Extreme trust: the new competitive advantage

Purpose – The authors posit that leading companies are achieving competitive advantage by designing their information system and operations to protect and promote each customer's interest proactively.

Design/methodology/approach – Called "extreme trust," this approach requires a re-assessment of value produced by the systems that produce the customer journey experience.

Findings – Companies need to revisit customer relationship management in the light of three principles: Seeing opportunities to create value from the perspective of the customer; taking extra steps when necessary to ensure that a customer does not make a mistake, or overlook some benefit or service; and not failing to do something that would have significant benefit for the customer.

Research limitations/implications – Case examples are offered.Practical implications – Trustability is in fact financially attractive for a business, even though in many situations it may cost money up front in the form of forgone profits or newly incurred expenses, as many business improvements do.

Originality/value – The authors promote the proposition that quantifying the benefits of establishing "extreme trust" – including the value of increased customer loyalty, referrals and additional sales – requires a robust customer analytics capability, as well as a financial perspective that fairly balances short-term and long-term results.

Strategy & Leadership
Peppers, Don; Rogers, Martha
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