Its one of the most important assets anyone or any organisation can have. Seth Godin says it’s behind genuine recommendations, I’d say it’s behind all good relationships. I’m no philosopher but it’s probably in the top 10 most important things in human life, with it you can achieve just about anything, as a leader it enables you, as a friend it secures you and as a brand it fuels customer loyalty.
Trust is tough to get and easy to loose and in today’s world of abundant information and excess availability of knowledge I think people have become far more cynical about other peoples (or organisations) motives. That’s why Seth thinks there is often a snap assumption of financial gain behind recommendations. I’d add that’s why no one really believes advertising anymore, with growing experience customers know not to trust the messages put out and consequently the companies behind them.
Trust can be built through genuine and honest conversations – by definition that requires a 2 way interaction that is not achieved in traditional broadcast communications. Of course the point I’ve been building up to is; that is why social media is so important, it is a great medium for building trust with your customers.