Trust Removes Decision Friction
Mutual trust between you and your customers is the single most important factor in your success, whether you are an established business or a startup looking for investment capital. In almost any situation where a significant decision is needed – like choosing to invest with someone or purchasing a product – trust removes the friction that gives us pause when weighing risks and benefits. But right now, only 37% of US consumers say they can trust most of the brands they buy. That’s a huge opportunity for you.
Once we determine that someone is trustworthy, the anxiety surrounding that decision vanishes, so we can quickly move on and do what they ask. This anxiety is part of our biology and is present in every decision we make, whether we’re aware of it or not. It has its roots in our evolution.
Fear for our well-being is instinctive, with origins long ago in our past as we fought for survival. Cavemen and cavewomen had to ask themselves, can I trust these people to help me through the winter? If I find some food, can I trust them not to take it? If they find food, can I trust them to share it? Can I trust them to watch out for my children?
From an evolutionary standpoint, decisions like this are made in our brain’s limbic system, the oldest part of our brain. The limbic system is also responsible for our behavior and feelings like loyalty and trust. But the limbic system can’t express thoughts using language, only feelings and actions.
Think about your own relationships. Imagine a colleague with whom you’ve reached a level of mutual trust asks for a significant favor or help with a project. You can make a decision quickly, and I bet, if time allows, you’ll help them even if it means personal sacrifice. You don’t have to give it significant thought because the mechanics of that decision happened subconsciously – it’s automatic. Compare that to someone who you know well yet don’t trust. You like the person just fine, but mutual trust isn’t there. You will pause and weigh what you risk or lose by helping them. Sure, you may still help them, but you pause.
That’s how people make purchase decisions, and if you can remove that intangible apprehension that forms deep in their limbic systems, you remove friction and increase your conversion rates. For them to take action, they need a degree of trust. And once that trust is established, they will reward you, with 62% saying they’ll remain loyal to brands they trust compared to only 29% who say they’ll remain loyal to brands they don’t fully trust.
Interesting science lesson, but how’s it help you? If you want to get someone to take action more quickly and build loyalty so they take repeated actions with you, you or your business need to generate trust.
Do you want to see how your brand can be more trustable?