The fundamentals of trust – when only authenticity will do

Fallon Cryer, Marketing Director, Microsoft Dynamics Asia

Life might have moved online, but a fundamental truth remains: people only buy from those they trust.

For companies, this can be tricky. Whether we like it or not, in the Edelman Trust Barometer companies, governments, and non-Government organisation (NGOs) often rank as the least trustworthy sources of information.

In fact, for nearly 15 years people consistently rank “someone like me” as the most trusted source of information.

So how do you avoid becoming just another company, and connect with a customer in a meaningful way? “Brands need to behave like ‘a person like me,’” says CRM expert Paul Greenberg, author of CRM at the Speed of Light, in his webinar about the 21st century customer.

For brands to gain customer trust, they not only need to communicate like a person, they also need to focus specifically on customer engagement. “We can quantify the value of engaged customers and disengaged customers,” Greenberg states. Engagement, he continues, is “happiness, it’s self-interest, and it’s helping steer our way down the happiness path.”

What does this mean for the use of CRM? Everything. Customers who encounter a fractured or inconsistent experience across channels immediately judge your brand as inauthentic. If you had a single point of view, it would be evident at every touch in their experience – just as it is for a person. For an organisation to develop relationships with customers that build trust, it requires engaging them in the way they want to be engaged, on the channels they use, in a way that comes across as authentic. For any organisation of any kind of scale, this can only be achieved through the use of technology

Much like individual relationships, organisations can only start to build the foundations of a healthy relationship through understanding. From understanding comes knowledge of what matters. And from knowledge comes the basis for consistency. Consistently delivering the right experience, through the right channels at the right time is the key to an authentic engagement.

Want to earn your customers’ trust? Learn more by watching the entire webinar on demand.

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