Research by Accenture has confirmed what most smart business people have long believed to be true: broken promises hurt business. Day in and day out, many businesses make overt or implied promises to customers. Often, those promises are intentionally, carelessly or inadvertently broken. In any given year, nearly half of customers have a promise broken by a company with which they do business. Of those, almost two thirds report companies breaking multiple promises. Some industries are more habitual in breaking promises than others.
What is the actual impact of broken promises on business? Logic dictates that broken promises erode trust between the customer and the business. But do broken promises actually cause customers to stop doing business with a company? Is just one broken promise enough to cause a loyal customer to go elsewhere with his business or does it take multiple offenses? Research indicates that this is an area that should be of prime concern to business owners, CEOs, CFOs, Controllers and anyone who is focused on a company’s bottom line. There is a very strong, direct relationship between customer erosion and broken promises.
The U.S. Declaration of Independence boldly states in the Preamble that “All men are created equal. And that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights. That among these rights is life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” The pursuit of happiness was and is still viewed today as an undeniable right and goal of all people. Of course, one doesn’t have to be a scientist to know that there are many factors that impact individual happiness. Relationships. Career. Economic well-being. Personal freedom. Spirituality. Physical fitness. Emotional health. However, little scientific research had been done on measuring happiness… until recently. More and more, there has been a push to understand what affects happiness in order to be able to pursue and attain it.
One major factor affecting individual (and collective) happiness is place. In recent years, scientists are finding that apparently where we live plays a big role in our happiness. There is a relationship between community life and health, and that the place where one lives affects not only one’s mental health but also that elusive but desirable state of being referred to as “happiness.” Recent research indicates that there is a strong relationship between happiness and place. So which places offer the greatest opportunity to be happy? And why isn’t everyone moving there?