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Extreme Trust: Honesty as a Competitive Advantage
In the age of the Web, smartphones, and social networks, every action an organization takes can be exposed and critiqued in real time. Nothing is local or secret anymore. If you treat one customer unfairly, produce one shoddy product, or try to gouge one price, the whole world may find out in hours, if not minutes. The users of Twitter, Yelp, Epinions, and similar outlets show little mercy for bad behavior. The bar for trustworthiness is higher than ever and continuing to rise. Don Peppers and Martha Rogers argue that the only sane response to these rising levels of transparency is to protect the interests of customers proactively, before they have a chance to spread negative buzz—even if that requires spending extra money in the short run to preserve your reputation and customer relationships in the long run. The payoff of generating extreme trust will be worth it. (Don Peppers is a previous BMA Colorado keynote speaker).