Group Speak

By: Troy Nottingham
November 1, 2016

It Is All About Trust …

This week our garage door broke.  Popped a hinge – ripping it from the track and bending a couple panels.  The same couple panels we had replaced about a year ago to the tune of $700.  Ugh.  When the rep from the garage door company (that fixed the door a year ago) came to assess and recommend, the conversation moved quickly from repair to replace.  “How much would it cost to replace this door with something comparable?”  “$2,417 all in – and that’s with us throwing in those two panels we replaced a year ago for free. Would you like me to go ahead and schedule it now?”  Hmmm. 

The next morning, I got a call from the sales manager.  Upon hearing that we weren’t interested in spending “$2,417 on a garage door…”Well, wait a minute…[pause]…you know what?  It is the end of the quarter and if we order a certain amount of product we can get a discount from the manufacturer.  So, we can get the price down to $1,999 –  that’s the best I can do and that offer would only be good if we can get your approval today so we can meet the manufacturer’s deadline.”  My concern nagging was our ability to trust the quality of their work, given the previous repair lasted just over one year.  “Well, I can take another $200 off the price to compensate for the panels we replaced a year ago…but that’s the best that I can do.”  So, now, the $2,417 door is $1,799…all in.  “But we really will have to get your authorization today.”  I hesitated…unsolicited, he offered me 2 more days to mull it over. 

With the lightening fast change in pricing and deadlines, I began to question their integrity.  Clearly, what constituted “best offer” and firm deadlines were negotiable.  But more importantly, I began to question how I would know whether I was getting a good deal, let alone the best deal.  Net net: I didn’t feel like I could trust them to treat me fairly.  And, I certainly didn’t want to look stupid by paying more for a garage door than necessary. 

Though it surfaces in a different way, we see this trust thing unfold for clients and their customers all the time.  When the outcome of a call to customer service varies based on who happens to take the call OR when a company touts its speed in product delivery but the actual experience is only fast in certain situations – customers learn that your brand is unreliable.  And somewhere along the line, trust is broken.  Consistency is key – the same experience (as marketed) at every touchpoint every time.  It helps keep customers loyal to your brand.  A consistent experience = dependability, and dependability is the foundation on which trust is built.  Think about the brand you are most loyal to – for me, without a doubt, it’s Starbucks.  I can count on the same (rewarding) experience – coffee, food, atmosphere, convenience, speed – every time I visit any location on the planet.  Why else would I pay $4.88 EVERY DAY (sometimes twice a day) for a $0.15 worth of beans, steamed milk and paper (cup)…and drive past 20 Dunkin’ Donuts and McDonald’s to get it?  Trust, that’s why.

What happened with the garage door company?  We left them for the arms of another … and took our trust with us!