Influence people

Monday, December 5, 2011

Why Trust Matters

In The Customer Blog, consultant Maz Iqbal asks: Why does trust matter so much to customers?

"We human beings do not like to be faced with uncertainty, vulnerability or risk," he says. "These three factors take an emotional toll on us. We prefer to work on 'autopilot,' which is simply another way of saying that we prefer to trust."

Trust functions in business relationships as the customer's "safety net," Iqbal says.

“In situations of perceived risk or vulnerability, trust has the role of a safety net, helping the customer to make a decision by minimizing uncertainty and risk."

Trust depends on three qualities: competence, integrity and benevolence.

"Customer trust is based on the expectations that the service provider can be relied on to deliver its promises, care for customer needs and demonstrate competence,” Iqbal says.

But those qualities are only part of the picture.

Trust also rests on an organization's reputation for good citizenship.

"Customers look for indicators like responsiveness, flexibility, willingness to compromise and act beyond the profit motive. This is where being known as a company that values both social good and profit matters."

How about your organization? Do customers trust you?

I'll bet they don't. To learn why, read my special report, Path of Persuasion.

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