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Don Peppers: “Extreme Trust” — Live from the Brands-Only Summit

Coverage of this session by Evan Perkins of Connect with him by following him on Twitter.

1:30 —’s Laura Berrones introduces Don Peppers, Founding Partner of Peppers & Rogers Group and author of Extreme Trust: Honesty as a Competitive Advantage.

1:31 — Don says that the world, as a whole, is expecting a higher standard from businesses. They will trust a company if they believe that you are both competent (doing things right) and have good intentions (doing the right things). Both elements must be present.

1:33 — Don cites Zuckerberg’s Law that says our social interactions are increasing exponentially. The more we interact, the more trust we demand. Trust makes interactions more efficient. Trust is your first filter. Interaction generates transparency.

1:34 — Don: Consumers are holding marketers to a higher standard. It’s not enough to simply refrain from cheating or lying. You have to be proactive . Trustability is proactive trustworthiness.

1:35 — Don: Extreme trust often requires reducing short-term profit to gain long-term value.

1:39 — Don says that because of rising customer expectations with respect to trustability, previously acceptable marketing practices will soon become untreatable. No longer “buyer beware” but “seller beware.” Markets have made a lot of money from customer error over the years. Only 10% of people say they trust advertisers.

1:40 — Don: Norm Peterson on the TV show “Cheers” says, “Once the trust goes out of the relationship it’s really no fun lying to them anymore.”

1:41 — Don: Remember, you can’t un-Google yourself! If you lose trust everyone will know about it, always.

1:42 — Don: When customers can communicate with each other, it’s the customer experience that they talk about. Not your advertisement, but their experience of your brand and your products. Failures used to be harder to hear about, but now they are broadcast everywhere.

1:43 – Don says that employees want to work for a trustable company.

1:44 – Don shares five requirements to be trustable:

  1. Demonstrate humanity (empathy, fallibility)
  2. Think long-term (short-term costs may apply)
  3. Be competent (both in product and customer)
  4. Share (people want to contribute, so let them)
  5. Respect evidence (objectivity and accuracy).

1:47 — Don mentions some tips for building trustability:

  1. You need to provide objective, brand-neutral content and counsel.
  2. Recommend a competitive product when appropriate.
  3. Remind a customer when his rate is about to increase or when his warranty will expire soon.
  4. Proactive send a refund whenever one would be appropriate to resolve a service dispute or a problem.

1:49 — The trend is toward trustability. Do you want to be a leader in your category, or do you want do respond to your competitor’s initiatives?

1:50 — Don: No one has just “some” integrity. You either have it or you don’t. If you build an environment of Extreme Trust then you can become not only a more profitable company, but a better company!

Q & A:

Q: How can you show ROI to being trustworthy?

A: Don: You could do an A/B test. Select some customers for an automatic refund and track their history for several years, for example. You could also do a more robust customer analytic analysis with lifetime values, current events, improvements on NPS, etc. I believe a more logical way is just to share with executives that if you train on trustability, your employees will proactively execute. Also, being customer-centric causes you to be more in-tune with your target audience, thus creating a better company. Ask, “What’s the business case for cheating customers?” Think about AOL vs. Apple Computers.

December 10, 2013 0 comments

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