I was reading this article from Entrepreneur which talks about interesting ways of building trust. It's well worth a read if you get a moment. It talks about what organisations should be doing - i.e. pushing to develop better relationships with folk rather than pushing their latest shiny product. Why? Simply, to build trust with their clients.
In the "post-truth" world in which we live building trust is one of the most difficult tasks which any brand faces. Organisations automatically face a large degree of scepticism - we naturally assume they are big, selfish and faceless organisations. This notion is not aided by a steady stream of fresh scandals and uncovering of large organisations working unethically, to the detriment of the average person.
Despite all this the benefits of building trust are numerous and well enumerated online: Save time, money and increase the positive PR around your firm. Ultimately, a trusted business should be a successful business. Trust is so valuable, in fact, that it's even accounted for when a business is valued and is represented on the balance sheet in the form of "goodwill". Companies will, more often than not, be bought on the back of the strength of their brand name, goodwill or trust which they have with their client base.
Indeed, David Horsinger states that with trust, "Every aspect of business becomes more profitable. Customers will pay more, tell others, and come back. With suppliers whom you trust, one call is enough. Delivery time and costs decrease because there is less double-checking, paperwork, and follow-up."
So, if it's so valuable, what should you be doing to start building trust with your customers? Rajeev Peshawaria sets out his 6 C's to building trust, all of which are interlinked:
#1 Commitment: How can you show that you are committed to your cause? Maybe becoming a part of the community, creating relevant and timely events to do with your subject matter, facilitating the learning of others around your joint interest.
#2 Character: What are your values? We automatically align ourselves with people with similar value sets. Demonstrating your commitment & values from the moment of first contact to the day your contract is signed will inevitably move the needle for the business.
#3 Competence: Nobody will trust a fool. This involves not only having the intelligence to begin with but equally, the subject matter expertise in your subject area to warrant that busy person taking the time out of their day to engage with you.
#4 Consistency: Delivering on your commitments without fail. Being consistent allows people to predict how you will behave and trust that you will come through for them. This is worth its weight in gold.
#5 Caring: If your customers believe you care about them, chances are they will trust that you have their best interests at heart. Go the extra mile and it will pay long-term dividends.
#6 Centricity: Who is it all about? Making money for you or helping them get where they want to go? Your clients will trust you if they feel that your focus is on them and, of course, that you care about their well-being / success in the same way you care about your own.
“Millennials don’t trust advertisements. Only about 1 percent of millennials claim that a compelling ad influences them. The rest are almost naturally skeptical of advertising. They think it’s all spin, so they don’t bother paying attention.” This means that businesses need to spend far more time building trust and far less time just pushing products. People buy from those they like and those they trust.