Grow your Business: 6 Steps to instilling a Client Centered Trust Culture

September 8, 2015

Is every employee helping the client say ‘yes’ to doing business with your company? 
by Natalie Doyle Oldfield

Recently on a hot summer Friday afternoon I called my accountant to ask a few taxation questions. To my frustration I was told that he just left for holiday and would be away for two weeks. Before I could say anything the person that answered the phone asked “ is there anything I can help you with?” Reluctantly, I explained what I was looking for. To my complete satisfaction, she answered all my questions.

The woman I spoke to was a junior bookkeeper, who knew nothing about my business and she took the time to help me navigate through my questions and locate the information I was looking for. There was no 'checking with management' and no red tape. It is a good example of how a company can demonstrate that employees are putting their clients interests first, regardless of their job description.

70% of buying experiences are based on how the client feels they are being treated [1] . We want to buy from companies we trust will put our interests first. Since every employee has a role to play in the client’s decision to do business with your company, it makes sense that instilling a client centered Trust Culture™ to grow your business is the top priority for many successful companies.

What is a client centered Trust Culture™?

It is a culture where everyone in the organization knows what the goals and objectives are, one where everyone is singing off the same song sheet and rowing in the same direction. It is an organization where everyone from the receptionist to the person in the corner office is focused on building and strengthening relationships with clients, partners, stakeholders and colleagues. One where employees put the clients interests ahead of strictly following their job description.  It is an organization where everyone knows they have a part to play in impacting the client’s decision to select your company and say “yes.”

How do we know when a company has a Client Centred Trust Culture™?

  • Employees give off positive vibes. Their attitude and the mindset is focused on the client. They talk about their client’s successes and are proud of them.  
  • Employees are engaged - they embrace their role and know how what they do affects clients.
  • Everyone in the company says the same things about the company and what it does.
  • Employees answer questions confidently and consistently.
  • The company has strong and often longstanding relationships with clients, partners and suppliers and are committed to these relationships long term.
  • They proactively seek feedback from clients.
  • Employees are empowered to think differently about what they already do and to make decisions that affect the clients best interests without having to go through hoops or continually ‘check with management’.

6 Steps to Instilling a Client Centered Trust Culture™:

  • Establishing a code of conduct and company values. Once established, everyone from the President to the newest employee needs to know what they are and work by that code and those values.
  • Understanding your clients experience with your company. See yourself through your client’s eyes. What is it really like to deal with your company? Are there areas for improvements or processes that would make it easier for the client to do business with you?
  • Gaining a full understanding of your clients and their world. What is a day in the life like for them?
  • Following the eight principles of building and strengthening trust with colleagues and clients.
  • Aligning organizational processes, roles and performance objectives with your client trust building strategy.
  • Measuring every employee’s performance as it relates to their trust strengthening behaviour. The commitment should be to continuous improvement over the long term.

When every employee is focused strengthening  trust with clients the business grows.  80% of people products and services from organizations they trust. [2] Companies with high client trust outperform. [3]

References
[1] McKinsey
[2] Edeleman Trust Barometer, 2015
[3] Forbes and GMI concluded after examining  8,000 firms traded on U.S. stock exchanges using forensic accounting measures, the "Most Trustworthy Companies" “outperform their peers over the long run.” 

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Copyright © Natalie Doyle Oldfield 2018