With social media and digital marketing come the challenge of creating trust without the usual face-to-face interactions. Trust is one of those words that business people bandy around like it just happens. The adage of "People buy from people they know and trust" is one used a lot to try and point out that companies need to humanize themselves to relate to their customers.But, just what is trust? If someone asked you, could you tell them?
Not to worry. According to Vanessa, "about 90 percent had some difficulty describing just exactly what trust is."Vanessa Hall's new book, The Truth About Trust in Business: How to Enrich the Bottom Line, Improve Retention and Build Valuable Relationships for Success, is just the book to simplify the intricacies of the concept.She writes in an engaging and conversational way that kept me turning the pages until I had read the entire book in two sittings.
Vanessa makes the concept of trust easier to understand through telling stories (one of my favorite things!). But, she also demonstrates how new needs are introduced which can erode trust levels companies thought they had firmly established. Incidentally, this is also where assumptions cause trouble.
In the book, the establishment of trust is based upon the infrastructure of expectations, needs and promises. She uses a brick wall to show how the removal of certain elements can cause trust to break (the wall to topple).Although this book mainly focuses on consumer stories, rather than B2B applications, she's provided ample clarity for marketers to easily extrapolate the circumstances onto their situations.
Here are a few nuggets of insight from the book:"We will always seek out ways to satisfy a combination of needs first before we choose to compromise.""The greater the need, the quicker trust can be built and even rebuilt.""In any given relationship or situation, our ENP (Expectations, Needs, Promises) wall changes over time...the outcome we want changes over time as well!"One of the things that really resonated with me, as a marketer, was the simple way Hall explains what makes people decide to switch brands.
Yes, a new product that raises the bar from what my old product can meet is one influence. But, the interesting one for me is the product (or feature) that makes a new promise about a need the person was previously unaware they had and causes them to choose to expand their definition of need.This is how innovations take hold of market share.
But, the way Vanessa Hall explains it had me thinking of a lot of ways companies can take what they have and make it new again by presenting the ideas around their products differently. And yes, once again it's about expectations, needs and promises. I absolutely agree.
One other thing - do you know all the promises your company is making? Is your messaging in every channel, through every means of distribution, aligned? Most importantly, are you delivering on every promise you've put out there? Without follow-through, your trust level could be eroding...fast.Anyone working to build the trust and credibility of their companies to a competitive level in today's swiftly moving business environment should read this book.
The case studies are fantastic and what you learn can be immediately applied to your go-to-market approach and your customer loyalty and retention strategies.
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