Earning Trust and Winning Customers in the Digital Age

Earning Trust and Winning Customers in the Digital Age
July 10, 2023
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What do you picture when someone asks you to take a trust leap? Does it conjure up images of a corny team building exercise where you’re asked to fall into a colleague’s awaiting arms to prove that you are a strong team? Well thankfully, that’s not what we’re referring to here! We’re talking about much smaller decisions that we make on a daily basis when we choose to trust an individual or an organization. Considering these trust leaps is central to understanding our customers and building lasting relationships with them.

Rachel Botsman on Customer Trust

The topic of trust and what constitutes it was the focus of our recent Twilio Transform London event. We hosted it at The Shard on a suitably rainy morning, where we welcomed Rachel Botsman, a world leading expert in trust.

The event was focused on what constitutes trust and how companies can have strong relationships with the customers, especially in the context of user data. However, can trust be
built? According to Rachel, it’s not that simple. Companies need to focus on demonstrating through action why customers should trust them, instead of ‘building it.’

Rachel defines trust as “a confident relationship with the unknown”. To quote one of our attendees, trust is knowing that the cat will come back at the end of the day when you let it out, or that your pizza will be delivered in 30 minutes once a notification pops up to tell you it’s on the way. But is that enough when it comes to data? And how can companies nurture trusting relationships once they do establish them?

First-party data will be key to revolutionizing how brands engage with customers in a digital world and enable us to recreate the same level of engagement as we have with our local shop owner, however, companies need to focus on trust to get this right. Instead of asking how trust can be built, senior leaders need to ask themselves if their product, service or information is deserving of that trust in the first place. While it can be a very confronting question to ask, it opens up the potential for a much deeper and more rewarding relationship between companies and their customers.

'Actions speak louder than words’ might not be as much of a cliché as you think it is. Demonstrating that you’re using the first-party data that your customer entrusted to you well is that proof. Personalizing interactions and making suggestions for products or services someone might be interested in based on past purchases is another such demonstration. When this is done well and takes into account personal preferences, people will often tell their friends about it, furthering social-proof.

Trust: a virtuous circle

Trust is a circle and if done correctly, it’s a virtuous circle for companies.

But first, companies need to be the ones to take that trust leap in using first-party data.

Ready to leap? Find out more about Twilio Segment here.