Gartner has published a paper on the need for chief information officers (CIOs) to build stakeholder confidence. It focused on strategies required to develop trust, without which the success of an enterprise’s digital business transformation inevitably falls short.
In essence, that paper calls for a reset of how and what CIOs are trusted for. That reset button has, arguably, moved up the ladder to become a business imperative in our highly volatile, chaotic world today.
The Root of Trust
Financial services firms must clarify what they mean when they talk about trust. Traditional wisdom suggests it implies reciprocal behaviour, where customers give back what they receive. We are told it comes from understanding a customer's needs, respecting them, and being able to offer them access to a product or service that is relevant to those needs.
We live in the “Age of the Customer,” when trust has becomes essential to build brand loyalty. Every interaction between a financial services firm and its customer influences whether that customer will return or not. Customers have higher expectations than ever before when it comes to the level of competence and service ability from the advisors and bankers they interact with.
Key Factors That Influence Customer Trust
Several factors are necessary for a financial services firm to focus on building trust. Stability has a direct impact on how a brand or product is perceived. Customers depend on a firm and its offering to be there when they need it. Continued innovation also greatly influences the relationship between advisors / bankers and clients, as clients want reassurance that the services they are paying for are continually improving for their benefit Finally, vision informs a firm's digital transformation efforts and influences strategy with the ultimate aim of revenue growth through meeting customers’ needs now and in the future.
According to Gartner, there are clear signs that indicate low trust, such as:
- Instructions regularly documented into strict policies.
- An increase in micromanagement.
- Blaming technology for things going wrong.
- Restricting access to executive leadership.
- Limiting CIO participation in high-profile projects.
The reset of trust that Gartner advocates for is based upon a belief that firms are not giving the cost-benefit analysis of trust the importance it deserves. Trust is often based upon past experiences, biases, and systematic errors in judgment, which is at odds with the current skills and competencies required for digital transformation initiatives to succeed. In other words, trust most be forward-looking.
Trust Is Now a Business Imperative
According to Gartner, there is a co-relation between high-trust relationships and successful digital transformations. Both call for greater innovation, along with an emphasis on openness and inter-department and inter-enterprise collaboration. It is also imperative to try new ideas and accept failure. Trust demands taking calculated risks.
Customer influence and control should be built into customer-facing systems, as doing so creates and sustains trust between financial services firms and their customers. Firms must also understand that trust cannot be built overnight and requires investments not only in technology but in how advisors and bankers are trained to interact with customers. It is only when trustworthiness is exemplified in all interactions that a firm can claim success in its digital transformation efforts and, eventually, business goals.
NexJ continues to build products, services, and enhanced client engagement tools that benefit how advisors interact with customers … and build trust in the process. Our Inform product, part of NexJ’s Nudge-AI Suite, is one example that enables advisors to engage more effectively with their clients by using content tailored to their clients’ specific interests. By doing this, it helps them deliver value-added experiences throughout the client lifecycle. To find out more about how we can further your digital transformation initiatives and help you build trust, contact us today.