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Do Your Customers Trust You?

Recently, the Better Business Bureau released the results their first Trust in Business Index. They found that trust in business is down and cite contributing factors such as:

  • toy recalls
  • the sub-prime mortgage crisis
  • ethical lapses in leadership
  • declining customer service

All of these things affect a company’s reputation. Stephen Covey, in his great book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, talks about “emotional bank accounts”. When we do good things, deposits are made into our emotional bank account; when we do bad things, withdrawals are made.

Trust is built as we make more deposits. Relationships are built on trust. According to BBB, the single biggest factor in earning customer trust is honesty, closely followed by dependability.

Today, we’ll look at three things that you can do to increase your customers’ trust.

  • Under-promise, then over-deliver
  • Unfortunately, we usually see the opposite. In most cases, the intentions are good. However, good intentions don’t build relationships. Good actions do. One of the keys here is to manage expectations to make sure you don’t over commit.

    On the show, George talked about a customer who wanted him to commit to something he didn’t he could do. After much prodding, he told the customer that he could lie to her now, and make her happy. But she would probably be disappointed later.

    Or she could accept what he’s saying, and be happy when he was able to do it. He asked which one she preferred. She understood.

    Tell me now and it’s an explanation. Tell me later and it’s an excuse. Customers accept explanations; nobody likes excuses. Once you have set the proper expectations, you can work to exceed them. That’s where it gets fun!

  • Follow-through
  • This is closely related to the first point, but it’s so important that we thought it deserved to be separate. Say what you’ll do, and then do what you say. We’re all so busy these days; it’s easy to make promises that we don’t keep. Don’t be one of those people! Follow-through.

    Develop a personal system that tracks your promises so you rarely “drop the ball”.

    During the show, George talked a friend who’s in sales. When he called prospects, they often told him to call back some time later. He developed a system to notify him when he should call them back. Then he called them!

    George liked this idea. He started testing sales people by agreeing to a follow-up date. A very small percentage actually did it! If someone won’t live up to their promises before they sell you something, how do you think they’ll do afterwards?

    Follow-through won’t always make you money, but it always builds trust.

  • Address the needs of your customer first, then worry about your needs.
  • On the show, Mary-Lynn talked about her sister, who recently saw some fraudulent activity on her credit card. When she called the credit card company, they tried to sell her another credit card and additional services on her current credit card.

    She explained that she didn’t care about that right now; she was stressed out that someone was using her credit card. The service representative just kept pitching her on other services.

    It’s hard to understand why anyone would design a process that way. If someone comes to you with a need, you won’t get anywhere until that need is addressed.

 

How do you build trust with your customers?
As a customer, what do you wish businesses would do?
Leave us a comment.

 

Going back to the survey, we talked about honesty and dependability, which finished first and second in building trust. In case you’re wondering, here are the next three:

#3 – safe products
#4 – value
#5 – price

There’s one more thing that we found interesting from this survey:

67% of the respondents would rather patronize a small business than a large one.

That’s good news for all you small business owners. You have an edge – consumers trust you more! And now may be a good time to start that business you’ve been dreaming about. Check out 10 Signs That You’re Ready To Quit Your Job And Start A Business.

Our Bigg Quote today comes from Ray Kroc, the founder of McDonald’s.

“If you work just for money, you’ll never make it, but if you love what you’re doing and you always put the customer first, success will be yours.”

Remember that your customers will last if they feel like you put them first. Your honesty and dependability leads to their loyalty.

Next time, we’ll talk about the marshmallow test. Can you resist sweet temptations? Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

stairway

Climbing The Stairway To Success

stairway

Today, we’ll discuss how to reach your goals, step-by-step. We toyed with calling this blog the “Stairway to Heaven”, but we’re Bigg Success, not Bigg Heaven!

On the show, Mary-Lynn told an amusing story from her radio dj days about locking herself out of her building while “Stairway to Heaven” was playing. Listen to the show to hear it! Click on the play button above (just click the arrow), or, if you are viewing this in a reader, just click the mp3 button or link.

Picture this … you’re in a 100-story building. You’re at the bottom of a stairway, but you can see all the way to the top.

Can you jump to the top?

Superman could leap over tall buildings in a single bound, but that’s a cartoon!

Could you jump up even one flight of stairs?

Even Michael Jordan couldn’t do that, not even with a running start!

Could you take one step?

You can handle that!

Now how about a second?

Of course.

Your success is like this stairwell. You can’t jump to it – you get there step-by-step. Let’s look at three mistakes people make when setting their goals and then we’ll offer three tips to get to the top of your stairway to success.

3 mistakes people make when setting their goals

Mistake #1: Trying to jump to the top.

People want instant success. Get rich quick. It’s nearly impossible. Ask almost any successful person. They started at the bottom and worked their way up.

Mistake #2: More than one building.

You see people who climb a stairway in this building. Then they climb a stairway in another building. They climb a lot of stairs, but they never get past the second floor of any building!

Mistake #3: Never stopping to rest.

You need to refresh yourself – give yourself a little treat. Don’t be so eager to get to the top that you never reward yourself for the progress that you’ve made. If you don’t rest occasionally, you’ll wear yourself out.

3 tips to get to the top of your stairway

Tip #1: Find your building and the stairway in it that leads to the top.

The building is your dream … your passion. The stairway is your action plan – all the steps it will take. You need long-term goals. That’s why it’s important to have one building and one stairway. Everything you’re doing should lead to the top.

Tip #2: Set medium-term and short-term goals.

Medium-term goals are represented by a flight of stairs. Short-term goals are each step.

By focusing on these achievable goals, you aren’t intimidated by the long-term goals. They keep you from giving up and going to another building, because you’re seeing progress toward your long-term goals.

Long-term goals give you direction. Medium-
and short-term goals show your progress.

Tip #3: Give yourself a treat.

You may or may not do this with each step, but you better do it with each flight of stairs! Enjoy your accomplishment! Give yourself a reward … something you really want …like an extra day off, a weekend away, or a cool new gadget.

So you’re climbing YOUR stairway to success … to YOUR bigg dream. That motivates you, BUT you also reward yourself for your progress. That keeps you motivated!

Our Bigg Quote today is by Mabel Newcomber.

“It is more important to know where you are going than to get there quickly.”

So climb your stairway to success step-by-step to your bigg dream. What may seem impossible now … becomes probable with every step you take.

How do you reward yourself when you achieve a goal? Share with us by leaving a comment.

Next time, we’ll discuss some recent research on customer trust and how you can capitalize on it. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file | podcast:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/biggsuccess/00046-011408

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Getting The Credit You Deserve

We’re not talking about credit cards here! We’ll discuss a somewhat common problem – what to do when you’re doing most of the work, but getting very little credit.      

Vicki e-mailed us with a bigg challenge – she recently worked on a major project at work. It was a bigg success – okay, she didn’t say that, but we couldn’t resist! Management is thrilled. Her problem – her supervisor is taking all the credit. Vicki wants to know what to do to get the recognition she deserves.

Here’s what we recommend to Vicki:
Put it in perspective
Don’t forget the old saying: It’s amazing how much gets accomplished when no one cares who gets the credit. The fact is you know that you worked on this project and that it was very successful. Enjoy it! You helped your company … you contributed.

Ask yourself if you’re inflating your role? Sometimes we give ourselves more credit than we deserve, especially on successful projects. Make sure that’s not the case. However, from reading Vicki’s e-mail, it doesn’t appear that’s the situation here.

We live in a highly competitive world. You’re a hard worker. You’ve been a part of a successful campaign. Strive to get the credit you deserve. That helps your standing in your company. It makes your job more secure.

If you don’t promote yourself, no one else will.
We’re not talking about walking around telling everyone how great you are. Don’t undermine your boss. Just understand that you need to make sure you’re recognized for your contributions.

Document, document, document.
As you’re working on projects in the future, keep written notes as things progress. Give credit where credit is due for ideas, participation, and implementation. Follow up – after meetings, face-to-face conversations, and phone calls – with a written record of “your understanding” of the conversation. Get agreement on the facts from your supervisor and/or co-workers.

For the project you just completed, consider writing out your role in the project. Ask your supervisor to review it. Tell him that you recorded the details while they were fresh in your mind. You’re going to put it in your file for your next review.

Don’t just write down what you did – include what you learned. Your company provides you with opportunities for growth. Pat your company on the back for that!

One more thought on documentation – don’t forget to add this project to your resume!

Address the situation at the proper time in the proper way.
The proper time is AFTER you have documentation on your role in a project. Then, if your manager fails to give you the credit you deserve, you’re ready to address it in the proper way.

That means having a conversation, not a confrontation. You won’t accomplish anything by attacking him. Report on the situation with as little emotion as you can possibly muster. Keep this two-point outline in mind –

(1) This is what happened      (2) Here’s how it makes me feel.

You may start with a discussion of the project, what you’re most proud of, and what you learned for next time. Then, you might say something like:

“In our meeting yesterday, when this project was discussed, I don’t feel I was given the credit I deserve. It makes me feel unappreciated.”

You’re not putting your boss on the defensive by saying that. You’re simply, and properly, trying to resolve an issue.

Good luck, Vicki! Thanks for sharing your bigg challenge with us.

What’s your biggest challenge right now? E-mail it to us at bigginfo@biggsuccess.com

Do you have a suggestion for Vicki? Share it with us in the Comments below.

Our Bigg Quote today is more of a riddle …

Why is Christmas just like a day at the office? 
Because you do all the work and the fat guy with the suit gets all the credit!

You may be an elf now, but if you remember to elf-promote, you’ll be elf-satisfied!

Come back tomorrow to find out if your knowledge is a blessing or a curse. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

Related Links:

When A Co-Worker Bad Mouths You

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