News this week focused on the erosion of our trust in online platforms like Twitter and Facebook as more than 50% of us believe that as sources of content and news they are unreliable. Interestingly, our respect and trust in more traditional news sources remains strong with 72% of us trusting print magazines more, followed closely by 24-hour news at 69%. (Read more here)

An article in New Scientist on ‘Who can you trust?’ states that in the UK less than 1 in 4 people trust the press. Remarkably though, when we are looking to purchase something new; be it a new holiday, car, book, film – the list goes on; we regularly seek the views and opinions of complete strangers perhaps more so than those people we know. Online opinion, expert reviews, Facebook posts and Instagram photos all influence where we spend our hard-earned cash. The share economy is booming.

These online behaviours have shifted the balance to change who we trust and why and often behaviours which are difficult to interpret and predict – particularly as organisations.

Trust is a human trait essential for our survival. As we evolved from primal life, we quickly understood that more could be achieved through working in groups than alone, therefore we had to trust our neighbours and perhaps even rival tribes to ensure we ate, were safe and survived.

As organisations, how can we begin to make sense of those behaviours? What can we do to ensure our brand is trusted, valued and believed by our customers and perhaps more importantly by our employees. As ambassadors of our brands, we cannot afford to have our service teams have doubt on our intentions and objectives as that could quickly unravel and impact our engagement with customers.

Being true to brand values, keeping promises and having integrity and honesty with your teams and customers are perhaps more traditional values, but ones that have stood the test of time when we think of brands that have lasted through generations and different technology ages. Is trust itself our most valuable product?

These are just some of the issues we’ll be talking about as CCA holds its 23rdAnnual Convention on 15 & 16 November. Trust is a topic that is very rarely far from any agenda related to customer service, but perhaps one that we need to look at through a different lens. Hopefully we will see you there… trust me – it’ll be worth it!