Trust Inquiries – Building trust one customer at a time

Trust Inquiries

Trust Inquiries

Trust Inquiries: Building trust one customer at a time

Earning customer trust must be deliberate. It shouldn’t be something you hope happens on its own.  How do you know when and how trust is created in your business?

At Lifestory, we continue to hear from organizations that they tend to limit themselves to a “post-sale” approach to identify customer trust. They say to us: “We know our customers trust us because they bought our product.” And, we agree – the purchase of the product would seem to reflect customer trust. However, we believe that organizations must move past the obvious, and instead, focus on a more complete view of how trust is formed upstream before the purchase. 

Trust Inquiries are one means brands can assess trust formation within frontline interactions, and to identify moments within the customer journey in which trust is being obstructed or constructed. These kinds of tools are essential in collecting the feedback required to effectively develop and refine brand trust.

Trust Inquiries can take on many forms, including:

In Person Trust Inquiries - At Disney, they capture feedback through in person encounters in which they ask Guests where they are visiting from, or what a Guest thought of a specific ride or event. Immediate feedback about the quality, reliability, and safety of the Guest experience offers the opportunity to make short-term adjustments quickly or provide immediate service recovery, if necessary. 

Direct Consumer Trust InquiriesHilton actively surveys guests to understand what their guests don’t do before a stay as a means to discover pathways to creating brand trust. In a survey of luxury travelers Hilton found the value potential of concierges given the significant number of guests that leave details of their trip unplanned until they arrive at their hotel.  By learning more about their hotel guests, they are able to strategically form experiences that not only delight, but also create a lasting bond of trust.

Employee Trust Inquiries - Few people know and understand your customers better than your front-line team members who seek to form trust-based relationships every day. We’ve found that frontline staff tend to share what is working well, along with important areas of opportunity that allow for service experience enhancements.  Frontline team members also are the most attuned to how the brand is seen by others and the barriers preventing trust.  Ask your frontline team about customer trust and then listen without judgement.

Trade Partner Trust Inquiries –As Jan Carlson, President of Scandinavian Airlines noted “Any time a customer comes into contact with a business, however remote, they have an opportunity to form an impression.”  The partner organizations that work with you in the creation of your product or service often are overlooked in seeking feedback on trust.  Trade partners engage with your employees, other partner organizations, and directly with your customers and as a result they have a wealth of knowledge about how others see your trustworthiness.

Consider: What new or additional Trust Inquiries can your brand organize to safeguard you are not overlooking valuable feedback?

If you’d like to learn more about this topic, check out America’s Most Trusted, our brand research and insights program. Or, consider contacting us directly to learn how we can support your organization.

Eric Snider