Several Giant grocery stores use a system where shoppers pick up a scan gun and scan their own items as they pull them off the shelves. When you go to check out, you simply scan the register, pay, and leave.
At first I thought, “oh man, somebody could really take advantage of that.” Then I realized that they wouldn’t. Then I thought, oh man, that’s brilliant.
Something interesting happens when you say to your customers “I trust you.” They suddenly want to earn that trust. It turns a business transaction into a relationship.
Another example I saw this week was Chad Whitacre, founder of the quickly growing “open company” Gittip. He deliberately puts his personal contact information in his Twitter bio, because he believes in being honest, transparent, and open with anybody he meets. It’s definately a different approach in a day where NSA whistleblowers and online advertisers stir up online privacy converstations (and many great parodies) daily.
It’s special when you can be vulnerable and know that the other person will not hurt you. Distrust breeds contempt. Trust builds loyalty.