Relationship Sabotage

Trust is a reciprocal commodity in the future of work. Trust powers collaboration and facilitates exchange in networks. Trust is also reciprocal. Make sure your levels of trust of others are not sabotaging your relationships.

Part of any decision to trust another is an assessment of how they treat us. Trust is reciprocal. We can make finely tuned assessments on how much trust others put in us by simply examining how we interact, how well their goals are aligned to ours and how much reciprocity of trust we experience.

If you start from the assumption that your employees and customers are incipient criminals, it will show itself in your policies and processes. The levels of security and inconvenience that result will be a constant reminder to customers and employees that you don’t trust them.  Even if your levels of protection are in line with your industry peers, you will still bear the consequences of that action in the way your customers and your employees interact with you. Transactions will be more costly, loyalty will be lower and complaints & errors will be harder to resolve because you won’t have the benefit of trust to fall back on.

Are your levels of trust set for the real risks and opportunities in your relationships? Make sure you are not penalising everyone for one individual’s error. Remember if you distrust employees that will flow on to customers and if you distrust customers you employees will experience the consequences. Your customer and employee experience are one experience.

Too many organisations with persistent challenges in lifting engagement or customer advocacy continue to sabotage their key relationship. Make sure you are different. Trust a little more.

Talk Like a Customer

Every moment of every customer or employee experience matters. Talk like a real person, your customer. What you say sends a big signal.

We all know the moment. The moment a starts talking generic corporate speak to us. Often we are so used to these meaningless generic moments they are almost a parody

– “we apologies for the inconvenience”
– “your call is important to us”
– “because your safety is important to us…”
– “our operators are waiting for your call”
– “it’s not personal”
– “policy says…”
– “buy now and as a special offer we will throw in free steak knives”
– “satisfaction guaranteed”
– “have you tried restarting the computer”
– “thank you for your business”
– “is there anything I can help you with”
– “operational issues require…”
– “the assets of this business walk out the door at the end of each day”
– and many more

Don’t use these words. Stop. Every moment you use a generic phrase you remind customers and your people that you are just like everyone else. Every time an employee has to say one of these things you run a big risk that they stare blankly into space and disengage from the customer and from you. You have declared to your customers and employees that there is absolutely nothing special or unique about you.

Customers don’t talk this way. They say things they mean in their own words. They are real people. You should be real people too.