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Trust me, I’m a doctor..

Does anyone say that any more and does it even make sense now?

Trust used to be such a key part of society; we trusted our schools, the Government, banks, our peers, newspapers, BBC and of course doctors. But who do we trust now?  We are certainly more cynical and I think we question far more than we ever used to: how often do we fact check on Google the information we have been given by those who are ‘in the know’?

I think that now we see being trusting as potentially being naïve (why did I trust him/her?) and that by not trusting others we are somehow protecting ourselves – but perhaps we are doing the opposite and losing trust in our lives means missing out on many things in terms of relationships, connections and opportunities.

So what does this mean to business? How do you obtain and maintain customer loyalty?

The trust equation looks at trustworthiness and breaks it down as being credibility + reliability + intimacy divided by self orientation.  So we have to be:

Credible – show that we are capable, have experience and knowledge and we know how to apply it. Case studies are great for demonstrating this.

Reliable – this is all about actions: doing things that we say we will do, understanding needs; this means no bullshit and putting clear and measurable objectives in place – and delivering consistently.

Intimacy – providing emotional security, empathy and making it feel safe to share information. We need this so that our clients don’t feel they are taking a risk by believing in us – this is harder for both sides to measure.

Self Orientation – being in it for yourself, selfish and self-obsessed. Our business model only works when what we are doing works for our clients; if the ads are not working clients won’t spend money so our success is intrinsically linked with our clients which means we genuinely care about getting the best results.  We play the long game and invest time, experience, energy and passion into our clients as we believe this is how we can get the best outcome. 

I wonder how many people are in your circle of trust and how this would have compared to 20 years ago? Certainly asking around the office the results were fairly low and pretty much limited to family and friends.  I asked if anyone would take part in a trust fall in the office – there are 15 people, how many do you think said yes?  Of those, how many will see it through?  Video to follow…

Alice Buttling, MD