Trust Me: People Trust Business More Than Government
There's something both comforting and unnerving about a report that illustrates how global trust has shifted away from governments, and towards business institutions. Nevertheless, that's exactly what the 2015 Edelman Trust Barometer shows happened during 2014, and into the start of 2015. Making your customers trust you could mean the difference between one-off purchases and lifetime customers.
Of course, getting clients to trust you is easier said than done, but the Barometer might make it easier to know what to focus on in your marketing. Edelman posits sixteen specific attributes—grouped into five categories of descending importance—which together affect the trustworthiness of a business. Here's the rundown:
- Has ethical business practices
- Takes responsible actions to address an issue or crisis
- Has transparent and open business practices
- Listens to customer needs and feedback
- Treats employees well
- Places customers ahead of profits
- Communicates frequently and honestly on the state of its business
3. Products & Services
- Offers high-quality products or services
- Is an innovator of new products, services or ideas
- Works to protect and improve the environment
- Addresses society's needs in its everyday business
- Creates programs that positively impact the local community
- Partners with NGOs, government and third parties to address societal needs
- Has highly regarded and widely admired top leadership
- Ranks on a global list of top companies
- Delivers consistent financial returns to investors
Sound a bit daunting? Maybe, but each of these are little things that, when taken together, should already be a part of the everyday best practices of running a successful business. Work on the ones that are pain points one at a time, and the people your business interacts with will take note, and trust you more accordingly.
And the payoff? "Trusted companies do better," the report says. "When they are trusted, they are purchased, talked about online, and recommended. When distrusted, they will not talk, not buy, and will criticize. The importance of this cannot be underestimated in today's age of skepticism." In fact, a trusted company is 80 percent more likely to be purchased from—certainly some sizeable ROI. Trust me. It's worth it to work on building trust.