Introduction Building credibility is very important to an individual, organization, institution or any service. It is a process that is accomplished through consistency, dedication and a larger sense of purpose, that goes beyond mere sales or mere services. That purpose could be customer delight, or customer satisfaction at its best. It could be building long-term relationships with buyers. Some nuances of this process is sought to be explained in some detail, in this article.
Consistency is the key Consistency in whatever we do is a key variable to the process of building credibility. Take this situation for a very good example: We go to a restaurant and order food. It does not come quickly. We ask the server and he curtly replies "it will come, don't worry" and walks off. Would we ever go back to this restaurant?
On the outskirts of Chennai city, bang on the Highway that leads to Bangalore, is a very famous vegetarian restaurant. It is just opposite to the road that one takes from the Highway road to reach a town called Tiruthani. It is called Highway Inn. At any point in time, it always more cars than what can be comfortably parked in the open space. The food is so good and so tasty. The quality of each item is so good. It is costly. However, its discerning customers do not mind spending more. In particular, the superbly roasted "ghee dosa" is hugely popular. For, it is always served hot with tasty sambar and very good two varieties of chutney. What makes the difference? The consistency with which the cooks and the staff and the Management have made it possible to serve and delight the customer.
Loyola College, Chennai, St.Stephen's College, New Delhi, St.Xavier's College, Mumbai. These are names that have built credibility over decades. In fact, the students of Loyola are often referred to as "slaves of Loyola", as the standards of discipline are so strict. Though one does feel a bit uncomfortable while studying there, once the student is out of the institution, he or she does feel the huge difference. (It has recently opened up for girls for some courses). Everything is world-class. It has one of the largest number of students who end up in IIMs. Consistency is the key.
Tata is a huge brand name. A superb brand name, TVS stands for Trust, Quality and Service.
There is no short cut in consistency. It takes years to build. And it stays as a habit. Forever.
Dedication comes automatically with consistency Dedication is the close cousin of consistency. When someone is consistent, he or she actually builds on the dedication that comes closely following consistency. It happens naturally. Sachin Tendulkar was consistent in his massive records. But it came through huge dedication. It came through systematic hard work. His dedication on the field was unmatched and was the stuff that legends are made of.
What really happens when we are dedicated? Simple. We are passionate about whatever we do. We are totally immersed in it. We nurture the good name that we have, by totally getting involved. This involvement, does not stop with ordinary efforts. The efforts are extra-ordinary. They are too good. This is exactly what makes the huge difference.
Look at the consistency with which Bajaj Auto produces world-class products. Look at Titan, whose watches are real value for money. Brands that have taken decades to build. Brands that stand the test of time.
The dedication of teachers of each of the aforesaid institutions has to be seen to be believed. It is dedication of a very tall order. It is dedication that produces some results that are simply different. Results that take the institution to the next level, in terms of quality.
Dedication to one's duty when totally transformed into a habit, becomes infectious. Values are also integral to this sort of habit. We always associate Mahatma Gandhiji with the dedication that he brought to each of his philosophies. Of non-violence, for example. Shaking the collective consciousness of a huge mass of people of millions to a particular cause was sheer magic. But it was due to the fact that Gandhiji did not have any short-cuts. It was ethical all the way. This is the huge difference to the nation itself.
The larger sense of purpose: the key variable The larger sense of purpose of any brand or service, or even our ordinary tasks is as important as consistency and dedication are. For instance, those who are seriously wedded to a purpose of delighting the customer, has the purpose of happiness and contentment of the customer, as purposes of selling the product itself.
In R.S.Puram, Coimbatore, one does find a whole lot of people patiently waiting to buy the freshly prepared and sold Mysore Pak, a sweet done with pure ghee, in a shop called "Krishna Sweets". It is purely word of mouth publicity that keeps this institution going. The owner is always on record of having the customer and his delight in mind when the preparations go towards making this world-class product. It has many branches in other cities like Chennai, but the product always remains the same. The customer delight is the center of the entire process.
Oter examples: Hamam soap is firmly entrenched in the public mind as a health soap. It really is. Surf Ultra is another superb example. Make it easy for the customer. Deliver a product that goes far beyond merely washing clothes. One notices this philosophy coming out naturally, with such products. The rest, as they say, is history.
The Process is a continuous flow The process of building credibility, as outlined above with a number of examples, is a continuous flow. There is no full stop anywhere. It is a combination of three factors, that overlap at any point in time. For, when a person is dedicated and has a huge sense of purpose, he or she is automatically consistent. The results follow, automatically. Yes, it is hard work, but it applies to every individual. We just need to find out the chemistry of what needs to be done in a particular situation, to build credibility. And get going, right away.