Over the years we have proven time and time again that trust is a difficult thing to achieve in the corporate travel space. Buyers of travel yearn for the day when their suppliers are all trustworthy. In the end, trust is ultimately achieved by the performance that is proven. Simply, actions speak louder than words.
Take a look at some products and services we trust. Virgin America was rated the number one airline by a study of various metrics. Fewer bumped passengers, limited lost luggage and high customer satisfaction all play into the measurement. The new start up airline performed by earning travelers trust. Automobiles all earn trust by performing. We buy what we think is the best performance for the money (and avoid those that are proven to be poor). Grocery stores that have the best prices with the best products and highest service earn our trust. There are countless other examples.
This whole idea of performance equals trust applies also in all facets of corporate travel. We do not trust the airlines to always treat our travelers well. We do not trust the car rental companies to deliver the car without trying to sell a larger car. We do not trust the hotel will not claim discounted rates are sold out (when they are really not). Now Topaz cannot help earn trust in all these areas, but in the area of TMC management, we help play a small role where TMC's can earn the trust of their clients by performing an audit. We are not unfair - we do not create an un-level playing field in our favor. We try to judge performance - and help TMC's earn trust with their clients. But guess what - many do not get it. Some do and are awesome companies to work with - but the others fight us - they speak unfairly about us - they resist any suggestion about getting better. So in the end the result is a lack of trust and ultimately a lack of satisfaction with their customers.
And this is the one that blows me away. The ones that refuse us do not want anyone looking at what they are doing. They do not want to improve. They want blind trust - which is stupid trust. In the end, think long about your suppliers and how you do business with them. It may not be easy in the short term to change, but in the long term you and your travel program will be a lot better as a result - and you will have achieved the trust you so desperately need.