Trust Is The New Currency

Today, most business transactions – whether buying shampoo or tonight’s dinner – are faceless. That’s why in our digital world, trust is the new currency. This shift in consumer behavior, sometimes called the “trust economy,” is more than the quality of products or services you offer; it’s about constructing a bedrock of reliability and transparency so customers choose you over competitors.

“Trust keeps society running. Even the most trivial interactions rely on small acts of trust,” the Economist reported. This isn’t lost on company leaders either. PwC’s 25th Annual Global CEO Survey reported that behind industry conditions, consumer trust is the most important predictor of a company’s past and future financial performance.

However, trust is increasingly difficult to earn. Thanks to the recent emergence of AI, frequent mishandling of personal data by companies and relentless cyber-attacks, customers are more skeptical than ever. As product and service providers, PwC points out that we are constantly evaluated by our customers on whether or not we are “forces for good in society.” Make one slipup and that trust is gone, perhaps for good.

How you handle data and use technology to influence your customers’ experience will decide your fate in the trust economy. Prioritize the most important drivers of trust – empathy, reliability and integrity – and grow your customer loyalty this year and in the years to come.

 

Technology’s Role In Improving Customer Trust

Our dependence on technology is undeniable, yet this very reliance makes us vulnerable. Computer pioneer Willis Ware once said, “The only computer that’s completely secure is a computer no one can use.”

This statement hits a nerve, especially for businesses navigating the complexities of digital security. The challenge, then, is to harness technology in a way that boosts, rather than undermines, customer trust.

 

Be Transparent About Data Usage

Ever been shopping for a new shirt only to have an online ad pop up later for the same shirt? It’s not a coincidence – it’s data. Although customers expect you to collect data, they want a say in it. According to a report by Qonsent, 94% of consumers feel that having control over the data they share with companies is important.

Make sure you have a clear privacy policy that tells customers:

  • What data you collect
  • How you use it
  • Who you share it with
  • How they can adjust what data they share with you

Additionally, don’t collect more data than you need, and ensure your team is well-versed in data security, drawing from clear internal processes around data management. Slack’s “Privacy Policy” page is an excellent example of data transparency. It’s written for the consumer (not in legalese), and it clearly explains what data is collected and why, and how users can change their preferences.

 

Take Cyber Security Seriously

Customers want to know if you have a good reputation for protecting their data and information. According to a 2022 McKinsey survey, 53% of consumers will only engage with a company after checking for a good security track record. Even one breach could mean losing a significant amount of your customer base.

To build trust with your customers, make sure your company’s cyber security strategy includes:

  • Multi-factor authentication
  • Proactive security software that stops attacks before they happen
  • Regular security awareness training for all employees
  • Frequent backups (local and remote, ideally)
  • A disaster recovery plan to help you respond quickly and with authority, decreasing the risk of losing your customers after an incident

 

Leverage Technology To Improve Your Customers’ Experience

According to a 2018 report by Deloitte, customers spent 140% more with companies they had a positive experience with. Additionally, companies with positive interactions reduced customer service costs by as much as 33%.

Technology enables businesses to offer personalized, seamless experiences that resonate with customers. Consider how e-commerce platforms use encrypted payment transactions and tailored shopping recommendations to provide secure and helpful interactions. Or CRM systems that act like an assistant who never forgets a face or a conversation, so you can manage customer interactions with greater personalization.

Above all, though, it’s the quality of every interaction you have with customers that builds trust. Whether over the phone, by e-mail or across a store counter, remember that your customer wants to trust you. You just have to deliver.

 

Embrace Trust And Earn Loyalty

Nearly half (46%) of consumers say they’ll consider another brand if data practices are unclear, according to the McKinsey survey. On the flip side, organizations prioritizing digital trust are more likely to experience a 10% annual boost to their top and bottom lines. Listen to your customers. Prioritize a trust-based approach to your business and digital security, and you’re not just winning trust now, you’re setting up for years of loyal customers.

Used with permission from Article Aggregator