I have written often about the importance of Trust In Business. I have always contended that without Trust it is rare that you will be successful. It has also been my experience that many others care about this deeply. It was interesting to note that in my book Account Planning in Salesforce, the chapter on Trust was one of the most underlined sections of the book. (There is this cool feature for an author for books distributed on a Kindle where you can see what people are marking up or underlining.)
Up to now my opinion about Trust in Business has been just that, an opinion. I did not have tangible evidence of Trust as an asset that we should value in pure commercial terms. But now there is factual data-based evidence that clearly demonstrates that Trust Matters – and I will get to that shortly.
I have always seen Trust as a value in itself, a compass for how I wanted to interact with my customers and a core tenet that I try promote and reinforce everyday at The TAS Group.
Alongside Respect and Perspective, Trust is an asset that creates more sustained value on the balance sheet than new customer wins or positive cash flow. Without trust, and a genuine interest in serving customers and the colleagues that you interact with everyday, I don’t think that you can build a sustainable business.
I have been following Edelman’s great work on Trust for many years. If you want to get a full global picture on Trust then there is no better source. Sometimes the facts are a little depressing as trust in CEOs, business generally, and Governments sink to dismal levels, but I find the Edelman Trust Barometer to be a great reminder of the role each one of us plays in setting the standards that we want others to follow. But we can’t complain about it, or bemoan the distressing ratings, unless we ourselves are prepared to be exemplars of the behavior we want to see.
I never expect that everyone’s opinion will fully align with mine, and I fully understand that my opinion is informed my own experiences, so naturally will differ from other perspectives. When I can, I try to back up my views with data and facts; but that has been difficult when it comes to Trust in Business. Now, in the recent 2015 Edelman Trust Barometer study, the ﬁndings, based on data, reveal that trust carries important implications for future business success. Respondents to the study indicated that trust or lack of trust in a particular company has inﬂuenced their behaviors in the previous 12 months.
80 percent of respondents said that they chose to buy a particular product or service because they trusted the company behind it. Sixty-three percent said they refused to purchase a product or service because they distrusted a particular company.
As significant as the decision to purchase or not purchase based on the trust in the company, 68% of respondents said that they have recommended a company that they trusted to a friend or colleague and 58% said they shared criticism about a distrusted company.
In my view, we should think about our customers not in terms of CLTV or Customer Life Time Value, but rather in terms of CNV or Customer Network Value. If you look after your customers and build a trusted relationship by delivering on your promise, then they, more effectively that you can, will espouse your value in their network – and that’s the most effective marketing that you can do.
And in any case, looking after your customers is the right thing to do.
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