There are a few times in recent memory where our members have been trusting of the customers they serve, only for it to turn into a disaster. Not long ago, a member allowed a customer to take a vehicle before finance had been approved, which it inevitably wasn’t, and subsequent recovery of the vehicle proved extremely difficult.
More recently, a member agreed to pay off £10,000 of the outstanding finance, and had a gentleman’s agreement for the private individual to settle the remaining £4000 afterwards. Needless to say, the private individual reneged and vanished, so our member was left with the additional £4000 to pay before they could sell on the vehicle.
Customers will refuse to return a courtesy vehicle beyond the agreed loan time in the event of a dispute and vehicles have often been lent by trusting traders, without relevant paperwork, making the vehicle loan terms difficult to establish.
A member recently sold a vehicle at a distance (telephone), and despite the junior sales advisor failing to obtain any driving licence or photo ID from the customer, a substantial amount was paid by a bank to our member who had wrongly assumed the bank was therefore satisfied as to the identity of the buyer. The vehicle was collected by a transportation company, the transaction turned out to be fraudulent, and the bank held our member responsible, despite a clear lapse in their own security checks.
Trust is valuable, the “glue of society” as it’s described, and is essential in business, especially in the employment relationship. Trust creation is widely written about by social psychologists and the internet is awash with articles about who to and who not to trust on a first impression with the use of body language and other signs. It is down to the individual to determine how much credibility to give to such methods, but we would advise not to allow consumers to drive away in vehicles where there is a spurious arrangement based upon “trust” that an outstanding financial matter will be addressed at a later date. It may also be advisable to consider facetime discussions with distant customers, if you have the time to do so, and never fail to get an ID.
Ensure your t’s are crossed and your i’s dotted and that your employees are well-versed in the same.
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