Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Trust - the foundation of success

“Nothing succeeds like success”

We all know this old proverb - originally coined by Sir Arthur Helps in his 1868 book Realmah. He implies that success leads to opportunities for more and greater successes.  But what does success look like?  In particular, what does a successful customer relationship look like? What does a successful employee experience look like? What does successful stakeholder involvement look like?

Let’s start with the customer. What is it that will make a customer satisfied and what will make them a repeat customer?  For me, it’s about trust.  If the customer trusts you to deliver what they need and what you said you can deliver then you are most of the way there.  But real trust comes when you deliver more than a customer thinks they need or deliver it faster or more efficiently than they were expecting.  So we can look at trust like this:


It is your responsibility to deliver a product or service that meets a customer’s needs.  This, as far as the customer is concerned, is the minimum they expect from you.  Delight is what the customer experiences when you deliver something that is beyond their expectations – extra features, better service, additional benefits. Just one small thing that is beyond what it takes to satisfy your customer is sometimes enough to create delight.

What about the employee?  Any organisation is more likely to succeed when employees trust the leadership.  It is your responsibility to meet your employees’ expectations – pay their salaries on time, provide a safe and healthy working environment, manage their workload – but trust is built when you delight your employees - through empowerment, opportunity, professional development or even an occasional thank you note.

Experiment with this simple equation yourself.

TRUST      =         RESPONSIBILITY          +           DELIGHT
                          (meeting expectations)         (exceeding expectations)

Does it apply to your stakeholders, your shareholders, your students, your suppliers, your contractors or your relationship with your boss?  I think it does. 

So ask yourself. What am I doing to delight my customers, my employees, my students, my boss?  Let’s see if trust builds success.

Note: I am sure I have picked up this equation from somewhere but I have no recollection of where I might have read it.  If anyone knows where it came from please let me know by commenting as I’d like to cite the source and read more.

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