There was a fantastic article in Forbes recently extolling the benefits of using a travel agent. When we shared it with our Travel Counsellors we were overwhelmed with stories from their customers re-enforcing the benefit and value they derived from having their own personal travel agent. Fundamental to the assertion in the Forbes article is the Trust that a really good agent builds with their customer.
As referenced in this blog on Customer Think, there is a growing trend of evidence to support that the future belongs to those professionals and businesses that can show they care for a customer and build trusted friendships with them [Tweet This]. There is the publicised practice at Netflix (NFLX) which trusts its employees to take whatever holiday they feel they need and then of course a few years ago Radiohead released its album online, trusting fans to decide how much to pay. Warren Buffet places great store on the fact they he trusts the CEOs of the businesses that he invests in to run their own show or as he says “we delegate to almost to the point of abdication” (1).
As process based work becomes automated or is able to be done more cheaply in emerging markets, those businesses and individuals that will thrive and prosper are those that create a climate of trust within their organisation, wherein those at the sharp end like our Travel Counsellors are entrusted to do the right thing and they in turn by doing the right thing, build lasting customer loyalty. In the social media age, that customer loyalty will be expressed in the stories that these loyal customers willingly share about their ‘trusted’ partner such as the story about Amazon above and our own customer stories.
These stories remind me of the quote, “If people like you they’ll listen to you, but if they trust you they’ll do business with you.” [Tweet This]. If you’ve got any stories of how businesses or people have shown their trust to you or how they trust their people, please share them with us so we can spread the word on the need for more Trust in business [Tweet This].
1) Warren Buffett’s Management Secrets, by M Buffett and D Clark, Simon and Schuster, 2010