Reliability Costs Nothing, Changes Everything

Reliability costs nothing but changes everything. Show up on time every time and say what you are going to do.

Business success is not solely determined by the quality of your products or services. Instead, it is often the experience you provide to your customers that sets you apart from the competition. At the heart of this experience is trust: delivering on your promises.

Establishing trust requires customers to believe in your ability to provide the technical expertise they are looking for. They must believe that you genuinely care about them and their outcomes—which we call benevolence. However, both of these factors will not result in trust (for very long, at least) if customers do not feel they can depend on your performance.

Consistently delivering on your promises is reliability. Customers do not just need a great product or service: They need to know they can depend on that product or service—every time.

Reliability is more than just showing up. If your goal is amazing customer service (and we think it should be), you need to go out of your way to meet and exceed expectations. This has a strong effect on customer loyalty because it is an uncommon experience today.

Especially in the post-pandemic world, customer service has fallen by the wayside in a race to lower expenses. This may save money in the short term, but people will always appreciate a business that places their satisfaction first.

Developing Skills

Perhaps you are just starting out in a new profession and are not yet a world-class subject expert. That’s okay. Everyone has to start somewhere, and the only way to gain experience is to do your best while paying attention to outcomes and refining your skills. There is something to be said about “faking it until you make it,” and gaps in expertise can be forgiven by clients, especially if you’re up front and honest about it. People like to know you’re constantly trying to improve your skills and offerings. This admission may even increase trust.

You might be able to fake benevolence for a while, but this won’t last. If you don’t truly care about the satisfaction and betterment of your customers, you might be in the wrong business.

Reliability can’t be faked. Like it or not, your business depends on long-term customer satisfaction, and long-term reliability must be intentionally planned for. You can’t leave it to chance. The bright side is that reliability isn’t a complicated skill to learn. If you simply make your promises a priority, you can start this habit today.

Trust is a Customer Perception

This isn’t just an objective metric. Trust is a qualitative perception, and often small slips in reliability will cause massive damage to trust. This damage can be very difficult to repair, so take precautions to protect this perception.

Plan on being early for appointments so you can absorb any unforeseen travel delays. Give yourself time between different tasks to clear your mind and be present for the next customer you interact with. Keep notes to make sure you remember all the details that you discuss with clients. Make sure customers know which mode of communication is the best way to reach you, and that you respond promptly to any inquiries.

Competitive Advantage

Reliability is a habit that costs nothing to implement and can be put in place today. It’s a great way to give yourself a competitive edge against larger companies. Also, customers are willing to pay a premium if they know they will receive exceptional service at every touchpoint.

Developing this loyalty will turn your customers into brand advocates, driving referrals. This is high-quality marketing that, again, costs your business nothing.

Reliability is a fundamental aspect of running a successful business. By being consistently knowledgeable, accessible, punctual, transparent, and caring, you can build trust, foster loyalty, and differentiate your brand in a crowded marketplace. Prioritizing reliability is a surefire way to delight your customers, drive business growth, and achieve long-term success.

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