“Nobody cares how much you know, until they know how much you care” was the principle that supposedly guided Theodore Roosevelt’s public life. As historians rate him as one of the US’ most successful presidents, it seems to have served him well. Yet, reluctant as I am to correct someone who also counts a Nobel Peace Prize among his accolades, the phrase is not strictly true. Teddy should have preceded it with: “When risk is involved…”
The truth is that if I am not exposed to any loss, injury or harm from the actions of others, I’m not really bothered how much they care – they just need to show me what they know. In contrast, if I am vulnerable, it matters a great deal whether others care before I accept to place my fate in their hands. Am I choosing a dentist to clean my teeth or drill them? Am I choosing a colouring book for my toddler or a kindergarten? It makes a difference.
When it comes to money, this rule applies in the same way. In the book, we investigated the drivers of clients’ decisions to select and retain financial service providers. Indeed, the greater the financial/reputational risk for the client, the more financial service providers must demonstrate that they care before they can win business. The book therefore gives recommendations as to how businesses should ‘care’, and reveals the cues clients are sensitive to in their search for a caring financial service provider.