A business exists in its most basic form, to provide a solution to a problem that their market has. In agreeing to provide that solution, they are promising to come good on that agreement. The local coffee shop promises their customers the delivery of their daily caffeine fix or an accounting firm that guarantees the quality of their financial advice, a proposal of a solution is a promise to deliver, a promise of a solution to a problem.
A business’s promise goes beyond a memorable slogan or a fantastic logo. It is a pledge to the market to deliver the solution proposed. In making that promise a business puts its integrity on the line and in breaking that promise the reputation is damaged.
Woolworths is known for their promise (which is also their slogan) “The Fresh Food People”. If you used to buy from Woolworths consistently fresh produce and one day, your Kale is all wilted you might overlook it and put it down to a one of. If the next day the Kale is wilted again, and then again the following week, your trust in their promise would diminish considerably and chances are you would begin to consider alternative fresh produce shops.
Only by keeping the promise, every day, every week, every month, all year round, does a business earn a long-standing reputation from its market that breeds customer loyalty.
Likewise, if the business has produced on its promise consistently over time, one occurrence of a broken promise can have a significant impact on trust.
The promise of a solution is not a one-off. It is a long-term commitment to deliver on that promise, rain or sunshine. The right solution with the right market that is provided without fault over time can lead to a deep trust between a business, and it’s customers.
‘Reputation = Experience minus Expectation’.
Your reputation will increase when the experience someone has with your business is bigger and better than the expectation they had.
Trust in a business’s promise is a top priority for customers in determining whether to buy from a company. However, trust cannot be assumed or bought–it is earned through actions. Business owners need to rethink their ability to deliver to ensure that they perform on their promises. Promises that are kept strengthen the relationship with your customers; broken promises set the stage for a long and often impossible road back.