Monday, August 9, 2010

Earning Trust is a Journey

While talking with my best friend the topic of how to earn trust came up. More specifically how long does it take to earn trust. We didn't come to a final answer but we did agree you'd know when you had it.

A few weeks ago my wife and I visited our favorite lunch spot-Cheddars-for a quick meal. The stars must have aligned perfectly because there no wait. However, the stars began falling out of place when were seated.

Our table was sticky, wet and just down right dirty. Because we liked the seats we just asked for a clean up. The server cleaned our table with passion, got our drinks and took our meal order. What does this have to do with trust?

Five years ago when we first visited the restaurant, we received exceptional service. The server was friendly, the tables were sparkling and the restrooms were clean. Of course the food was great. That night the restaurant earned our trust. We returned to Cheddars at least twice a month after that night. And each time we returned our trust level grew.

Cheddars earned our trust because they delivered on their promises. They promised great service, a friendly waitstaff and good food at a value.

So despite the one occasion my wife and I experienced a not so clean table at Cheddars, they still had our trust. We knew that some days can be "off" days.

This applies to us with our customers and clients. If we build trust and continue to work at it, our customers are willing to work with us when we make mistakes. I believe earning trust is a journey-yeah, you may have it but keep building on what you have.

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