I was asked recently what makes Star successful. At its essence, we are in the ‘people’ business.
It’s the relationships we forge - and the trust that we create - that matters most to our success at the end of the day, living the values and culture built by our founders and carried on day-to-day within the business.
If you look at the research, there are 16 factors to building trust in business. The top three in terms of importance are viewed as engagement, integrity, and products and services. If building trust is paramount, how do we do it?
When do Star work best for you and with you on the ‘journey’ that we all seem to be on in every meeting and business review? We continually look to improve what we offer; there’s no room for complacency, and using our customer experience and insights we can strengthen, improve and innovate.
We are a service organisation and therefore have to balance ‘self-interest’ with our service to others. Without you (our clients), we don’t survive, with you, we thrive. Making our clients feel valued beyond just the revenue they generate for our business is central, as is the invaluable good will that is then fostered.
Consistency and keeping our word no matter what is paramount. Trust develops from consistent actions that show colleagues and partners that we are reliable, cooperative and committed to joint team success, and this breeds confidence in all.
We have an openness to our mistakes, to face issues squarely and take responsibility, which is essential to preserving trust. At an internal monthly review of our projects recently I saw many of these attributes combine, and it helped cement for me why we are successful.
A client faces a challenge - a challenge in the Prescribing route that is perhaps more visible to us than themselves as we are slightly removed from the core marketing strategy for the brand.
Over the next three hours and subsequent days the challenge was assessed, reviewed, data was processed, robust debate actioned, and experience and insight of brand launch, market access excellence and operational execution were called upon to be able to return to the client - not only to present the challenge - but also to propose solution options.
In consultancy hour terms and the applied collective experience alone, this would have commanded some healthy fees! Why did we do so? In terms of ‘self-interest’ it honestly would have been easy to say and do nothing, and to simply collect the agreed monthly revenues for the “agreed provision of service”. But integrity is key; we owe it the client, ourselves and our people to do the very best for the brand.
So as partners looking to build and foster trust, we took on accountability for our mistakes in the chain and proffered solutions that innovate our current agreed model of delivery. We demonstrated that we are committed to building the relationship and collective success for the long-term versus short-term profitability.
In return, the client has welcomed the challenge and the quality of the cost-neutral solutions, delivered with the ownership and openness of approach. We are making a difference for our clients; how we work is as important as whom we work with.
As the great American shark-hunter and author, Ernest Hemingway, mused, “The best way to learn if you can trust somebody is to trust them.”
Dave Faulkner, Star Managing Director