The kids packed into the car. We rushed out of the house to meet up with their cousins at the mall. This is a mall I’ve never been to. Like any responsible driver these days I plugged the address into the GPS. Off we went following the instructions of our automated friend.
Thirty minutes later we got off the parkway exit for the mall. With a quarter mile to go the friendly voice advised me the destination was coming up on our right. We arrived at the finish line and realized we were in the wrong place. Uh oh. Now we’re going to be late.
Using Your Brain Is A Drag
Do you remember the days when you had to think and plan a trip? Most of us now outsource this thinking to artificial intelligence.
Before the days of these systems I’d print out directions. Heck, when I was in my 20’s I actually kept maps in my car. I had an instinctive feel for directions back then.
Today, I’ve handed that power over to a computer. You may have done the same. But why? What compelled us to relinquish this power?
Better yet, how can we compel our customers to depend on us with the same devotion?
We humans like to conserve our energy. It’s a relic from our hunter gatherer ancestors. GPS systems allow us to conserve our energy. We no longer need to memorize routes, directions or street names. It frees up our brain for other efforts. We conserve our mental energy and that makes our lives easier.
Does your product make the lives of your customers easier? Does it relieve them of an energy taxing activity? Don’t just assume it does. In my days in the software business we once put out software so buggy our clients put in twelve hour days to deal with the problems. We made their lives more difficult. It sapped more of their energy.
Nobody will outsource their thinking based on a promise. Sure, you may sell your customer on the idea. Until you actually prove you can do it they’ll be looking over your shoulder. The first few times I used a GPS I printed out directions. I wanted a backup just in case something went wrong. After a few trips I experienced enough success to go all in on my GPS.
As businesses we accumulate proof our products produce positive results. As we pile on the proof, our current and future customers deepen their confidence in us and our products.
When belief and confidence grow we begin to gain trust.
Consistently delivering good, dependable results builds trust. My GPS promises precise directions each time. For the most part it does what it promises. We need to do the same thing. We make promises to our customers. If we fulfill our promises each and every time, our customers trust that we’ll meet our commitments.
Sometimes we fail at keeping our promises. We’re human. It happens. Still, we can at least make sure they trust we’ll have their backs.
Our little snafu with the car’s GPS hasn’t dampened my trust. Most of the time it serves me well.
It turns out there is a mall and shopping center each with the same address. It took a pair of human eyes to figure out the problem. Sometimes we still need to use our brain. I’ll still rely on my computerized friend for directions.
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