Jason has a line that we like to repeat around the office as often as people will listen … “trust is a difficult thing to build, and a really easy thing to lose.”
At IT Weapons we’ve cultivated a pretty valuable habit in our team; under-promise and over-deliver. In other words, never commit to more than we’re capable of, and always do a little more than what was expected. We are honest about deadlines, we are honest about costs, and so our team (I think) has become pretty good at managing client expectations accordingly. It takes work to find the balance that fits, but the result is priceless; we have loyal clients who trust us.
How does a manager, a leader, a colleague, or a friend keep these ideas part of their own operational culture? At ITW we do it through recapitulation, open dialogue, telling stories and sharing easy-to-digest pieces of insight (whether those are quotes from famous people, excerpts from books, or things overheard at a party). People relate to stories, they remember the lessons embedded, and they identify with and uphold promises that resonate for them. We figure that if we repeat the same kinds of insight and lessons in as many ways as possible … it will stick. And experience shows that it works.
Here are some of our favourite quotes, one-liners, and customer promises that we repeat in team meetings and share all over the place. We can’t take credit for writing any of them … and I encourage you to share them widely with your team.
- It’s not the big that eat the small, but rather the fast that eat the slow.
- Communicate in a timely manner. Rapid response shows you are responsible, on top of it, and that you care.
- Bring value beyond the basics. What you do to help others be more successful will be a true reflection of your character.
- Be on time. It shows resepct for the other person’s time. It also proves your reliability.
- Be friendly. Smiling people are the gateway to open communication.
- Be sincere. This can only come from belief in what you do, loving what you do, and caring for others.
- Be consistent. Trust is not a once in a while thing. It’s a constant thing. You can’t be on time one day and late the next. You can’t be friendly one day and rude the next.
- I am a trusted advisor because I listen, I empathize with, and I respect our clients.
- I am thorough, diligent, and detail oriented.
- I accept that I cannot have all the answers, and I am willing to ask for help.
- I can admit when I am wrong.
- I will always ensure that our clients feel safe.
- I will foster client trust by acting responsibly and ethically.
- I will always respond to client requests with fast, transparent, knowledgeable service.
- Give trust. If you give trust, it will be returned.