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How do organisations build trust with their clients? Graham Reid explains why customer trust is so important and what you can do to earn a good business reputation. If trust is the firm belief in the reliability, truth or ability of someone or something, how many organisations do we truly trust? And how do we empower ourselves and our c-suite colleagues to create a strategic plan through these key pillars of trust? In an era of continuous disruption, it’s important to ask whether we are equipped to align the benefits of trust to our customers and to our businesses’ success. Why is trust so important? In today’s world, customers are overwhelmed with a plethora of services. While the digital age presents a large magnitude of opportunity for businesses, it also leads to the exponential growth of competition, with customers having an unmatched selection at their fingertips. As a result, customer expectations are now higher than ever before. No longer simply focused on the functionality of products and services, customers want more. Taking note of how certain companies go above and beyond to meet their needs, customers now expect this treatment from all companies –and are disgruntled when they don’t get it. These enhanced customer experiences form the foundation of building a trusted relationship that customers know they can rely on. Brand image and reputation are the consequence of these customer experiences, with trust being a core component. How to build trust Like any relationship, there are several key principles that help build trust. Living by these principles, and demonstrating genuine authenticity while doing so, will gain customers’ confidence in your brand. Values Creating shared values is essential for developing trust and truly connecting with customers. Customers place importance on companies having values, and even more so when a company’s values match their own. When customers can relate to a company’s purpose and share their values, the relationship extends past the mere buying and selling interaction – it fulfils a more emotional need to connect and, consequently, leads to a more trusted relationship. Integrity Integrity is central in the provision of genuine customer experiences. It is a core basis of strong brands; reputation is made on integrity. What we must remember, however, is that integrity precedes trust. Similarly, trust goes before customer commitment and loyalty. This trust comes in a number of forms, whether it be trust in handling money, trust that problems will be dealt with in an effective manner, and trust that the products and services will deliver as expected. To build this trust, brands need to demonstrate their integrity by showing that they are genuinely putting their customers’ best interests ahead of their own need to make a profit. Mutuality Based on the sharing of a feeling, action or relationship between two or more parties, mutuality is a key element to trust. Take steps to ensure that your customers feel valued and important by building a mutually beneficial relationship. Commitment Be genuine in your commitments. Live by your promises and never promise to over deliver. In meeting or exceeding your customer expectations in every interaction, companies can build trust over time. Trust is an integral part of earning a good business reputation. Empower your customers, your colleagues and your organisation by building up trusting, mutually beneficial relationships. Put your customer first and demonstrate your integrity, values and commitment to them.   Graham Reid is the Head of Markets at EY.

Dec 01, 2019
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In the run-up to the holidays, it can be hard to find the motivation to push on and get challenging projects and tasks completed. Moira Dunne gives a few tips on how to avoid procrastination. Many things prevent us from being productive. While some of these things can't be controlled, most of them can. It is essential to focus on what you can change. First, let’s think about what procrastination will not add to our lives. What problems will it cause? We might temporarily enjoy the freedom of not doing the tough job ahead of us, but eventually the worry, stress, poor performance, bad feedback, and low-quality deliverables will happen, causing more strife than the avoidance was worth.   Identify the problem If you want to stop procrastinating, you need to know why you do it. Ask yourself these questions: When do I procrastinate? What tasks/projects cause me to procrastinate? You should also identify the pieces of work that don’t result in procrastination – this can help you understand what is causing the problem. There is always a reason for our behaviour, so let’s look at some of the common reasons for procrastination: Low confidence about own skills; Lack of training; Unclear what’s required to complete the task successfully; Feeling overwhelmed by the size and scope of the job; and Lack of urgency. Five tips to stop procrastinating Break it down Figure out the first few steps needed to make headway – break down the bigger project or goal into the initial work or phase. You are more likely to feel motivated to start on something once you can see it in bite-sized, easily doable chunks. Start simple Start with the more simple tasks to get you going. Once you feel bolstered by your productivity, switch to the more laborious tasks. The more progress you make, the more your self-confidence will increase. Get clarification Ask for clarity about the project or work, or discuss it with your boss or a colleague. Discuss it until you understand what you are meant to do, what resources you have to do it with, and in what timeframe. Be accountable Nothing like a little pressure to get you moving! Talk to your boss about what you are going to do so you feel more urgency to dive into it. No excuses It’s easy to think of excuses why you can’t do something you are scared of or overwhelmed by – but stop. Make a list of what you need to do and get on with it. No excuses allowed. Reward yourself Who doesn’t love a reward for a job well done? Use a special treat to motivate yourself and, over time, you will find that you don’t need a reward any longer. The feeling of accomplishment will be a big enough reward in and of itself. De-stress This time of year you have enough to be stressed about, but getting things done is one of the best ways to remove some stress from your work life. Stop procrastinating, watch your performance soar and enjoy this Christmas season. Moira Dunne is the Founder of BeProductive.ie.

Dec 01, 2019
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The World Bank recently launched the Subnational Doing Business in Ireland report. This report examines the business regulatory environment and its impact on local entrepreneurs in Dublin, Cork, Galway, Limerick and Waterford, across five areas relevant to the lifecycle of small and medium-sized businesses: starting a business;  dealing with construction permits;  getting electricity;  registering property; and  enforcing contracts.  The report was published to provide data on the ease of doing business in each city, identify regulatory constraints, contribute to the dissemination of best practices and provide policy recommendations on how to improve the business regulatory environment. Findings The report found that no single city dominates in all five areas measured. There is variation in regulatory performance among Irish cities, with the exception of the 'starting a business' indicators. Findings include: The ‘starting a business’ indicator is one of the areas in which all five Irish cities outscore most EU member states – starting a business in Ireland costs less and is simpler than the EU average. The greatest variation in the performance of the Irish cities studied was in the ‘dealing with construction permits’ indicator. However, all five cities perform above the EU average in this area. Performance gaps on the ‘enforcing contracts’ indicator stem from variations in time and cost. In registering property, all five Irish cities examined differ in time and the quality of land administration. In connecting to an electricity supply, some cities outperform the EU average. These differences in performance provide policymakers with an opportunity to identify examples of good practices that other Irish cities can adopt to allow businesses to operate more effectively. Significantly, the study suggests that Ireland’s standing on the global Doing Business rankings can further improve through peer learning among Irish cities and adopting domestic good practices. The report also lists a number of recommendations for reforms and good practices in each of the five areas measured. In addition to making a number of significant recommendations that may require legislative changes, the authors note that there are several small and easily-implemented administrative changes that could potentially make a big difference for businesses. You can read the full report here. (Source: Department of Finance)

Nov 27, 2019
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The Central Bank has released four authored Financial Stability Notes on the mortgage market and the functioning of the macro-prudential mortgage measures. The measures are aimed at enhancing the resilience of both borrowers and the banking sector. The measures set limits on the size of mortgages that consumers can borrow through the use of loan-to-value (LTV) and loan-to-income (LTI) limits. The measures are reviewed annually by the Central Bank. The primary objective of the review is to evaluate the calibration of the measures based on evidence. These four papers published today form part of the evidence of this year’s review. The outcome of the review will be announced on 4 December with the Financial Stability Review, following the decision by the Central Bank Commission. The four papers are: Have First Time Buyers continued to default less? by Raffaele Giuliana Mortgage servicing burdens and LTI caps by Jane Kelly and Elena Mazza A Measure of Bindingness in the Irish Mortgage Market by Robert Kelly and Elena Mazza Mortgage borrowers at the loan to income limit by Edward Gaffney (Source: Central Bank)

Nov 27, 2019
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The International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board's (IAASB) Technology Working Group recently published its second technology communiqué, providing an update on its efforts to incorporate the use of technology by auditors in a changing audit environment. This communiqué also includes other relevant news and information relevant to technology. You can read the communiqué here. (Source: IAASB)

Nov 27, 2019
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 IFAC is releasing the first instalment in a new series, Exploring the IESBA Code. Through twelve monthly instalments, Exploring the IESBA Code will take an in-depth look at the International Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants (including International Independence Standards) (the Code).  Each instalment of the series will highlight different aspects of the Code in real-world situations, in a manner that is relatable and practical. A special focus will be placed on recent revisions to the Code. The first instalment of the Exploring the IESBA Code deals with the five Fundamental Principles of ethics, which establish the standard of behaviour expected of all professional accountants - a standard which enable accountants to uphold their responsibility to act in the public interest. To read and download this and future instalments, visit the IFAC website. Read more information about the Code here. (Source: IESBA)

Nov 27, 2019