“You can’t self-nominate trust. You must earn it. You cannot appropriate it yourself with a wishful job title or marketing slogan. You must do the work and leave it to others to decide if you can be trusted. Or not.” (Ethics Alliance, 2019)
This week at Execview, we decided to place a focus on trustworthiness. Our first blog earlier in the week discussed auditing your PPM provider as we feel it is important to place the industry sector we are in under due diligence. However, how do we convey that the public can trust us? Well, we cannot other than to say so. And why would anyone take our word for it? All we can do is demonstrate so through our actions.
This piece is a look into what makes a business trustworthy, with a few tips on verifying a PPM provider’s trustworthiness.
More emphasis on trust
Trust has been a primary corporate goal in recent years, notably in the aftermath of the Financial Crash about 15 years ago, when people’s life savings were misappropriated by people in organisations that had sworn to look after them.
However, since then, much discussion has been about business’ poor reputation has failed to recognise the immensity of the work ahead. Trust is sometimes referred to be the “money” that permits companies to manage the assets of others. There is not much discussion of the path to getting there or whether trust is the most important result for businesses. Just because you have people’s confidence does not imply you are trustworthy.
Taking part in deceit
Why shouldn’t “trust” be a goal in and of itself? Before his wealthy investors realised they had been fleeced of $65 billion in the most significant Ponzi fraud in history, US stockbroker and financial counsellor Bernie Madoff was widely trusted by them. Trust, in and of itself, is not always what it seems.
Restoring faith and confidence
So, the issue should be “What can we do to become trustworthy?” rather than “How can we persuade people to believe us again?” Instead of focusing on the product, organisations should concentrate on the process of getting there. It will take time, and there must be consistency in behaviour. There must also be an aspect of forgiveness addressed. Forgiveness requires the forgiver to trust that you will not behave in that manner again. Declaring your intentions is not enough; you must show them.
Being trustworthy implies that employees in your organisation act ethically because it is the right thing to do, not because it would re-establish confidence. Again, gaining a reputation for trustworthiness is not something you can do independently. A solid reputation is earned by accumulating personal encounters with you and your work from other people.
According to Trustpilot research, 90% of internet customers have decided not to buy from a firm because of its negative reputation. Customers pay attention to a company’s reputation, and most of them make decisions based on what they hear.
Reputation management was traditionally thought to be a passive strategy used when things went wrong at a company. However, if companies of all sizes want customers to trust and buy from them, they must have a proactive reputation management plan that prioritises continual communication and openness.
A poll of 1,500 internet consumers revealed the following conclusions about which aspects of a brand’s reputation matter most to customers:
• The most effective strategy to increase customer trust is to improve online reputation. More than 93% indicated they checked reviews before purchasing something online from a new firm.
• When unfamiliar with a firm, over 62% of internet consumers search for it, and few are inclined to buy if bad reviews appear on the first page of the search results.
• 48% of internet consumers said they would suggest a brand to others based on its social conscience.
• 83% of Gen Z’s, the next generation of consumers, indicated they would tell others not to buy from a company with a terrible reputation.
In a PPM context, how do you verify trustworthiness?
Protection of personal information
Verifying your website is the initial step. Clients are becoming increasingly conscious of the information they post online and how competitors might use it against them. One statement concerning SSL-encrypted material is not enough — many internet users have no idea what it implies, and others will believe it is not enough. As a result, reassuring your visitors that their information is secure and will not be shared with third parties will earn their confidence.
Websites that review software
Customers can give star ratings and reviews on software review sites to establish credibility and pricing and feature comparisons with other suppliers, making them essential resources for software providers. As a result, it is crucial for auditing, as suppliers may twist the reality to make themselves appear better than their competitors.
Capterra is one of the most prominent software review websites. To view an example, go to our page to compare us to other suppliers.
In an era where many businesses go bankrupt unexpectedly, more enterprises seek to reassure their clients that they are financially secure. A third-party or independent entity’s verification is a persuasive argument for potential partners.
Companies House, for example, is a government website that allows you to do a more in-depth background check on a company. This is an excellent technique to analyse your provider’s financial viability and identify any red flags.
Business partners’ certificates
For potential clients, certificates are a clear indication. You may boost your company’s credibility by displaying a suitable emblem on your website — the larger the issuer, the more convincing the certificate. It also reduces the number of steps a potential client must complete. As a result, consumers have fewer options to alter their minds about purchasing on our site, and we can assure them that clicking “purchase now” is entirely safe.
For example, Execview is ICO 27001 certified, proudly shown on our website. This is the industry standard for ensuring data security on your projects.