The essence of trust communication can be demonstrated through this well-known and often undervalued assessment process. In any enterprise, three basic principles guide all planning and strategy discussions: To know where you have been, where you are going, and how you will get there. Despite their modest tone and unsophisticated style, these questions drive an assessment process that generates meaningful insight.
Here, these three questions are applied to the current environment in which all organizations compete. To win the hearts and minds of customers, and to fully engage employees, business leaders must stay keenly aware of the larger trends that shape consumers’ mindsets, defining consumer values and expectations of any product or service.
Assessing the consumer mindset
|Where have we been?||Complete societal breakdown of trust. Most recently, the disintegration of trust dates back to events occurring after Lehman Brothers fell in 2008. Though, it’s fair to look a little further back and include Enron, Tyco, and WorldCom in this assessment.|
|Where are we going?||Restoration of consumer trust.Although many American businesses act with integrity, they are unfortunate victims of the current state of mistrust. Even companies with long histories of trustworthiness can easily arouse suspicion today. The prevailing consumer mindset is one that expects to be disappointed with any service or company, and that sets a high barrier for businesses to overcome.Lack of leadership and decisiveness in Washington, DC only increases uncertainty and fear, which foster mistrust.|
|How will we get there?||Communication. Restoring trust is more difficult than building trust. And, the only mechanism for achieving either of these goals is communication. Just like these three questions, communication is too easily forgotten until it’s desperately needed. When someone notices that fear is seeping in, they reach for that one skill they forgot to sharpen: communication.Here, Goldman Sachs provides a prominent example. The same company that once spared no time for connecting with average consumers now invests heavily in communication. Read more on this story from www.forbes.com.
Trust communication is important today specifically because it solves a critical business problem. Only a few years ago, a crisis of confidence threatened the financial system. Today, it is a crisis of trust that stymies the economy. The only remedy for mistrust is communication.