…and how to find a technology partner that you will trust!
When my daughter was on camp, her school principle went along for a day. Later that week, he recounted to the school assembly about the kids’ abseiling challenge and started talking about the notion of “fear”. What it took some kids, once they got to the edge and got harnessed up, to overcome their terror and take that last step off the edge to make the descent. For those who were less confident, hesitating, petrified, the ultimate deal-breaker was feeling the “trust” – the instructor saying to them “don’t worry – you’ve got this – and even if you don’t, we’ve got you!”
I was listening to this literally the day after I’d been to the 2017 AICD Essential Director Update, where one of the key themes was – you guessed it – the loss of trust in the business sector and how to rebuild it. I wasn’t surprised to hear this – I’ve seen it, heard about it, talked and written about it myself.
But there was one slide discussed at the presentation that day that had me sitting up and thinking about trust anew.
First, have a look at this. What do you see here?
Looks like what you’d expect, right? NGOs are more trusted than business, business more than media, with government coming in bottom rung. But drill down into the stats and there’s more to the story.
So, trust in business dropped across 18 countries from 2016 to 2017 to 52%, and we are clearly skating pretty close to that 50% DISTRUSTED benchmark line. What was really eyebrow-raising was the comparison the presenter made about the relationship between the business and media sector stats.
Aggregated we see media trust down too in 2017, but with the media scoring 48% last year and business at 52% this year – give or take 12 months – it’s pretty clear the public has us both sitting in the same naughty corner!
More worrying was the break-down of the media figures. Traditional media sits at 57% and online-only media at 51%. Remember your parents telling you: “Don’t believe everything you see on TV?” (There’s your 57%) Are you telling your kids “Don’t believe everything you see on the Internet?” (And here’s your 51%). Well there there’s a big chunk of people out there who feel the same way about business (Yep, 52%)
That bothered me – it really bothered me, because a) that’s literally one-in-two people we may deal with and b) as business owners and managers I am pretty sure we see ourselves as deserving to be SUBSTANTIALLY MORE trustworthy than the media – especially in the fake news era! It’s a bit of a slap to our corporate sense of self to think – in the eyes of our customers – we may not actually be much better!
So it was with these trust stats rolling around in my mind when I rocked up to school assembly the next day and heard about these instructors build trust with these preteen abseiling newbies with the message “don’t worry – you’ve got this – and if you don’t, we’ve got you!”
As businesses we need to be working harder to send this very simple but very powerful message to our clients. You’ve got this. Why? Because, we’re here to make sure you’ve got it! That – yes – we are in business and our business is growth, but we do have you, our customer’s, best interest as top priority.
How can you know for sure? Because in the modern digital economy dependent on building a mesh of partnerships and ecosystems, our customers’ satisfaction, success stories and testimonials are the only way to both guarantee our own survival and the fulfilment of our social license as both enterprises AND contributors to a greater good – be it economic or social.
This is especially relevant when we are talking technology. Technology offers individuals, businesses and communities opportunities to empower, include, access and evolve in ever faster and more inventive ways. But it’s also a sector that leaves many non-IT decision makers feeling overwhelmed, intimidated and even paralysed to act.
So it’s hardly surprising then that when asked why there is a lack of trust in business, 53% – the majority in fact – of respondents said that their lack of trust was due to fears around the pace of change in business and industry moving too fast. There’s that word again – “fear”. So just like the 10-year-old budding abseiling enthusiasts at school camp – overcoming that fear will take a partner who openly communicates a message of trust to your business.
“You can do this – and we know how to help you do it.”
To restore the public’s faith in business and reverse the “implosion of trust” we are reading so widely about, business (and technology) partners need to first approach their clients not with the all the shiny new latest and greatest on offer, horror stories of businesses going bust in the digital age, or even talk of massive cost savings right off the bat. The right partner should be bringing to the table an open dialogue that will cut through to reveal their customer’s baseline pain points and fears, so they can harness them up with the confidence to make the drop! That’s building trust.
If you’re not having these kinds of conversations with your business technology partner – it’s no wonder you’re feeling that lack of trust.
At Maxsum, Delivering the Whole Experience to our customers is one of our core values, as is Building the Ecosystem, both yours and ours.
Read on for more Maxsum Blog features on building business technology partnerships :