When reviewing a book about trust in business, the first question is how does it stack up against Stephen M.R. Covey's wonderful The Speed of Trust. And the answer is that they're quite different. I'd recommend reading Covey first; he gives a thorough grounding in the basics, and lots of examples.
But also read Hall's book. Hall and her friends explore some deeper parts of the landscape, with fresh perspectives, and some visual aids that may make the whole thing more understandable to visual learners.
Hall's first lesson in the fragility of trust was delivered by her then-nine-year-old son, who accused her of breaking "we might" statements that he saw as "we would"--in other words, promises.
As she explored the territory her son's accusation had opened up, she began a career in corporate compliance, and that in turn led to looking at how to go from fixing problems to making things right in the first place.
Hall and her co-authors explore some interesting territory, such as the difference between customer expectations around implicit versus explicit promises (and how the former can often trip up even a caring business), and four distinctly different types of trust.
Building trust has numerous advantages for businesses. Rebuilding trust that's been shattered--a huge challenge--can have especially large rewards. The authors cite a furniture manufacturer almost doubled production, cut work hours without reducing pay, slashed delivery time and changed a company experiencing 60 percent turnover all he way down to 1 precedent with a four-year waiting list to work there. How's that for a convincing bottom-line argument in favor of building trust?
A few more high points:
* When listening, aim to understand, rather than to respond in kind
* Maintain your values; if they go, so will your passion
* Follow the ten-point checklist for customer expectations (pp. 206-07)--which includes being told the truth
* Ask questions of your prospects that facilitate, rather than obstruct, the sales process
* Every interaction with your business is a chance for the customer or prospect to discover your organization's true character
* Organizations that have not built trust are "brittle": rigid and easily damaged--while those that have are not only flexible but "magnetic"--they attract new business easily
* Perhaps the best insight of all: customers have a vested interest in your success, because it makes you easier for them to deal with--and thus, you can turn to them for guidance and they will be wiling participants in improving your business and building their trust
Note: The book lacks a desperately-needed index (WHY do publishers do this?), so take good notes while you read, and jot down page numbers.