Integrity Results in Customers for Life

Do you and your employees just want to make the sale or do you want customers for life?


 By Dr Ralph James

 Integrity means doing what you say you'll do when you say you'll do it. It's the imperative foundation for creating trust.


If you cannot guarantee something for a customer then do not make them a promise.


Provide the best insights, advice and recommendations you can and leave it at that. Making commitments that are questionable will lead to your customers having questions about you, your word and your firm.


If you do happen to make a commitment you cannot keep, let your customer know as soon as possible. Do not wait until the due date/time, it just erodes your credibility further.


Explain why you cannot keep the commitment. If you've built sufficient positive equity with your customer over the course of your relationship, they'll forgive you. Just don't make a habit of it or you'll surely run out of equity.


Never lie to a customer -- it's hard enough to keep up with the truth.


You can never thank a customer too much. Thank them in person, thank them over the phone, via e-mail and especially with a handwritten note. In this day and age, a handwritten thank you note is very powerful.


Find creative ways to thank your customers and show them you appreciate their business. Amazon used to include bookmarks with their books. I thought this was a great value add and advertising vehicle for them but they stopped.


Thank your employees for treating your customers well. They're on the front lines with customers representing your business. Treat your employees the way you want your employees to treat your customers.


A company's commitment to provide outstanding customer service starts with senior management. That level of commitment is reflected by every employee. Zappos is a great example of this.


Ensure that you and your customer's definition of excellent service are congruent. Set or define expectations early in your relationship to minimize confusion as the relationship expands. If you're not sure what your customer's expectations are -- ask them!


16 Ways to demonstrate Integrity


 By Dr. Ralph James

  1. Show up on time, every time.
  2. Write down things I've been requested to do, do them and let the person who made the request know it has been done.
  3. Keep all promises or explain the difficulty to the other party as soon as you are aware of your inability to keep the promise.
  4. Focus on performance.
  5. See if anything about my behavior causes inconsistency.
  6. Communicate frequently with everyone to remove doubts about the integrity of the system caused by lack of information -- be transparent.
  7. Do not cover up bad news -- provide a solution to the problem.
  8. Fix processes rather than blame people.
  9. Be disciplined.
  10. Review policy statements to ensure they are consistent with actions.
  11. Control the rate of change in the company culture so people do not lose confidence because of too much change too fast.
  12. Maintain an open-door policy.
  13. Work through channels rather than around channels to maintain the integrity of the reporting process.
  14. Stick with people over the long haul.
  15. Admit mistakes and use mistakes as an opportunity for improvement.  Or, as I'm fond of saying, "Make mistakes early and often, just don't make the same mistake twice."
  16. Insist on honesty in all dealings since my reputation, and the reputation of my business, are essential to success.  I will admit being too honest will not endear you to everyone all the time; however, they will know you are saying what's on your mind rather than being "politically correct."

Which of these do you do to demonstrate integrity?

Do you promote integrity in your workplace?