While recently at Toronto’s Pearson airport, I read a Fast Company article on how Airbnb is going to expand on their end to end hospitality experience. By offering additional services to their home and apartment sharing service, Airbnb will be adding airport pickups, room cleaning and other services to complement their core business which will inevitably increase their revenue and value.
This lead me to think of other brands that began selling a single item who now sell us more than they originally advertised.
Amazon began their humble operations in the 1990’s selling us books out of a garage. A young, motivated Jeff Bezos lead his enterprise to a company that now, almost literally, sells us everything.
A more recent example is Uber: the transportation disruptor that offers a solution to a pain point which is the traditional taxi experience. Many of those that have used Uber have become addicted to their service and experience. Uber’s recent round of venture capital from Google Ventures and TPG at $258MM can only give us optimism that they will also inevitably expand their operations to offer other services.
Note: Something will happen with Uber and Google’s self-driving car. I can only imagine, and hope, that if I want my laundry delivered, I will use the Uber app and a self-driving car will deliver it to me without having to leave my home.
Now, a company offering additional services isn’t worth a blog post. The only reason these companies are able to offer other services to grow their business is because they have earned the trust of their customers with their flagship offering.
This lends itself to journalism as well. Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher developed a loyalty with their readers by providing value when writing for the All Things D website. When they launched Re/code it was, from my perspective, an immediate success.
The customer experience coach and keynote speaker in me will tell you that the only way to build trust is by delivering an exceptional, consistent, predictable and memorable experience.
Having this trust gives you an advantage far beyond increased revenue. This leverage not only allows you to expand your business and add new verticals, but further puts you in a position of power against your competition. It erects barriers around your business.
When it comes to branding, it builds a sense of peace of mind with your customers that no branding expert or designer could ever create for you. It’s psychological.
Allow me to be bold (or least think I am) when I say this next statement:
You haven’t earned the right to cross or upsell your customers until you’ve built trust first.
When you’ve earned trust, you will have your customers eating out of the palm of your hand. Too many companies have customer acquisition backwards. Rather than hunting for new customers and revenue opportunities, emphasize on building trust first and watch your company grow organically with the customers you already have.
What is your company doing to build customer trust?