Reading Time: 2.8 minutes It’s no secret that consumers are more likely to invest in a brand if they trust it. In recent years, “trust” has gained buzz word status in marketing and sales spheres. It’s become something that all companies strive towards but only a handful can stay true to. Trust takes years to build, yet can be wiped out in just seconds. As consumers, we have certain expectations and if a product or service fails to live up to these expectations, we instinctively feel betrayed, disappointed and the trust that was so carefully and lovingly nurtured, crumbles in an instant. So, what does trust mean? As defined by the Cambridge Dictionary trust is: “to believe that someone is good and honest and will not harm you, or that something is safe and reliable.” The problem is, however, that the ‘T word’ has been bandied about so much it’s become difficult to differentiate between those who are worthy of it and those who are simply parading the latest buzz word with no substance to back it up. As a consumer, you can’t afford to hand over your trust willy-nilly, so how do you know when it’s safe to part with it? At Capital International we believe it comes down to commitment; trust has to be earned! It should be labelled on the tin If a person with a nut allergy picks up a sandwich that is marketed “nut free” they’re essentially placing their life in the sandwich maker’s hands. Here we see trust in its purest form. By being completely transparent and putting the facts of your offering in front of the customer, you set concrete expectations from the very start. Set expectations and exceed them You will have a happy customer if you deliver exactly what’s on the tin. However, if you are able to exceed their expectations you will have an ecstatic, word-spreading and most likely returning customer. As a company, Capital are committed to delivering on our promises and to always trying to go the extra mile. By exceeding the expectations of your customer, they not only come away satisfied but will likely serve as a valuable advocate of your brand in the future. Human interaction No matter how digital the world is becoming, when it comes to trust and some of our big decisions in life, human interaction remains firmly at the forefront. Communication and reciprocation have evolved humans into the most powerful species on this planet, so why would you neglect such a powerful tool? Staying connected with your customer is key; they find comfort in the reassurance that you’ve got their back, take time to understand them and can always be relied upon. Attitude With human interaction comes responsibility. If you find yourself calling up a business to complain about a disappointing product or service, there’s nothing worse than being put on hold, while different departments play hot potato with your complaint. Getting “fobbed off” in this way doesn’t inspire much confidence. On the other hand, an attitude of – “right, this is what we will do for you” puts the customer at ease because there is a plan of action and they sense the problem will be solved. Set expectations and deliver them! No two customers are the same Every customer journey is different. Customers interact with your brand at different stages of their lives and it is important to nurture them whichever path they are on. Seeing them as an individual and not just another number on the screen will help build the relationship that every customer deserves. In the process of opening a new digital bank, our Capital team has expanded to include new ‘Client Engagement Lead’ positions. Their role is to help our customer at every stage in their journey with us. As we know, banking can prove frustrating at times; from opening a new account to understanding the new systems, so the last thing you want to do is to sit for half an hour in a phone queue in 27th place waiting to speak to someone about your query. Our Client Engagement Leads will help the customer to set up a bank account, train the staff face to face, be available on “live chat” and offer reassurance and guidance each step of the way. Trust might just be another buzz word with little significance to new potential customers; however, by taking the word “trust” and starting to understand what it means in the context of your business, it will become clear to everyone exactly what’s on and in the tin. Disclaimer: The views thoughts and opinions expressed within this article are those of the author, and not those of any company within the Capital International Group (CIG) and as such are neither given nor endorsed by CIG. Information in this article does not constitute investment advice or an offer or an invitation by or on behalf of any company within the Capital International Group of companies to buy or sell any product or security.