An observation about the evolving world of business is that people, both customers, employees and other business associates, are less trusting than they were previously. It’s getting harder to know who to trust – or even when to trust for many people. This hesitancy to trust ultimately impacts the success of your business.
Here are examples of why a lack of trust exists:
- Mergers and Acquisitions. Out of Business: Companies you may have grown up with or do business with and just expected to always be there have been bought by other companies or have gone bankrupt. No longer exist. The list of companies is endless. Today you cannot expect anything to always remain the same. Business is more disruptive than ever before. With disruption brings change. Innovation.
- Value(s): Consumers want as much value from a purchase as possible. Is it worth the price being asked for the product or service? Does a product or service meet the needs of the intended customer? Also, values have moved front and center. Customers often want to know what values a business person or a company has towards its workforce and the local or world community. Company and personal values can factor into a buying decision as much as the financial value.
- Calculated Risks: All you have to do is turn on the television and see commercials for new medications your doctor can prescribe if the symptoms are presented. You learn about a wonder drug intended to heal an illness. Then later learn about the same wonder drug having harmful effects. Does the benefit outweigh the risk of taking it? The same is true in business. What risks are you willing to take to succeed? Is the risk worth it? Business involves taking calculated risks every day.
- Rules and Regulations: Politics influence how we live as a society – and how business is conducted. There are vast government sanctioned rules and regulations in many industries that must be complied with. This impacts how business is conducted.
- Media: The media was once a respected source for unbiased local, national and international news. Media sources now more openly express their views rather than lean more neutral in reporting confirmed facts in the news. Yet in our personal and business lives we still depend on the media for news. We just have more media outlets to provide news and information.
- Employment and Hiring: Generations of employees who work for the same company most of their professional careers wake up one morning without a job. Mass layoffs are common in today’s corporate world. The attitude towards employment has changed. Workers, in general, no longer have the long term loyalty they once did to employers. It’s about opportunity for the employee and profit for the company.
- The 65+ Years: Those planning for retirement and counting on company investments and pensions no longer can be certain of the benefits previously promised. The same is true with Social Security and even, healthcare. That’s why it’s smart to plan ahead and to depend on yourself to live the life you want. Many people chose not to retire at the traditional age range of 55 – 65 years old and prefer to continue working.
- Personal Investment: People save their money and often then invest hard earned dollars in the the stock market only to witness extreme times of volatility. In turn, these economic periods affect business profits and bring about change to how companies operate in order to survive.
- Company Policies: Products produced and services provided lacking quality in the short term and in the long term causing customers to question doing business with a company. How many times have you experienced a company not standing behind their product or service? How did it make you feel? Was a level of trust lost?
All the examples listed above plus others too numerous to mention cause people, including customers and employees, to be less forthcoming with their trust.
A key marketing buzzword today is: Trust.
We live in a trust economy.
As a CEO, president or business owner, you must instill and maintain trust at every level of your company.
- management team
- vendors and suppliers
- in the community where your company is located
- local government leaders
- others specific to your industry or type of business.
The goal should be to reach out with a message of trust as far as possible within your company’s sphere of influence.
Live up to the promises made to your employees.
If you want to stay in business, your products and services need to surpass what you promised. Always over deliver on what the customer expects. Stand behind your products and services.
Every day you need to work at building trust in your business, with your employees and with the marketplace. Shortcuts in production or service is not an option.
Get people to trust your company by doing the absolute right thing day in and day out.
Make certain your company’s customer service is impeccable. Superior customer service is one of the best business practices to promote trust. If you haven’t already, create a list of customer service standards for your company. If your company does have a specific list of customer service standards, review with your employees on a regular basis.
Often people talk about customer service but who hasn’t experienced, for example:
- an impossible maze of automated instructions in order to finally connect through to the appropriate individual (unless you gave up in frustration somewhere along the line)
- you simply can’t get through by phone or by email
- there is no response to your inquiry
- no one knows details about the product you are interested in purchasing
- worse yet, after you do make a purchase, the company doesn’t want to talk to you yet before the sale nothing was too much trouble.
It’s about going the extra mile for your customer. Keeping your word. That means a lot in today’s trust economy.
That’s what brings customers back time and time again. Creates trust.
You want every customer to become an advocate for your company. In today’s highly competitive business marketplace, every customer counts.
Because it’s the easiest of times to go into business; and the hardest of times to stay in business.
Remember: It’s a matter of trust.
I conclude with lyrics from singer/songwriter, Billy Joel (perhaps you can hum along to this classic song):
Cause it’s always been a matter of trust
It’s a matter of trust
It’s always been a matter of trust
It’s a matter of trust
Cause it’s always been a matter of trust.
To your success!
Business expert and strategist, Howard Lewinter, guides – focuses – advises CEOs, presidents and business owners throughout the United States to MORE success – MORE profit – less stress. Business problems? Business issues? Get MORE from your business! Talk business with Howard: 888-738-1855.