Build trust without face to face interaction

By Beka Ventham | Behaviour & Marketing Psychology

Jul 20
Build trust without face to face interaction

How do you build trust? What is trust?

Trust is to believe in the reliability, truth, or ability of. 

When we think about our businesses we want our customers to believe in what we’re capable of, so much so that they want to invest in our solutions. 

Zig Ziglar said “if people like you they’ll listen to you but if they trust you they’ll do business with you”. 

Building trust with our prospects shows them that a relationship with them matters. We don’t just want cash cows, we want authentic businesses that we can actively benefit. 

Face to face interactions and handshakes have driven business connections forever. Falling out from the pandemic, how do we build trust without those key moments?

What is the science of building trust?

Measuring trust is challenging. Over the years they have tried to measure it by handwriting, vocal cues, facial expressions and non verbal cues. 

DeSteno believes that in contrast to theory, isolated gestures and expressions aren’t reliable signposts of what someone feels or does. 

A cross-disciplinary study including economists, computer scientists, security officers and psychologists led to the most comprehensive understanding of trust thus far. Led by DeSteno, who found that trust doesn’t just come to a climax for purchases, business deals or wedding vows. It transcends much more our lives starting from when we are infants.

We evolved in social groups and experienced challenges of various levels. Because of this we are continuously evaluating who we can rely on - who we can trust. 

For example, if we imagine 70,000 years back to the hunter-gatherer societies. If hunters X and Y weren’t providing but hunters A and B were then your trust would naturally be with the ones who you could rely on. 

At the most basic level trust implies vulnerability because of the lack of control, but we have to take risks because the potential benefits outweigh the potential risks considerably. 

So where does this leave us?

Build trust in business

We know that trust is a risk and in business, finding the solution that will provide trust isn’t always easy and can be overwhelming.

What is needed for trust in business?

Trust needed for collaboration is a combination of four key elements. This is what we will focus on when it comes to building trust in the business world.

Build trust with competence

A mismatch of skills is never a good place to start. If you’re providing a valet service and the customer has a tractor it’s probably not the best fit.

This is why understanding your target audience is so important for trust building. It shows intent as opposed to random selection. To the prospects you approach you can provide the skills they need to benefit their lives.

Reliability

When you invest money or time with a company you want returns. You expect the solution to be delivered at the very minimum but you also need them to be available, supportive and genuinely devoted to helping you succeed.

Wowing your customers is such an important part of lifecycle marketing because it gives you the opportunity to add value to them after delivery. 

Integrity

Where would we be without integrity? 

Establishing a moral code of ethics as a business sets us apart from the money grabbers. I mean this in the sense that integrity means being committed to our customers and helping them achieve their goals.

Whether it's as a financial broker or an event planner - taking their desires and making them a reality is what makes us act with integrity. 

Build trust with communication

Without communication there can’t be the meeting of the minds and without this there is no relationship. The rest of the pillars will disintegrate if communication isn’t sturdy. 

Communication is the baseline to all relationships and in business relationships it is critical to maintain open channels of communication for not only trust but also the relationship to develop.

This includes emails and resources as well as verbal communication.

Build face to face trust

What makes face to face such a great way to build trust with people?

Microexpressions for building trust

We already know that microexpressions aren’t a reliable tell in terms of trust but they do act as a trustbuilder because they are involuntary emotional responses which demonstrates such a wonderful level of authenticity. 

There are seven universal microexpressions, they happen so quickly that you might not always catch them but they are a big part of human behaviour and make a difference to face to face interactions. 

  1. Disgust
  2. Anger
  3. Fear
  4. Sadness
  5. Happiness
  6. Surprise
  7. Contempt

Body language

Body language is non verbal communication and can’t be picked up over the phone. Video conferencing makes this a little more accessible but not at the level of face to face.

Body language includes:

  • Facial expressions
  • Body posture
  • Eye movements
  • Touch
  • Use of space

Positive body language will impact trust and confidence in a much better way than negative body language will. It’s important to note that these human interactions remain critical because of how important social connections are. 

How to build trust without face to face interaction?

Building trust without a physical connection is much easier than it would have been back before the internet made our world so global, but it still needs commitment. 

You need to prove to your customers that you are available, capable and devoted to supporting their success.

What do your customers need to trust you?

Security

Feeling secure is a big part of trust. For your customers that could mean secure payment options, money back guarantees or face to face strategy calls. 

Whatever they need to feel safe with you - do!

Socially visible

3.8 billion people use social media. Use your social media accounts as an interface for your customers. Be active, add value, engage with them. 

Over deliver to build trust

Delivery is one thing. Over delivering makes you memorable. When you order from a new Chinese takeaway for the first time and they throw in a taster dish as a thank you, you will probably go back to them.

Use the same formula for your solutions. Deliver and then exceed expectations. People trust value. 

Customer service

Everyone loves good customer service. If your customer service isn’t up to scratch you can almost guarantee that your customers won’t develop a sense of trust in you. If you tell them you’re going to do something and do it, it facilitates a growth point for trust.

Remember that every customer who buys something is someone you want to feel happy to buy from you again.

Personalise your brand

Your customers and prospects will always respond to you in a more positive way if there is a face behind the brand. Cold grey corporations that don’t treat them like unique individuals with specific pains will not be as trustworthy as a small business with a face to the emails, the products and the offers.

Communicate

Like any relationship, to build trust you need to communicate.

If there’s a delay - let your customer know. If there’s a special discount, share it with your customer. Add value by sharing resources. Support them by checking in after you’ve delivered the solution.

Continue to nurture your trust with your customer.

In conclusion, trust is to believe in the reliability, truth, or ability of. To help your customers trust you even over social distance you need to help them feel secure, visible and important. When you lose your networking opportunities and hand shaking potential - what are you doing to build trust without face to face interaction?

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