Protecting that trust is critically important, and it’s the entire basis for having continuing open dialogue with your customers and community. It gives them a sense that you’re not only listening and paying attention, but that you value their place among your network enough to be on the level with them.
So what happens when that trust breaks? Can it be repaired?
There are minor things that can happen – mistakes – that can rather readily be repaired with an apology and a correction of some kind. Oops, sorry we sent you that email twice. Our apologies that the product info we put out was incorrect. We’re sorry we didn’t answer your inquiry in a timely fashion.
But there’s one thing that seems to be nigh on impossible to recover from: dishonesty.
When you’ve discovered that you’ve been deceived, even flat out lied to, you’re instantly suspect of every interaction you’ve had with a person or a business. You wonder what else they aren’t telling you, or what other omissions might be escaping your notice. It’s as though your relationship has a permanent question mark on it. And as a client, customer, or business associate, you wonder a bit about just how little you were valued to start with if dishonesty was part of the equation from the beginning. And won’t you wonder about doing business with that person or company again if you’re not sure that their motives are true?
Integrity and honesty are two of the deepest and most human traits, and I say they absolutely translate to a business level. So can you repair them once they’ve been broken? Or is dishonesty a permanent scar on the face of a relationship that can’t be mended?
I turn the comments over to you.