ISSUE 40 ISSN 1712-468
PO Box 418 Main, Stn A
Abbotsford, BC
V2T 6Z7
PO Box 8000 PMB 386
Sumas, WA 98295-8000
Phone: 604-852-0566
Fax: 604-850-3003

Just How Credible Are You?


That word is overused and not properly understood.

We all want to be credible people, yet too often our actions speak louder than our words.

I could ask you what you think credibility means and you would likely say a credible person has these qualities.

  • Integrity
  • Follow-through
  • Reliability
  • Honesty
  • Trustworthiness
  • Believability
  • Competency
  • Fairness

And you would be right. They are all parts of being credible.

I like Ken Keis's definition of credibility in his book, Why Aren't You More Like Me?
Behavior that is perceived as being appropriate for the time, tasks, people, and situations in which the behavior is being expressed.

Did you get that—"perceived as being appropriate"?

In other words, credibility has nothing to do with what I claim about myself and everything to do with how others interpret my actions when dealing with time, tasks, people, and situations.

Let me give you an example that happened just yesterday.

My brother-in-law flew into our town on Sunday morning. He had contacted a car-rental agency last week and was told the local rental office would be closed on Sunday, but open on Monday. Based upon that information, he reserved the car with his credit card and the company sent him an email to confirm the booking.

On Monday morning, the two of us proceeded to the car rental place. When we arrived at the address on the confirmation email, there was a notice on the door that said the business had moved. Hmmm. It would have been nice to have had that updated information on the confirmation email.

Being the troopers we are, we drove to the new location.

We found it closed.

Now in fairness, it was a holiday Monday, but the confirmation email made it very clear they would be open on the Monday. We thought that because there was a second location for that company here, perhaps that one was open, so we drove across town to that office and found it closed, as well.

My brother-in-law decided the next-best thing to do was to call the number on the email confirmation. Weren't we surprised that the number was no longer in service, and there was no "new" number to call?!

Then we decided we would call the 1-800-Rent-a-Car number on the door. Wait a second; we both had BlackBerrys with QWERTY keyboards, not phone-pad keyboards. We couldn't tell which letter stood for what number. Unfortunately, that #1 branded car-rental agency hadn`t thought about that. It didn`t have actual phone numbers listed.

So off to the Website we went to try to find a contact number. After scouring the site—where they proudly proclaim they are known for their "outstanding service"—we finally found an 800 number we could dial. It connected us with a reservation clerk who couldn't help us and sent us to the help desk.

Once there, a voice confirmed the email, and told us the location was open. Well, telling her that we were standing in front of that location and it wasn`t open didn`t "help" the situation.

Her next response was that their confirmation to pick up a car on Monday was obviously a mistake.

My brother-in-law explained he needed the car and asked what they were going to do about it. Remember: This is the company that proudly proclaims they have outstanding customer service.

Their only solution was for him to find a way into Vancouver—approximately 50 miles—and that they would have a car for him there. When he asked how he was to get to Vancouver from Abbotsford, the voice said she couldn't help him with that.

At that point, he told her he was going to lodge an official complaint. Her response was that she thought he should.

Not much of a help desk.


To be fair, the person on the other end of the phone was simply "doing her job" in what I am sure she thought was a very credible way.

According to the company Website, they "have built the largest car-rental brand in North America—known for exceptionally low rates and outstanding customer service."

In reality, the credibility of that company has gone out the window for me and for my brother-in-law and for his company—which has many employees who do a lot of traveling.

To have remained a credible company in our eyes, what actions should have been taken so my brother-in-law's reality would be in alignment with the promotional statement that pledged "outstanding customer service"?

  1. Honour their commitment to their customer. If the only available car was in Vancouver, they should have offered to pay for a taxi to take him there—or at least made arrangements for someone from their open Vancouver office to pick him up so he would have his car, as promised.

  2. Work as one cohesive team, from the smallest unit to the organization as a whole. Yes, it was a holiday here, but they should have called the Abbotsford managers—I am sure they have their contact information—and explained the situation and asked them to send someone to the office to look after this client.

  3. Place the interest of their customers first by making a call to the other car rental agencies in Abbotsford to see if they could rent a car on my brother-in-law's behalf.

But they did nothing other than acknowledge his inconvenience, which any company would do. Nothing outstanding there and, as a result, their credibility as a company has been tarnished in our eyes.

Building your credibility with your customers is one of the most important concepts to master for success. It is also one of the hardest; one mishap can destroy your credibility in one "foul" swoop—and not just with that customer . . . with everyone he or she tells about the incident.

Here's the thing.

  • You can have all the accolades you want.
  • You can be the topic of books and magazine articles on customer service.
  • You can score high on customer satisfaction surveys.

If, however, you become complacent and move into an attitude of entitlement, your credibility can quickly come into question and your ability to engage with people in a positive manner will drop. The strength of your credibility determines the amount of business that people choose to do with you.

Similar to a credit rating, your credibility determines how much people are willing to trust you with what is valuable to them.

Ensure that your credibility rating is AAA.

A great best-place-to-start in understanding how to increase your credibility with your customer is to grab a copy of Ken's book, Why Aren’t You More Like Me?

One of the main insights you will gain is that without credibility, you will be forever hindered in your ability to build lasting relationships with customers. Ken offers great insight into what you need to do to increase your credibility with others.

You can order a copy of the book online at or call the CRG office at 604 852-0566.

Learn how to maximize your training efficiencies and effectiveness through the CRG Assessment System Certification program and the proven CRG tools.
Click here to find out about the next training.

Upcoming Events

Who: Ken Keis Presents
What: Private Event, Why Aren't You More Like Me?
Fulcrum Technologies, Inc.
Where: Seattle, WA
When: June 3, 2011

Who: Ken Keis Presents
What: Hiring With Style
Canadian Association of Career Educators & Employers Conference
Where: Niagra Falls, Ontario
When: June 5-8, 2011
Register: Register Now

Who: Ken Keis Presents
What: Assess for Success
Canadian Association of Career Educators & Employers Conference
Where: Niagra Falls, Ontario
When: June 5-8, 2011
Register: Register Now

Who: Ken Keis Presents
What: CRG Assessment Systems Certification
Where: Abbotsford, BC
When: July 21, 22, 23, 2011
Register: Register Now

CRG Assessment Systems Certification

Click to Register
Register now:

May 12-14, 2011 in
Vancouver, BC


Secrets of Success Journal

Click to Download

This 52-page PDF outlines and provides a summary of most of our 100+ resources. It also provides valuable articles that you can re-purpose or forward to others.

My Source Experience - Journal

My Source EXPERIENCE Journal

Online Personal Style Indicator

Online Entrepreneurial Style and Success Indicator

Online Job Style Indicator

Online Sales Style Indicator

Online Values Preference Indicator

Online Stress Indicator and Health Planner

Online Self-Worth Inventory

Online Leadership Skills Inventory -Self

Online Instructional Style Indicator

Online Learning Style Indicator

CRG's Licensed Associate Program

CRG's Affiliate Newsletter is published and distributed only to our REGISTERED AFFILIATES by CRG Consulting Resource Group International, Inc. Copyright 2011.

You or someone on your behalf agreed to receive this newsletter in becoming a Registered CRG Affiliate.

You may unsubscribe to this email, however doing so means you are also unsubscribing from our Registered Affiliate program and any unpaid commissions will be forfeited and your Affilate status removed.

To Manage your

Use the iContact Link Below