Building Trust with Your Customers Helps You Reach Your Goals Faster-1

Building Trust with Your Customers Helps You Reach Your Goals Faster-1Tell me, do you think you will benefit if your clients trusted you more? What are those benefits?  Likely answers could be you’d:
1. Gain more customers
2. Get repeat orders
3. Make more money
4. Earn more respect in the community you service
5. Lead a more contented life for having done your job well
Hm… let me think. These are the objectives of your business! If you are trusted more, then it leads to achieving your business and personal goals, faster!

If people trust you, they won’t mind paying extra
The best news about this whole trust business is that you can charge a premium for trust. Trust can be a fantastic investment into your business.

Trust does involve some risk
Charle H. Green, a noted expert on trust, asks: Have you ever recommended a competitor to one of your top clients? This is the acid test of establishing trust in selling. A salesman who willingly shares information that would serve the interest of his customer — even if it’s about a rival — is actually putting his customer’s interests ahead of his own and the customer is not so dumb that he would not notice it. He would reward the sales person with more trust and most likely will strike the next deal with him/her!
If you are able to manage a short term business risk for the long-term benefit, you would have no problem establishing trust with your customers.

Trust can overrule cynicism
Building Trust with Your Customers Helps You Reach Your Goals Faster-1

I’ve often heard people say “it doesn’t work this way in the real world…”
“It’s a dog eat dog world out there..…no body trusts anybody, anymore…” This is a sort of cynical outburst that only trust can overcome.
Have you ever wondered why when you go out to buy a mobile phone, a watch or a TV set, why do you always go to your most trusted dealer?
There could be glowing testimonies on the net for a brand that your dealer does not stock, but you would disregard all that and out aside your cynicism and still go to your old dealer —

Because when it comes to actual buying, you want your “own” dealer, even if his store may not be as swanky or uptown as the one advertised in the newspaper.
Winning brands build trust relationships. They constantly back-up their best marketing plans with the best service. And that builds trust.

Elements of trust in the next post

Trust is the foundation of any successful relationship. If you would like your customers to trust you more and want to know what to do, we will talk about elements of trust in the next post and recommend you a book that will help you do that.

About the author: Chaitanya Sagar is an expert in small businesses and is the CEO of, an online marketplace for services like writing, business consulting, research, software, online-tutoring etc. You can find good service providers and collaborate with them on p2w2.

Building Trust with Your Customers Helps You Reach Your Goals Faster-1

Picture credits: Dideo Spoon CairoCarol

Best customer experience needs attitude not cost

Best customer experience needs attitude not costIn my experience, our best customer experiences were not about the product or the service alone, but about the attitude with which those services were rendered or product delivered.

Indeed, very often, the product is not very high quality. But the service that comes with it is so good, that, eventually the customer is ok if the quality of the product is just enough.

I had one such experience at a Mumbai restaurant. The friend I was with, a regular at that restaurant, ordered a rich green curry that he was very fond of “methi malai matar” that he’d first tasted at this very restaurant. However on that day, it didn’t live up to his expectations.

As it turned out, the old cook had left and the dish was cooked by his substitute. To me, it really wasn’t that bad, but, to my friend, it wasn’t what he wanted. So he made a very casual remark to the waiter, something about the “funny taste” of the curry and the alert waiter immediately appeared by our table, carrying another curry — this one was the new cook’s specialty and we were treated to it, on the house.
Then when we were leaving, the manager appeared at the gate bearing a rose stem that he politely handed to me, once again profusely apologizing for the fall in their own, pre- established standard.

It costs very little but brings rich returns

A frequent shopper once complained about checkout counter attendants who slide the credit card, instead of handing it back politely as many Chinese or Japanese attendants do, with two hands. Giving the card back costs little and enhances courtesy in leaps and bounds. Businesses should try to enhance service and not just marketing budgets. Yet, many think increasing your budget will help you provide better service. No wonder that there is a growing disconnect between the lack of customer service and increased marketing budgets in the American businesses. Best customer experience needs attitude not cost

A food chain like McDonald’s provides a simple experience, yet they are remarkably successful because they maintain the same standards in terms of neat,

good quality food that is good value for money in whichever country they may operate in.

Starbucks succeeded at creating the service by making their baristas as knowledgeable about their products as wine experts are – once again costs some money, but pays huge dividends.

And, all this has nothing to do with customization that costs a bomb for each customer. It’s all about attitude. Actually, if you do not have a service attitude, it might cost you more. And that’s not just in lost profits but in actual cost. Take for example banks. I know banks that can’t solve my problem despite repeated calls to them. Every time I call them, it costs. It costs them telephone time, an employee’s salary etc. But if have the right service attitude, then it costs them much lower because they don’t have to spend that extra time and they get a satisfied customer.

Get out of petty thinking

It’s easy to think, “My rate is $50 an hour. So if I spend an extra hour to make sure my customer is delighted, I lose $50” That’s petty. I would ask you, what is your cash outflow to spend extra hour? That’s real cost. Not what you ‘could have earned’ unless you have a real work waiting for you which you will surely lose if you work on the first one.
What is your own “best customer experience?” Share it.

Best customer experience needs attitude not cost

Voice your opinion: What do you want to read on p2w2 blog?

p2w2 blog just completed 6 months of it’s existence.  I would

say, after 25 posts (this is 26th), we have a good hang of how to create a good blog. But what I am more worried about is whether we are writing about issues you face? Is the blog helpful to you? Is it creating the environment where you could or want to talk? Are the topics relevant?

I have created a little survey for you. I will be grateful if you could take the survey.

Take the survey.

Measure to Manage Performance in a Small Business

I think I am doing everything right, yet I am not successful…I wonder why?Measure to manage performance in a small business.
If you have been bogged down by that query, you are not alone.

In the early 1900’s, Frank Bettger became the leading salesperson for the Fidelity Mutual Life Insurance Company. One of the ways Frank improved his performance was by measuring the results of his sales calls.
He discovered that 70% of his sales were closed on the first interview; while 7% got closed after the second interview. But do you know the most important discovery? He was spending nearly 70% of his time on calls after the second interview! That means he could cut down his tele-caller cost by 70% and still achieve same results! That resulted in enhancing the value of his calls by…. 725%! (from $2.30 to $19.00!) (Note the clear metrics he used to quantify his output).

Most business owners, including me, get so caught up in the flow, they don’t bother to track where they are going. Tell me how many times in the last few years have you stopped to analyze what is each customer  worth to you in real monetary terms?
You’d be surprised at the discovery. At the end of this exercise you may learn that often the client you cherished as your best customer is, certainly not the best, but often, that customer turns out to be the worst. Measure it for yourself and check it out.

If you don’t have systems in place to identify the bad from others, you can’t understand who is good for your business and who is not. Similarly, if you have good traffic at your site, you must know what site features you can attribute this to, in order for you to build up on those strengths later and multiply your success quotient.

What you can measure you can manage

A machine shop started measuring waste by weighing a trailer where scrap was stored and relaying those figures to the team members. The scrap expense went down by $30,000.  Later, when the owner decided to stop weighing the scrap, the scrap expense once again increased by $30,000!
If you don’t measure it, you can’t manage it. Get it?

Going beyond the bottomline

In my opinion, it’s a mistake to measure your success only in pure financial terms.  There can be certain aspects of your business such as customer loyalty, intellectual capital, employee skills and reputation that also have real worth and value. Measuring these non-financials is also critical as they help you market your services more effectively to your customers.

In their book Measure Up (Disclosure: This is an affiliate link)), Richard Lynch and Kelvin Cross suggest that following measures of success: quality, delivery, cycle time, and waste. By measuring activities in these areas, an entrepreneur can think of alternative approaches to bringing more value to his customers.

Data is apolitical

If you have data to take decisions, then you can be less political because data is apolitical. Your employees will love your company for that!

In short, it’s important to measure success for the following reasons:
• To facilitate corrective actions if there are any performance gaps
• To support strategic decisions and goal setting
• To track your progress towards those goals; and
• To improve accountability

Measure important metrics

I am not here to say that you should measure everything, unless you are a large company. Measure the most important metrics – revenue per month, gross and net profit per month, number of customers, repeat business, number of visitors on your website etc. that are really important to your business. What are the top 10 metrics you should be measuring for your company?

About the author: Chaitanya Sagar is an expert in small businesses and is the CEO of,

an online marketplace for services like writing, business consulting, research, software, online-tutoring etc. You can find good service providers and collaborate with them on p2w2. Picture credits:  HBuzacott & Guillermо

Measure to manage performance in a small business.

How to Lock Your Clients – 2: Exceed Expectations


In today’s competitive world, you get your differentiation from gaining trust – by exceeding expectations every time and having great customer relationships.
The relationship culture gets reflected in our lingo – nightclubs offer “a good time” not beer or other stuff. A jeweler promises: ‘We enhance your appearance,” while a real estate seller says “We create happy living environments for people” – not brick and mortar. 🙂

Making promises is easy. Delivering is not. When you make a promise, you set an expectation. When you deliver, there is a comparison between the expectation and what you delivered. If you deliver more than expected, the customer talks positively about you to some people. If not, they talk bad about you to many more.

Lining up the ducks – align expectations to what you can deliver

The key to exceeding expectations is setting them right. You first figure out what the customer wants and then anchor your service promise at a little less than where you can deliver. Promise only what you can deliver. If you know you can’t deliver, or delivering that promise is improbable, don’t promise. Simple. I know it’s difficult. But if you would like to build relationships, this is where you start.

Under promise

When it comes to promising something, then make sure you promise a little less than what you can realistically deliver. That does not mean low balling your targets. It only

means you assess what you can deliver and leave a little buffer for uncertainties and then promise that. E.g. A customer asks you if she can get a discount of 20% on the good she wants to purchase. You know that you can give a standard discount of 15%. But to give 20% discount, you have to take an approval from the company you bought the goods from so you can pass on the discount to it. In this case, you tell customer that you can’t give a discount, unless you talk to the company. After you know that you can pass on the discount, you promise the client and give the discount – not before.

Over deliver

My experience is that so long as a customer’s expectation are adequately managed (i.e., “you’ll receive a response from us within 24 hours” and you live up to that commitment) you can manage to meet expectations. But to exceed expectations, you have to do some extra work.
Take for instance a 24-hour after-sale service guaranteed by most automobile manufacturers. Suppose a customer finds a problem with the car stereo and takes it to the dealer. The dealer can, on inspection:

(a) Find no problem with it
(b) Find the problem, but fail to repair it
(c) Find the problem and repair it in the expected time
(d) Find the problem, repair well ahead of the expected time
(e) Performs (d) or replaces the entire audio system or finds a new problem that he fixes along with the audio system repair

In this example, the (c) response will merely meet a customer’s expectations, while a (d) response will exceed it and an (e) response is what will actually induce strong customer “delight.”
You have to go that extra mile in delighting a customer, even if you charge a premium for it. (Remember what we said about customers willing to pay a premium for good experience in one of our earlier posts?) In ‘e’ option, the customer would not mind paying an extra fee for getting the other problem fixed.

When you can’t meet a commitment

In case you are unable to meet a commitment, the best way out is to own up to the shortfall. The thumb rule is: make a clean breast of the bad news as fast as you receive it; while delaying good news delivery till it actually happens. Both will prove your sensitivity to the customer.
Exceeding customer expectations (not just meeting it) is one of the key ways to grow your business. If you just meet expectations, you just met them. If you exceed, you become someone your customers should take notice.


Picture credits: creo que soy yo fabya9