I believe that most people are trustworthy…
…but the realist in me knows that sometimes the people I trust are unreliable so, much as I want to trust others to do the right thing, life experience means my decisions and choices are influenced by a whole range of factors as well as a healthy dose of cynicism.
What is the basis for the decisions we make about who or what we trust? Integrity? Confidence? Emotion? Their moral code? Our own moral code? Responsibility? Experience? Gut reaction? Authority? Sincerity? Position in society? Reliability? Personal relationship? History? What they say? What they do? Expertise and knowledge? This list could go on.
The reality is that we apply a different set of rules according to what we want out of a situation:
- If I want advice, I’ll ask someone I trust to not shy away from the hard issues, someone who will tell me the truth
- I trust my doctor’s expertise when I’m unwell because I don’t have the depth of knowledge to make an informed assessment of symptoms
- If I want someone to look after my kids, I ask someone I know will keep them absolutely safe and happy
- If I’m choosing a holiday or a new phone, I look at customer product reviews, the opinions of people I don’t know, I might search information online or seek the advice of a sales person
Based on the above scenarios, it appears that the people we trust don’t always have the same characteristics and may not be interchangeable, yet we make decisions based on what we believe about them and, we generally know why we trust them.
So, if on a personal level we all trust different people for different reasons, how do we build a brand or business reputation that is trusted by all manner of people with all sorts of different preferences? With the explosion of information available online, so has come about a change in the nature of our relationship with our customers. Many of the most successful sales and service organisations see this as a fantastic opportunity to fundamentally change how they interact with their customers and are acting on that knowledge now, because investing in a future relationship with customers that is based on trust is good for business. How trustworthy do your customers think you are?