MAD Perspectives Blog

 Trust is Critical

Peggy Dau - Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Trust. It is the most important aspect of any relationship. Be it a personal or business; B2C or B2B or B2B2C. The challenge for B2B businesses is that trust is impacted by many direct and indirect factors throughout the pre-sales, sales and post-sales process. While a sales person can establish a fantastic relationship with their client, a supply chain issue or poor customer service can quickly shift the nature of that relationship. Now, with business communicating and engaging with their customers through multiple channels and via different platforms, their are increasing opportunities to build or break trust.

As Satya Nadella, the newly named CEO of Microsoft, said yesterday in his webcast with customers and partners, "Mobile First, Cloud First".  These new business channels are a mandate, but  trust may be the single most important concern for customers utilizing these technologies. Although, this concern may not be stated explicitly. When analyzing cloud vs. on-premise solutions, the focus is often financial. The discussion revolves around technology, business need, business process, accessibility, reliability, scalability and security. The word trust is not used, but it is the underlying concern. At the core, can the SaaS, Iaas, or PaaS provider be trusted to protect data and guarantee performance.

Interestingly, it is services that we take for granted like email, social media or messaging that provide a context for trust. They all take place in the cloud. They enable communication, collaboration, immediacy - and we trust them. Sure, there are notable, publicly announced breaches. Yet, we access email and social networks from wherever we are. We trust that we can post and share updates. We trust that our business or personal email will find its way to the intended recipient. We quickly connect with friends and family without concern for some random stranger intruding.  

On a larger scale, social media has proven to be a source of great insight for companies. It provides them not only with a channel through which they can connect with their customers, it provides customers with a method for increasing visibility to their needs or concerns. When implemented with thought and care, corporate use of social media has allowed business to enhance their perceived trustworthiness. 

Businesses need to apply that same thought and care to their use of mobile and cloud. These technologies provide for 24x7 access to data and information by employees, partners and customers. This creates demand for the right content at the right time in the right format. The opportunity exists for for business to create deeper customer relationships and greater customer loyalty through the development of apps and services.  And, it's all based on trust.

What's your perspective?