What is Trust Equity?
An idea to turns the current market-driven paradigm for companies upside down.
Today : Public companies are measured on quarterly financial performance. This is their incentive to make better products and services for their customers. A market driven mechanism.
But this doesn’t always work. Because what’s best for customers, isn’t always best for quarterly earnings. As Nathaniel Popper reported in the Times last week, it seems the less banks care about customers, the more short term profit they make. For example, when trying to withdraw an 18 month Certificate of Deposit at Citibank on maturity, the discussion lasts 30 minutes in which the customer is first told the CD has already rolled over, and then that she has to send a letter. Only on threat of legal action is the customer transferred to a supervisor who terminates the CD as asked in 1 minute. Clearly the incentive is for employees to keep customers’ money in the bank, no matter what the customer or the “Net Promoter Score” says.
Tomorrow : enter a new paradigm. One that starts from an incentive of long term trust instead of money. Companies are measured on the trust their customers have in the company and its people – not in their brands, but in their people. From this number all else flows. Companies have an incentive to make products and services that really deliver for customers, focusing on what is actually meaningful to customers in their daily lives. From this profit follows, as those that do this best have the most loyal and large following.
Of course profit always remains an incentive, so it helps make trade offs, but enter front stage trust to balance out the times when profit alone is not the right incentive.
And hence the book coming out in 2013 on Trust Equity, and on the tools to build meaningful customer experiences that build trust. Until then, we’re writing posts and articles about products and services that add meaning to the daily lives of customers who use them. And – in so doing - build trust between company and customer.