Honesty as a Competitive Advantage, Upcoming Necessity
Trust is an increasingly valuable commodity when it comes to doing business, one that some try to take advantage of with fake social media reviews and other strategies (old and new) that are meant to fool customers; however, Don Peppers and Martha Rogers Ph.D argue in their latest book it won't be long before the only successful businesses are the ones that are extremely trustworthy.
Their book, Extreme Trust: Honesty as a Competitive Advantage, says that the rising levels of transparency in society will mean that businesses will have to protect customer interests proactively. By investing in ways to preserve reputation and to build customer relationships, businesses will develop the extreme trust necessary to survive a world where the social domain and the commercial domains are constantly colliding.
"In the future, companies will have to do this because of competitive pressure," Peppers said. "If they don't do it, someone else will."
Peppers also said that the book is fundamentally about how business will change because of technology-driven innovation, and described extreme trust as the "inevitable evolution of business over the next generation or so.
We can probably think of many examples of how different companies and industries treat their customers as transactions, how they try to make money off of people instead of working with them to earn their profits. Below are some of the book's most noticeable examples:
- Banks will soon have to stop relying on overdraft charges, because so many of them are based on simple customer error.
- Credit card companies will have to coach customers on avoiding excessive borrowing.
- Cell phone providers will have to help customers find the cheapest calling plans for their usage patterns.
- Retailers will have to remind customers when a gift card or rebate card has gone unused or may be lost.
"[It's up to] companies to decide whether they understand that they have two goals now: make money this quarter, and figuring out how what they do and what they say is going to affect the long-term value of a customer," Rogers said. "Long-term value is determined today."Continued on the next page