Monthly Archives: March 2016

Transparency Earns Trust

transparency

 

Customers are all looking for transparency in a world filled with distrust. Hiding information is immediately taken as a negative in today’s world; therefore, to build any loyalty you must use transparency to build their trust in you.
Entire industries are looked at with a negative eye by consumers because of the fee games being played. (Airline industry, can you hear this?) Is it any wonder people are so frustrated with the service they receive and continually give poor ratings to so many airlines?

So how can you build loyalty and trust?

Start by avoiding the “fine print.” Hidden add-on charges or fees will cause your customers to feel they have been taken advantage of. Be completely upfront with terms and conditions and stay away from the customer “gotcha.”  No one likes the negative surprise, and in this age of overshare and social media, such poor business tactics will come back to haunt you.

The same goes for your customer loyalty programs. Make sure they are clear and easily understood. If you have to make adjustments to the conditions of the loyalty program, be sure to announce the changes well in advance of implementation. The more upfront you can be with information, the more customers will respect your decisions.

Look at your business. Where do you have opportunities for customers to feel they are not being treated fairly? How are you sharing information with your customers to build a level of trust? Here is how you can build customer value and loyalty – be transparent

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What Relationships Are You Building?

building relationships

 

Most executives recognize the importance of customer relationships and they invest plenty of resources to maintain those. I think there is a step missing in this equation for success.

Make time to invest in your staff. Lost in the focus of pleasing stockholders and customers are the people who make a business sustain success: the staff. When executives spend personal one on one time with the staff who report to them, it helps keep the staff engaged, keeps them open to new ideas, and builds trust when they need to stay committed when things are going sideways.

By building these relationships with staff members, employees will feel more open in sharing news you may not want to hear but need to hear. So many executives are the emperors without clothes because the staff is afraid to tell them bad news, because no relationship exists to allow that conversation to happen. Don’t suffer needlessly because you failed to create the relationships with those who truly determine your success.

When building your staff relationships, be quick to share the credit for successes. Everyone likes to be recognized for their contributions and no one appreciates when the boss takes all of the credit. When you are quick to acknowledge the contributions of your staff you let them know the value you see they bring to the team.

You want employees to be committed, loyal and willing to go through walls for you? You have to make the first move and demonstrate why they should.

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Prioritize to be Productive

Prioritize

 

I hear managers tell me they don’t have enough time in the day to do what they need to do while running from fire to fire, fires frequently of their own making. When you run from one crisis to another, you never make time for the important until it becomes the urgent.

When you find yourself dealing predominantly with urgencies, you never get to depth with your actions because you just look for the quickest way to stop the pain. Therefore, you keep readdressing the same problems when the short-term fix wears off.

It’s time to step off the urgent train and onto dealing with the important issues that will actually improve your business. Prioritize to be productive.

Set your top five priorities for the day – in order. If you get nothing else done, these five things will be completed, these five things will be done at the end of the day. The only way to overwhelm the urgencies is to do the necessary important things to stop the urgencies from happening to begin with. Yes, it may require extra effort and time commitment, but the alternative is to stay on the same non-productive gerbil wheel you find yourself on most days.

While you are prioritizing your tasks, be mindful to prioritize your time as well. The wasted minutes in a day dealing with non-productive tasks can be alarming once you truly step back and look at how you are devoting your work time.

Where to start?

I have found for most executives in this whirlwind of non-productivity, they need to focus on the importance of building a proper foundation. After years of a “ready, shoot, aim” approach to running the business, the foundation for positive growth and focus has eroded. Ask yourself, “Where has my foundation crumbled that is causing all of these urgencies?” Do you have a firm description of policies and procedures? Do you have solid training programs for employees?

These are the important priorities you need to begin with to slow the flow of urgent cries for help in your organization.

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