My other favorite equation…


T=r+d

…where T is “trust,” r is “reliability,” and d is “delight.”

I attended EntreFest 2011, and one of the best sessions I attended was led by the brilliant people (Jess and Josh) of Lessing-Flynn, a successful advertising agency.  This was one of the best takeaways.

If you can establish trust, you’ll gain loyalty.  To get trust, you have to consistently meet expectations (reliability) and exceed them in some way (delight).

The “delight” component is something this blog has already addressed; but a point to drive home about the combination of reliability and delight is this:

Before becoming too enamored of the “extras” you offer, make sure the basics are solid.

If my dentist offers foot massages, but my fillings fall out, there’s a problem.

If the restaurant provides the check on a pedestal floating above a dry ice fog, and we each get an Andes mint, but my fish was overcooked and tough, there’s a trust problem.

If you offer your employees casual Friday each week and serve pizza in the break room, but you never listen to them or have terrible communication skills, you might want to focus more on reliability than delight.

If you’re a teacher, and your bulletin boards are beautiful and you always decorate your door for the holidays, but you can’t actually design an effective lesson, you might be emphasizing the wrong preparation.

Now, if the reliability is there, all those extra touches will totally work to delight and establish trust and loyalty.

Can your people (or, if in business, your customers) count on you to be skilled and deliver what they expect?  Great!  Time to solidify that relationship and offer delight.

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