Business Development & Marketing General Turnaround

Trust and loyalty are essential for a business

A lot has been said about customers’ loss of trust in banks, supermarkets and other large corporations but there is another aspect of trust that is essential for a business.
There is need for a mutual trust based on the relationship between staff and their employer, normally its directors as the key decision makers.
A good example is what happened at the onset of the global financial meltdown, when many businesses were able to survive only because their employees agreed to cuts in hours or pay.
Much of the employees’ motivation would, of course, have been based on a fear of unemployment or redundancy if they did not agree. The mutuality of the relationship would suggest some element of compensation for the sacrifice beyond simply retaining a job.
Furthermore if the relationship is abused such as by holding down wages when profits return, how will employees react when their fear of not getting another job is no longer keeping them?
Trust and loyalty are as important in times of growth as in times of crisis.
Business owners need to understand their staff and acknowledge those who made sacrifices; equally employees need to feel valued and be able to trust their employer.
While money can be one way of thanking staff for their sacrifice or ‘going the extra mile’ there are plenty of other ways from a staff party to holiday vouchers, hampers or simply improved facilities and fresh flowers in the office.
It would be great to hear some interesting examples of how employees have been rewarded for their loyalty.

Business Development & Marketing Finance General Turnaround

Betrayed trust – a lesson for all SMEs

Like the public’s trust in politicians, the consumers’ trust in a wide range of businesses has plummeted.
They include energy suppliers, banks, insurance companies, mobile phone companies and the big supermarkets. All have been guilty of marketing complex offers for products, purporting to be better value, in such a way that consumers cannot with any confidence compare them.
Betrayed trust has led to a marked change in buying behaviour such that people no longer stick with one supplier.
The most noticeable moves have been in the grocery retail sector, where companies like Aldi and Lidl have seen their profits rise by up to 10% and one of the biggest casualties has been Tesco, whose behaviour towards both suppliers and customers has been exposed as less than honourable.
Generally, consumers will assess the value and affordability of a higher-priced product compared with a cheaper one and will buy whichever suits them, but only if they feel they are getting value for money.
It is a mistake to believe consumers can be bamboozled by alleged bargains that then turn out not to be. It is also a mistake to insult their intelligence.
Giving fair value, good service and a reputation for being trustworthy are valuable assets for any business’ reputation. There is a lesson and an opportunity here for SMEs, who can often demonstrate these qualities in a way that the bigger organisations cannot.
The key ingredient is trust.
How do you demonstrate trustworthiness to your customers?