Last weekend while visiting with some friends, swimming in the pool, and having a little brisket I couldn’t help but notice my 16-year old son was having a great time with our friends 15-year old daughter. They were sitting together poolside and “texting” away on their phones with big smiles all the while. Frankly it scared the heck out of me. I couldn’t help but wonder if my son is unable to have a real person-to-person, face-to-face conversation. I took their phones away and was happy to see their conversation continued, only this time they were actually talking. Wow what a relief.
When looking to build trust with our customers, think about what it takes for your personal relationships to thrive. Customers are people and therefore they tend to have similar responses to relationship strengths and weaknesses. This is true whether the relationship is personal or with a brand.
Trust and respect for your choices are at the root of relationship failure or success. What’s really interesting is even with this knowledge, customer trust is eroding. I just read from an Edelman Trust Barometer study that illustrates consumer trust dropped a whopping 8 points from 2010 to 2011.
I believe that in the interest of maximizing financial performance that many companies and small business owners have forgotten that relationships are a two-way street. Relying too heavily on social media and drip email campaigns can have dangerous long-term impact on your business. Adding a bit more personal touch to client contacts with a phone call, a “thank you” card, or an in-person visit takes time but can often be a sure-fire way to strengthen relationships and build trust.