Welcome to Matt’s Blog and the first topic that I want to address is that of trust in business. This might seem like a strange topic for a management consulting firm but stay with me.
A report commissioned by the Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand, surprisingly called the Future of Trust, identified that high trust relationships with the company and the client led to increased revenues and lower operating costs. Further, these businesses enjoyed higher employee engagement and lower turnover.
What was the secret? Namely prioritising face-to-face communication during the early stages of a business relationship to build confidence in the relationship. James Sharpe from Harvard Business School sums it up effectively, “People and organisations with high trust enjoy tremendous support and success. When trust is present, customers are loyal, innovation prospers, and people are motivated.”
However, the communities’ trust in many institutions has collapsed over the last decade, look no further than the litany of Royal Commissions called by the government over the last couple of years. So, it is not enough to simply act in an honest and ethical fashion, you also need to share that commitment with your client base.
An example of that is a decision to raise your prices by 5% due to higher purchasing costs, you would inform the client of the price rise and the reasons for it. Then follow up the letter with a phone call or face-to-face visit, which might help to keep your client on side.
In short, keep emphasising the importance of face-to-face meetings with your business relationships, which has been hard over the past couple of years with COVID 19 interruptions and rolling lockdowns. However, as we have all discovered with Go To Meetings, Skype, MS Teams, & Zoom that there are other methods to gain and then maintain trust that can complement traditional face-to-face meetings.