The codification of trust: what does this mean for your business?
“If people like you, they’ll listen to you but if they trust you, they’ll do business with you” – Zig Ziglar
To this day, the wisdom of Zig Ziglar is so pronounced. Trust is everything. It drives our decision-making. Day to day, hour-to-hour, minute to minute.
It is not an emotion, though we do ‘feel’ trust. We feel it through connection, friendship, agreement, confidence and ultimately, comfort.
In business, a customer’s trust in your brand will drive their choice between purchasing from you or from a competitor. This is one of the major factors that has influenced the design of the Pappyon platform, which is dedicated to strengthening the brand of your business in the realm of social media.
Importantly — the primary objective of Pappyon advocating the use of a professionally branded (digital) business card as the method of connecting — is to further cement the presence of your business. When a connection is being made, your business card signals that the relationship to be formed is with your business and the individual representing your business. Not just with the individual. This can bring great relief, particularly for employers where there is often uncertainty around team members remaining with the business for the long term.
Pappyon is growing increasingly mindful that in the digital world, the way people trust is changing rapidly and the ‘codification of trust’ is becoming big business. Such perspectives will continue to drive the foundations of any innovation we embark on.
In the pre-digital era, banks and hotels would invest in the finest buildings and accoutrements to embody trust, credibility and authority.
Today, however—peer reviews and star ratings, powered by advances in technology—are helping us trust the things we cannot see or feel in real life. This shift is not only happening, it is expanding rapidly and for many, in ways that challenge the status quo of yesteryear.
The trust metrics of media, government and corporations are in free-fall decline being quickly replaced by thumbs up or down reviews, star ratings, ‘out of 5’ reviews, and the extremely powerful, written review. The outcome? Consumers are ditching trust in high status and authority figures and they’re opting to believe more in peer reviews and of those they see as their ‘equal’, or at least, influential.
So, what do we make of the rise of ‘influencers’? Is that now a title? Are we meant to use a capital I? Either way, the rise of the influencer is another prime example of the shifting digital trust paradigm. Influencers are followed as though they are ‘friends’, like they are equals yet despite the one-sided nature of such ‘relationships’, taking up an influencer’s (or some may say a stranger’s?) recommendation of a product or service is now often done without dred nor hesitation. And…it’s so easy! With just a swipe and a few taps to purchase, a seamless transaction transpires and the convenience of it all makes such an experience near unbeatable (fingers crossed you do get what you pay for).
In this technological world, the ‘trust score’ is fast becoming the only metric people rely on to decide who to purchase from or do business with. It’s like a credit rating only it’s for reputation not finance – and now all businesses need to up their ‘trust-building’ game.
With trust being built online, these are some handy reminders for you and your business:
- Network smartly and collaborate. By that we mean, getting back to basics and creating a network that is filled with the “right” people for the exchange of mutual value. With people you actually know or have been introduced to, not with randoms that serve only to make up the “numbers’.
To assist you, Pappyon’s parameters of connection will be structured on the basis of an indicator that can be relied on to verify whether connecting parties know each other or have been introduced to one another by a mutual connection.
- Remember, it remains important for a customer or client to like you and what your business stands for…particularly if you genuinely want to add value and you’re in it for the long haul.
- Make the user experience great – easy booking systems, live chat, spot-on descriptions of your product or service (genuinely represent your items).
- Know your customers and clients – address their ‘buying fears’ and alleviate them, produce products they want, add value.
- Share your knowledge—write ‘how-to’ blogs, explain how your product works with videos, impart industry insights—the confidence of being informed will result in less hesitation by a customer or client during the decision making process.
- Engage with them – find out where they ‘hang out’ online and start conversations with them, answer their questions and show the human side of your business; more than ever before, connecting and building relationships is critical.
- Get it right the first time. The better you make the entire process for a customer or client (from browsing online, deciding to purchase through to delivery), the more favourable the reviews you will receive. And…trust in your brand will strengthen.
Undoubtedly, building trust is the key to your long game.
The question is: can we automate and build trust digitally, taking the human element out? If so, will ROIs– fiscally, socially and environmentally– abound as expected?
We’d love to hear your thoughts…are you finding it easier or harder to build trust in this day and age?