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The five rules of trust

By: Jeff Walker, President & CEO, CAA North & East Ontario


On a windswept highway, on the coldest day of the year. On a dirt road on the way home from the cottage. Through a knock-down, drawn-out pandemic. Every day anyone needs a hand.

Name almost any occasion in life and CAA is there, quietly making life a little better. In good times and challenging times, we have your back.  

For more than 100 years, Canadians have had the certain knowledge that if you call us, we’ll come running. We’ll show up, get you out of a jam, make one of life’s headaches go away.

The result? You trust us. On May 6th, 2021 – for the 2nd year in a row – CAA has been named Most Trusted Brand in Canada by the Gustavson School of Business at the University of Victoria.

It’s a lofty thing to attain, that level of trust. It’s very humbling, but it also means that what we do and the core of who we are matters deeply. What comprises that alchemy of trust?

Have your people’s back. Like really have their backs. Our approach is all about service to others. It’s how we think about what we do. Imagine a best-friend-slash-helpful-stranger who steps in to lend a hand, then does a little more. That’s who we try to be.  

Say what you mean and mean what you say. At CAA North and East, those words are literally in our Brand DNA literature. For example, we’re obsessed with showing up within 5 minutes of when we say we will. We’ve developed the CAA Mobile App so you can track the truck and internally, we use analytics to improve predictive arrival times. Stuff like that matters to us.

Go beyond the call of duty. We spend a lot of energy figuring out how to add value to membership, like giving members value on insurance, travel and goods. This year, we tried out a Mobile Tire Service in Ottawa. We come to your house and change your tires. Then, we’ll top up your fluids and check your tread life. Those are little things, but they give us a lot of pleasure to do.

Ask you how we’re doing. We ask that a lot – we conduct 100,000 member surveys a year. We are so curious about what you think and where we can improve, I personally review the results, and take on your feedback to make things better. World class customer service ratings are the result. We’re a member-based organization – so what members think really drives our decisions.

Repeat 1-4, over and over.

The bottom line is that there’s a lot that goes into earning trust – and even more that goes into keeping it. So, thank you, Canada. Thank you for trusting us.