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Building Trustability

In June 2012 I attended the Satmetrix Net Promoter conference which included a presentation from  Don Peppers, co-author of Extreme Trust: Honesty as a Competitive Advantage.   Don talked about the growing role trust plays in business success given the increasing speed and transparency of client interactions.  Building Trustability is a proactive approach to accelerate trustworthiness and the proactive protection of client's interests. For example working with clients to reviewing work processes, test assumptions to work flow, and brainstorming ideas to reduce costs. It creates great transparency (a requirement of trust) but as Don said "transparency is like disinfectant - it cleans things up but it stings like hell."

An example of proactive trust in action in the business-to-consumer sector was Amazon's alerts on duplicate orders letting you know you've ordered the book before.  And the UK Building company writing to clients before warranty expiration offering to visit, check and make good at no-charge.

And then there was the experience of the USAA - an insurance company that provides coverage to US armed forces personnel.  They sent refund cheques to those customers who were on active service.  The surprising twist - more that 2,500 customers returned their refund to USAA!  The message to the insurance company was "just be there when we need you."  

Don also spoke of the Golden Rule of client service - treat a client the way you would want to be treated. And the upgrade to this - the Platinum Rule.  Treat a client they way they would like to be treated.   

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Sue-Ella Prodonovich