Who You Gonna Trust???
by Lyle R. Hill
I was totally surprised … no wait, that’s not strong enough so let me start again. I was absolutely stunned … no, that’s not good enough either. One more try. Here we go. I was so completely blown away by what I had just finished reading that I literally dropped the magazine from my hands and ran to get a drink of cold water.
The article causing this reaction was in the June 2013 edition of Readers Digest and was titled “The Most Trusted People in America.” Purportedly, the article was based on a national poll conducted jointly by RD and the Wagner Group and the results were nothing short of eye opening and maybe even jaw dropping.
For example, the article listed the most trusted person in America: Tom Hanks. Now I ask, does this make any sense? I mean, Hanks is a very fine actor and I’m sure he’s probably a nice guy but what do we really know about him other than the fact that he usually plays good guys in the movies? And second on the list: Sandra Bullock! In fact, five of the top ten were actors or actresses although the one that really blew me away the most was seeing Judith Sheindlin, aka “Judge Judy,” finish well ahead (number 28) of any of our actual supreme court justices – Ruth Bader Ginsberg (number 36) was the closest.
Now I didn’t expect to see any used car dealers or personal injury attorneys on the list, but I gotta tell you, the list was an absolute shock to me. And then I started thinking … maybe I am out of touch. Maybe my view of the world and the people herein is just not in step with that of the general population. These thoughts quickly morphed over into my professional world … the glass industry. And I thought, who do we in the glass industry trust? Now I knew it would be impossible to put out a list of a hundred names and ask people to rank the trustworthiness of each person and realistically, what hundred names would be put forth? In many ways the industry is regionalized and in some cases even localized so a national poll would be difficult if not totally meaningless. But I wanted to try something along these lines and so after a bit of pondering … I do this a lot … usually in the middle of the night … I came up with an idea. Specifically, I decided to put out a list of general industry categories and then send this list to a hundred people within the industry on a random basis and ask them to rank the categories. I also strongly encouraged the participants to add any of their own comments if they felt so compelled. I threw as many categories into the pot as I could … maybe too many even because I included everyone from credit managers to field installers, to CEOs, to architects and even consultants. You see, I wanted to include everybody who works within or around the industry. Originally I split the survey into two groups. The first was “who do you trust the most” and the second was “who do you trust the least.” I had intended to publish both lists but was discouraged (editorially so to speak) from getting into the negative side of this so I am just going to list the top five “Most Trustworthy” from my study.
Now I have to admit that I was a little surprised by the results, but I understand the reasoning behind the placements for the most part. So without further delay, my not very extensive, semi-scientific, perhaps totally inaccurate results of who we, as an industry, are inclined to TRUST THE MOST are as follows. Although I had numerous categories, for the sake of space, time, and possible argument, I am only choosing to show the top five here.
Number One: USGlass Magazine Columnists. As one survey participant stated, “The USG writers, with the exception of Lyle Hill, are informative, accurate and timely and if it gets into USG, I know I can rely on it.” While a lesser person might be inclined to be offended, I was just happy for my fellow USG writers. Truthfully, my fingers trembled just now as I typed that!
Number Two: Customer Service Representatives (CSRs). A number of survey responders had positive things to say about the hardworking, dedicated and trustworthy CSRs who are on the frontline of many companies. As one person stated, “I have learned to TRUST the judgment and actions of my CSRs. I would be lost without them.”
Number Three: Primary Manufacturers Sales Personnel. As a handful of survey takers pointed out, these folks are often the first to come through with important technical information and help even when they know that their assistance might not lead to a sale for them. They tend to be well-trained, professional and good representatives of our industry.
Number Four: Manufacturer’s Sales Reps. This group finished in a virtual tie with Number Five and this came as a little bit of a surprise to me. One comment that I think echoed the sentiment of many was … “While some of the reps are notorious for starting and keeping industry-wide rumors alive, they are at heart a bunch of hardworking, helpful and trustworthy people.”
Number Five: Company (Direct) Sales Personnel. As noted, this category was a virtual tie with the rep category and received a number of solid compliments. In a world where sales people are often not held in too high of a regard, the glass industry people are well thought of and appreciated for their efforts and “trustworthiness.”
Well, the results are in and this is the way it rolled out. Thank you to those who participated and particularly so on such a compressed time frame. Now go buy lunch for a CSR, hug a salesperson and keep reading USG!
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