Networking Tip: The Speed of Trust by Stephen Covey Jr.

July 26, 2008

Last month Stephen Covey Jr. came to Antwerp to give a Master Class about his new book Speed of Trust.This Master Class was organised by Franklin Covey Belgium.

An excellent moment to hear what someone else is saying about the topic of trust. It’s a topic that also gets more attention in our own training courses and presentations.

Networking is about building relationships and building trust. It’s very hard to get referrals without trust.

Stephen addressed a few interesting topics. I won’t go in detail for all of them in this post, I will write about them in future posts.

One of his main points is that trust increases speed and lowers costs. And that also the other way around is true: low trust means high costs and lowers speed.

An example that he gives in his speech (it is also in the book) is about 9/11. Afterwards more security measures were taken: more safety, but lower trust.

The consequence was less speed (we all have to be at airports much sooner than before) and higher costs (more security personnel).

Stephen also gave positive examples, but the one that sticked with me the most was one from the audience.

A person who works for Carglass (it is a company that is primarily known for repairing wind shields) told the story how they changed their complaints department.

They used to have a rather large department to deal with complaints of customers. Some of them also tried to rip them off by telling that the service people of Carglass damaged their car or made the problem worse than before (but most of them had a car accident AFTER the repairs done by Carglass). For every complaint a lot of administration had to be done by Carglass and the customer.

At a certain moment Carglass considered options how to decrease costs. And they decided to go for trust.

They decided to say “yes” to customers who had a complaint (even if they knew they tried to rip them off) and to offer them a free repair.

The result? Not only they got rid of lots of administration and now only have two people left in the complaints department (in other words: reducing costs massively), but also the amount of people taking advantage decreased tremendously. People who made an appointment while it was not Carglass’ fault didn’t show up and the ones who did show up became regular customers and their best ambassadors.

For me this was a very nice example of how extending trust to people gives trust back and has very positive results.

How about you? How about your organisation? How can you extend trust and hence increase speed and lower costs?

To your success !

Jan


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