One of my employees bought a new house. She got bombarded with the typical mail a new home owner gets. Tons of offers for phone and Internet and cable services. She received close to a dozen offers from one particular company for her cable and Internet.
She finally decided to talk to an agent. You all know how that worked out.
The great offers in the mailings were nowhere to be found in the offers made by the agent. In fact, he seemed to have no clue about them and wasn't about to go find out.
Words like slimy, snake oil, scam artist, and bait-and-switch come to mind. Definitely a huge lack of trust.
But what if he just didn't know? What if no one in marketing had told him about the great deals they were mailing out to potential customers? What if no one had trained him well enough to know where and when to check for special deals? What if no one had followed up to make sure he was aware of the current programs?
What if you told your customers about a great deal or announced a fun event on Facebook and forgot to tell your part-time high school kid who only works nine hours a week? Forgot to inform the weekend manager who had been on vacation? Forgot to train your seasonal staff to read the promotions book at the beginning of each shift?
Can you see how trust can be so easily broken?
My general optimism would like to believe that what my employee experienced with the cable company was nothing more than a communication problem between marketing and sales. Whether that is true or not, at least it is a lesson we all can learn.
If you're planning an event or a promotion. Make sure everyone is in on it and knows ALL the details. The trust you've already worked so hard to earn depends on it.
PS Your entire reputation can hinge on the actions of one employee to one customer. Bad will spreads much more easily than good will. That's a lot of pressure to make the right decisions in the hiring and training process. If you haven't yet read Hiring and the Potter's Wheel: Turning Your Staff into a Work of Art, now might be a good time before you start hiring for the holidays.