Previously, we described how Amazon builds powerful partnerships. How can you do the same?
Each time you explore, agree, deliver and assure, the possibility for trust grows between you and the other party. In fact, this may be the only way human beings can build trust with one another.
1. EXPLORE: Find out what is important to the other person.
2. AGREE: Make a promise to do something on their behalf.
3. DELIVER: Do what you promised.
4. ASSURE: Check and make sure they are satisfied.
Are you building powerful partnerships where you work?
How thoroughly do you Explore?
- Do you truly understand the concerns and needs of your customers, colleagues and prospects?
- Are your people skilled at creating rapport, comfort and dialogue with others? Do they know how to interview and ask questions without being pushy?
- Can your staff educate prospective customers about your products and services without appearing ‘hard sell’?
- Do you eagerly seek and create new possibilities? Are you open to ‘out of the box’ brainstorming? Will you consider fresh and untested ideas?
- How quickly and easily can someone locate detailed and up-to-date information about you, your services and your organization?
How readily do you Agree?
- Is your organization genuinely flexible, user-friendly and ‘easy to do business with’?
- How accommodating are you with your terms, timelines and conditions?
- Can customers easily customize, tailor and fine-tune what you have to offer? Do you make it convenient for them to have it the way they want it?
- Are your agreements with customers clearly documented in language that is easy to understand?
- Do you make comprehensive and effective contingency plans? Are these plans reviewed and updated regularly with your customers and colleagues?
How consistently do you Deliver?
- How often do you do things right the first time?
- How solid is your reputation for accurate, dependable and reliable products and services?
- Do you have an excellent system for tracking orders, production and deliveries? Are your clients and colleagues updated regularly?
- Are people and resources automatically reassigned to projects requiring extra or immediate attention?
- If problems occur and things do not go according to plan, how quickly are the right people notified?
How completely do you Assure?
- Are you consistently ‘closing the loop’ and following up to ensure client and partner satisfaction?
- Do you have a proven system for gathering candid feedback from your customers?
- Do you have a mechanism for capturing and leveraging customer preferences, compliments and complaints?
- Are your interactions with customers consistently growing in size, importance and value?
- Does your customer base provide you with enthusiastic and effective referrals?
If you complete this service cycle successfully, the next time you ask “Please tell me what is most important to you?”, the same person will tend to open up and tell you more. Why? Based upon their experience, they now have a reason to trust you. This is the foundation of long-term customer loyalty and success.