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Forbes: The Critical Role of Trust and How to Get There

Long ago, well before the advent of high-speed internet and smartphones, and prior to terms like 5G and hyper-connectivity entering the cultural lexicon, trust was a relatively straightforward concept. Back then, we were perfectly content relying on “good old fashioned” values like credibility, dependability and sincerity to establish trust—and why wouldn’t we? It’s what we knew! Times, of course, have changed considerably since the dawn of the digital age, in many ways for the better.

However, when it comes to creating a foundation of trust between corporations and customers, the results have been less favorable, particularly when traditional voice telephone calls are used as the primary method for engagement. Still, trust remains pivotal to ensuring business success in the ultra-connected world in which we’re living, and it’s imperative that companies forge a path toward regaining it. Let’s examine what this erosion of public trust looks like and what steps might be taken for it to be re-established.

Answer the Call, Please!

Thanks to the work of hackers, identity thieves and other nefarious actors, verifying a caller’s identity these days simply isn’t that easy.  In parallel, the advent of robocalling and technical developments have made mass marketing on a national scale a very affordable option for unscrupulous companies who may or may not have a legitimate business.  As a result, the majority of Americans don’t even answer calls from unknown phone numbers, according to a study conducted by the Pew Research Center. This may not seem all that surprising on the surface, given the widespread availability of voicemail and caller-ID technology on virtually every smartphone. Yet, when compared to the days when people generally assumed incoming calls came attached to a legitimate purpose, the findings of this research indicate a noticeable decline in trust, which can spell disaster for businesses relying on telephone calls to engage with customers.

Simply put, the need to reach customers hasn't changed, but it is becoming increasingly more difficult to do so. And if a company can’t engage with its customers, it can’t provide service, offer additional products and services or generate new business—adversely impacting its bottom line and tarnishing its brand image in the process.

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