It’s time we talk about Trust. Whether it be between two businesses, a business and its customers, or on an inter-organisational level, trust is incredibly important. It lies at the centre of every successful relationship and it requires time. However, with our instant-satisfaction culture, businesses are falling prey to placing the building of trust as a secondary concern.
Trust encapsulates everything from reliability to reputation. It is built by creating strong cultures, genuine connections and holding people at the heart of all decisions. It impacts performance, length of a relationship and business success.
When trust is broken between two parties, the process to mend it is difficult and time-consuming. As such, creating an early foundation of trust will have a huge impact on long-term business success. In the age of fake news, privacy breaches and bad advice, trust appears to be decreasing at a very fast rate. Yet at the same time, it is also having a greater impact on the ‘why’ behind so many of our choices as consumers.
As a business, it is important to understand how to create this trust.
Trust cannot be commanded
As with any relationship, words and actions are two entirely different things. If a person must instruct another to trust them, are they likely to be trustworthy? There’s an inclination to say ‘No’, isn’t there?
Why? Because over time, humans have grown to notice cues and actions that go beyond what is spoken. Considering that every person has the ability to lie and deceive, words are no longer enough.
Trust must be earned through actions, transparency, and sincerity. When something is promised, trust is developed in the execution of that promise. It is in the follow-through, in the actions that go beyond expectation and so on.
By listening, understanding and seeking to always follow through, trust is built slowly and over time. Business relationships built on this, prove to be more successful and longer-lasting than those that lack these key features.
Two ways to create genuine trust in your business include:
- Create an authentic brand image. Stay on-brand at all times and make sure that this leaks through every aspect of the company’s culture. This will allow viewers to become comfortable with your brand, grow the right expectations and form trust over time.
- Secondly, create a formal system to measure trust. This will be company specific and there is no one-way to suit all. Ensure that it will be continuously upheld by all employees, and constantly monitored for improvement.
Communication of Key
It sounds cliche yet for businesses, communication – whether direct or indirect – is essential. Communication in a transparent and consistent manner is imperative to build a brand that is trustworthy and likeable.
There are numerous communication methods, digital and otherwise, that allow Businesses to convey messages. By communicating a consistent message across all channels, a business creates value. This will offer value to customers, other businesses and stakeholders alike.
From a marketing perspective, outward communication shapes the way that a company is viewed. Communications allow a company to shape the way that they are viewed by others. They could come off as interesting and knowledgeable, witty and fun, inspirational yet down to earth, and so many more. By creating a whole, complete and consistent communication method that attracts the right audience, while staying constantly on-brand, a company builds trust.
Inward communication is just as important. It shapes the way that low-level employees see their managers and bosses. It directly impacts the way that staff members interact with each other, and with clients. While inward and outward communications seem to focus on entirely different aspects of a company, if these areas are not in-sync, a company will lack a cohesive message. This will impact overall company perceptions and trust, due to confusion.
Two ways to communicate well and ultimately improve trust, include:
- Create a clear path for employees to express opinions and concerns. This communication platform will open new opportunities and invite fresh ideas. This will foster a positive environment in which trust is given to all and offered by all.
- All staff members must receive an outline of expected behaviour and the company’s values. This should tie in with training exercises and hiring practices. Further, this will ensure that all staff have the correct skills for their position.
Trust defines a company’s culture. To develop trust, a business must earn it over time through a series of targeted actions, and learn to communicate well across all channels. Further, the company must place trust in its employees, customers, and partners. Combined, these actions will lead to long-term business success.
Click here, to learn more about our values and the importance we place on ensuring that Fonseka Innovations is a trustworthy company.