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Does ethical behavior build customer trust?

Should we tell customers every time we make a mistake? One SearchCRM.com reader asked Peppers and Rogers that question -- read their response here.

Do you think building trust requires absolute transparency and ethical behavior on the part of a company? Do we need to tell our customers every time we make a mistake?
Building trust is not the kind of objective that can be accomplished with "absolutes." The whole concept of trust is too malleable for absolute rules. Knowing whether you are acting in a trustworthy manner involves judgment, wisdom, and self-knowledge.

Yes, transparency is important, but you can only build trust by doing things that are within reason. For instance, telling customers that you made a mistake is vital if the mistake will directly affect how the customer experiences the product or service. But more than simply informing a customer that a mistake has been made, the most important step here is to assume responsibility for making amends, or putting it right. To earn the customer's trust, you must take the customer's point of view and simply ask yourself, if you were the customer, what would you honestly consider fair? For particularly difficult problems, it will help to ask the customer what you can do to "make it right."

Hear more in Creating Customer Value, a SearchCRM.com monthly podcast series with Peppers and Rogers.

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