Tim Walters: „Vertrauen fördert Kaufentscheidungen und Loyalität”


Tim Walters ist der Gründer von Zero Theory sowie Vice President und Datenschutzleiter bei der US-amerikanischen Firma The Content Advisory. Davor war er Analyst bei Forrester Research, Software-Vermarkter und Professor an der New York University.

Tim, you will be participating in our Shift/CX event on March 14th. What are the three keywords that we can tag your talk with? 

Privacy, Trust, CX. 

You are addressing the importance of trust for our customer marketing efforts. How well are companies coping with this? 

Everybody, vendors, consultants, practitioners, talk about the need to „address the crisis of trust” and „(re)build trust” with consumers and constituents. Very few, in my experience, take the additional steps of asking what trust is, understanding how (if at all) it is possible to build trust, and measuring respectively monitoring to what extent consumers trust them.

In which corners of the customer’s behaviour are we as a business dependent on the customer’s trust? Isn’t this just an aspect of the customer’s buying decision? 

If you think about the traditional customer buying cycle, trust has typically appeared near the end. Even after the purchase decision, once the product or service has proven its value and the seller's claims have been validated. But we're now operating in a new era of „beg data”, where regulations and consumer demands dictate that you have to get consumers' permission in order to access the personal data that is necessary to fuel competitive CX

That means we have to find ways to „move trust upstream” in the customer lifecycle, from the end to as close as possible to the beginning. The challenge is, how do you encourage and nurture trust such that consumers will happily share personal data at the earliest possible stages of your interaction with them.

Lernpfad Customer Journey Management

In order to achieve the level of trust needed for successful marketing and CX efforts, isn't it enough to aim for a decent standard level of trustworthy business behaviour? 

No, because it's clear that trust drives buying decisions and loyalty. If you aim to be merely on par with the other players in your space, you're passing up a crucial opportunity to differentiate. Conversely, striving to be the most trusted player in your space is one of the most powerful competitive advantages.

What are your recommendations to CX managers to work on a better trust relationship with their customers? 

To oversimplify: When deciding whether or not to trust an individual or a brand, people implicitly pose two questions: 

  1. Do they want to help me? This is the ethical question, e.g., do they have my needs and interests at heart? 
  2. Can they help me? This is the question about competence, e.g., assuming they want to help me, do they have the resources and capabilities to do so? 

A key question for CX managers is then: What can we say and do, how should we act and behave, in order to encourage consumers to answer „Yes”! To these questions as quickly and as confidently as possible?

With what expectations do you participate in the Shift/CX? And: What can we expect?

I've been working in and around CX(M) for nearly twenty years. We, again, I mean practitioners, vendors, analysts, agencies, have made tremendous progress in this time, on many fronts. But I find it humbling that Forrester's annual global CX Index, which measures consumer attitudes about, and satisfaction levels with, the experiences they are offered, shows clearly that we have made little if any progress over the last ten years. This suggests there may be fundamental flaws in how we are understanding or approaching the problem, and I hope to learn more at Shift/CX about what shifts in CX are necessary and possible.

Thanks a lot for your answers, Tim. 


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