We, as a society don't trust.
According to The General Social Survey, since the 1970s, our trust in other's has dropped by almost 20%. And it's not just people we don't trust. Only 12% of Americans trust the press, only 14% trust banks, and only 14% trust government officials. Heck, we don't even trust those closest to us. Only 42% of people trust their neighbors and only 58% of people trust their co-workers (I'm looking at you Jim, I know you stole my Poptart out of the breakroom).
Yet, here we sit waiting for a complete stranger to pick us up in his personal vehicle to bring us to a restaurant we found on Yelp, scanning Amazon reviews to make sure we buy the right toaster.
Ummm...are we really that skeptical?
In short, yes. But, technology allows us to build trust faster than we would in a traditional relationship. When we meet a person, a business, or a product, one to one, it takes time to build rapport. Technology shortens the time it takes to trust by compiling the data we use to assess trust. Not only does technology allow us to get to know our Uber drive before he shows up at the door, we get peace of mind that Steve is a great Uber driver from 100 other riders. I automatically trust Steve more because of those reviews. I might have received the same feedback talking to 10 friends about Steve's driving, but that would have taken much more time.
Arun Sundararajan, author of “The Sharing Economy,” explains these technologies have essentially “expedited” the process of gaining trust.
“If you meet a stranger and know nothing about him or her, trust takes time to develop,” he says. “But if you have a digital system that gives you a bunch of info about the authenticity of that stranger, trust can be gained instantly.” (The Hustle)
The same is true for an early interaction with your organization. If I meet you a tradeshow, and you're an RPG customer so you're Convincing Advantages and Why are solid, I am really interested in how you can help me. I visit your website, see 10 testimonials, and I'm sold. Now, I really trust what you are telling me.
When we talk to clients about their Convincing Advantages, we stress the importance of relentlessly proving them. One of the best ways to prove your advantages is through testimonials. And testimonials build trust. If you aren't using trust to prove your advantages, it's time to start.
How do I get started?
First, identify the best way to communicate trust. Depending on your product or service, you may want to use technology that will solicit user ratings or reviews. Case studies are the perfect vehicle to tell in-depth customer stories. Testimonials about your product or service are also very powerful.
Second, ask, and make it easy for your customers to give feedback. You can request feedback in a number of ways; via email, after a transaction - especially if you are using a technology-driven system-, on social media. You might be surprised by how many people are willing to share.
Third, make it a continuous part a part of your marketing and sales process to gather feedback from customers. And, not just new customers. Revisit current customers and update your stories to show progress.
Lastly, publish the testimonials and reviews where you meet prospects - via an app, on your website, in emails and marketing campaigns, on sales collateral. Harness the power of technology to relentlessly prove your Convincing Advantages with trust. And start winning more customers.
Source: The General Social Survey (1972-2016) NORC, University of Chicago; as reported in The Hustle.