New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling author. He works with organizations to build loyal relationships with their customers and employees. He is also the creator of The Customer Focus, a customer service training program that helps organizations develop a customer service culture and loyalty mindset. For more information contact (314) 692-2200 or www.Hyken.com.
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