Updated: May 8
When was the last time you hired someone to provide a service, or purchased a product, and you were disappointed with the result?
Trust. It’s a hard word to define, but it’s not hard to know when it’s lost.
Trust is the glue of our society, economic and otherwise. Trust cements relationships by providing an atmosphere of safety and kinship - it allows communities and organisations to expand and develop. Without trust, we experience conflict, disintegration and fragmentation.
This article talks about how you can further incorporate this vital element into your business.
“ To earn trust, money and power aren’t enough; you have to show some concern for others. You can’t buy trust in the supermarket. " - The Dalai Lama
As a business, every interaction you have is an opportunity to grow strong relationships and nurture trust. When that trust is broken, customers will withdraw their level of engagement, disconnect from your brand and at the very worst, cause damage to your brand's reputation.
As a really potent example of how losing trust can affect your business, have a look at how one poor provision of a service cost United Airlines an estimated $180 million in shares:
In lots of ways, society is becoming more and more detached and complex - especially as populations swell and as commerce is increasingly conducted online. The impersonality of online exchanges alone require a great deal of trust.
The means in which you can build trust will centre around reliability, believability, credibility, openness and intimacy.
Reliability is all about your actions. When you promise to deliver an exceptional service, and carry through with that promise, people are going to trust you because you are dependable.
When your brand is believable, customers will feel safe in their decision to opt for your services / products. People want to experience trust in each aspect of their financial decisions - believability happens when you present your brand as grounded, researched and judicious.
Credibility comes from the knowledge, history and background you have within your brand. When you can show that you’ve studied and gained experience in your area of expertise, people will trust that you are competent and can provide top-notch results.
Be open. If you’ve made a mistake, apologise and acknowledge that mistake. Go the extra mile to rectify the situation. A timely apology and admission of being wrong goes a long way in building (or rebuilding) trust.
Intimacy is created when people become your customers through the trust that you have their best interests in mind. Providing safety and security play a huge part in trust - when a customer hands over their personal details and information, they want to feel reassured that you are going to respect their privacy. No one wants their confidentiality violated.
Here's a great video by Frances Frei on building and re-building trust:
How do you build a strong reputation?
With trust being so vital to a company's success, reputation management and marketing are becoming a mainstream approach to bridge that confidence gap. It’s based on a word-of-mouth modus operandi. Reputation marketing is a take-charge approach that actively promotes an exceptional brand image.
Here are some examples of reputation marketing:
· Ask your customers to leave you a review rather than waiting for them to post one.
· Be consistent and transparent with your brand on all viewer platforms.
· Emphasise positive reviews in your marketing and include testimonials on your website / social media accounts.
· Provide customers with relevant and even real-time coverage of your business happenings through a blog, live stream video, media mentions etc.
If you're interested in delving into reputation marketing, the following article has all the information you'll need in one place:
Trust secures your brand's survival
If you cannot consistently build and keep trust, your business will not last in the long run. The power of consumer feedback and preference is phenomenal.
So, create goodwill amongst your customers. Provide a service or product that resonates with their wants and needs. Figure out how you can deliver benefits that connect with consumers emotionally.
If you're a business that acts in an environmentally and ethically conscious manner, you will gain a following that will provide a strong backbone to your industry. People will talk, and those words will provide you more business than you could ever produce yourself!
The business world is a big place - start locally, build confidence one person at a time and see for yourself just how rewarding implementing trust-focused action is.
Stay excited folks! Stef xx