In Part 1 of this series we discussed the trust crisis businesses are facing today and how to kick start the development of your trust strategy. As a result, you should now have a view of your starting point, your end goal and the gap you need to close in order to achieve it. Here in Part 2, we will focus on three key plays you must make if you want to make trustworthiness your competitive advantage.
Play 1: Know the Market
Knowing the market is both a macro and micro endeavor. It's about deepening your understanding of the behavioral, regulatory, and technical market drivers in the context of your business. Obtaining this type of deeper understanding requires surveying your contextual landscape in a number of different ways:
The results of these assessments will give you a better view of the market, which can then be used to develop a comprehensive Buy, Build, and Partner strategy.
Play 2: Know Your Customer
Knowing your customer means developing a deep understanding of the situational drivers that motivate people to hire or fire your brand and its propositions. Without knowing what motivates people and when it motivates them, it's very hard to deliver them value. If there's no perception and consistent delivery of value, then trust cannot be earned and sustained.
In order to know your customer, you must start by focusing on defining and better understanding customer jobs. This will enable you to develop a clear view of where you have the potential to fundamentally impact people's lives for the better. These insights will inform everything from marketing to product development. There are many examples of this approach in action. However, a great and well-referenced example of this approach comes from Clayton Christensen's work with the fast food industry which you can read here.
After you have defined your customer jobs, you will need to prioritize the customer jobs you're going to target. This can be based on the importance people place on the job versus the satisfaction they associate with way the job gets things done. You could also decide which customer jobs to target based on strategic growth objectives or specific problems you're trying to solve.
Once you've established your focus, the next step is to delve deeper into the moments that matter most: The moments when someone has a choice about whether or not to change their behavior. This choice to change can be the difference between a new customer and a lost one. Understanding the forces that encourage and inhibit change will enable you to design inherently trustworthy experiences that will make it easier for people to choose to make positive changes. Don't leave this up to chance.
Play 3: Evolve Your Design Practice
Evolving your design practice is all about how you interpret your customer data and often means putting your customers in control of data exchanges. By doing this, you level the playing field and treat your customer as an equal. You give them the ability to seamlessly exercise all of their rights, and dynamically share and un-share their data, all while allowing them a clear view of the positive and negative consequences tied to their sharing activities.
For most companies, this concept will be unchartered territory, without tried and tested best practices to call upon. Therefore, in order to effectively design these types of experiences, you must arm yourself with a fast, effective approach to design that balances the qualitative and quantitative practices your team will already be familiar with.
The first of these practices is something we refer to as Data Trust Experience Mapping. It's a process that gives you the ability to try out a variety of different approaches to data sharing in collaboration with your customers. The insights you generate from this practice will help you frame hypotheses about how a larger group of people might engage, what this might mean for your business, and how you might use these new practices to your advantage.
The next step is to put your hypotheses to the test by conducting Data Trust Experiments. These experiments will give you the opportunity to test your riskiest assumptions early-on, put into practice previous results at a more meaningful scale, and begin to develop some metrics that will support you in measuring how successfully you are earning data trust, giving you access to the customer data require, just when you need it most.
By combining these two practices into short, sharp, focused sprints, your teams will begin evolving their relationships with customer data. When their values, approaches, and considerations evolve, your design output will also evolve. If you do this well, your products and services will be transparent, they'll deliver new and unique value to your customers, and they'll give you the foundation to own the consequences of your actions.
With trust at an all-time low, it presents a new opportunity for brands to competitively differentiate, win new customers, and increase shareholder value. To achieve this, culture, workflows, practices, and outputs all need to be questioned. The result of this targeted effort has the potential to be a radically transparent, value-delivering organization that is completely willing to own the positive or negative consequences of their actions. If you want that organization to be yours, follow these three plays, and watch as trust becomes your competitive advantage.