When people think about trust, they think about the Better Business Bureau (BBB). Whether your business is BBB accredited and has earned the license to use its seal or not, it’s our mission to encourage every business to uphold standards for trust.

So, what does that mean?

Let’s assume your associates are truthful, that you advertise honestly and are transparent about policies, guarantees, etc. You take precautions to protect customer data from fraud and respect individual preferences regarding use of their personal information. Your principals embody integrity to avoid activities, such as government or other legal action, which would reflect unfavorably upon the organization.

Then confirm you’re able to honor promises and be responsive when — not if — something goes wrong. Despite conscious effort to avoid them, disputes in the marketplace are inevitable. Set aside time in the next two weeks to review your business practices. Why is this important? Because doing good business is good for business. Earning trust speeds up the sales cycle, earns repeat and referral business.

So, how can you be better? Trusted leaders strive to live and lead accordingly. They intentionally seek feedback in order to make improvements personally and throughout their organization. As a result, leaders must always be focused on learning. They communicate and demonstrate character ethics as part of their authentic leadership.

By routinely self-assessing and seeking feedback from others, you can devise and implement plans for enrichment. Take a look at customer reviews, letters, surveys, complaints and try to identify a pattern. In nearly 100 years of providing dispute resolution services to Maryland businesses and their customers, BBB often sees one of the following three things at the heart of a dispute.

  • Written agreements, terms, conditions and limitations
  • The lack of clarity in communications
  • Delayed completion or delivery

No leader or organization is perfect. But by exercising the principles of trust, you can position your organization for growth and success.

Angie Barnett is president and CEO of the Better Business Bureau of Greater Maryland. She can be reached at 410-347-3990 and [email protected].