Innovation evolution and trust ride the fast lane of business growth

Posted6/5/2022 1:00 AM

We live in an era where businesses evolve and innovate at lightning speed.

The pillar of business success remains constant, the power of trust. With the advent of online shopping, pop-up ads, texts, emails and an era of instant gratification and instant purchases, integrity is more important than ever before.


One of my favorite quotes from Zig Ziglar is, "Every sale has five basic obstacles: no need, no money, no hurry, no desire, no trust."

In a market saturated with companies competing for customers, trust gives consumers confidence that they're dealing with an ethical business.

Customers are more likely to do business with people they trust and recommend the companies to others.

The 2021 Edelman Trust Barometer reported a surprising finding. Respondents felt that corporations were the most trusted when comparing the institutions of business, government, media, and nonprofits. Americans believe that companies can be ethical and competent. Perhaps, because more and more companies have put earning customer trust at the forefront.

The internet can be an empowering game-changer for the many consumers willing to invest a little time and do their due diligence before buying.

At the Better Business Bureau, we know how important it is for consumers and businesses to trust us. We are honored that generations of consumers recognize the BBB Seal is the sign of a better business, helping to keep among the top .001% of most trafficked websites globally.

An old expression, "There is nothing more expensive than a cheap haircut," refers to saving a few dollars but not looking your best. As an empowered customer, look for the best prices from the best companies. Paying a little more for a product and working with a good company with a solid reputation to make things right if anything goes wrong is always wise.

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That importance of trust resonates even more with over 31 million small businesses in the United States that often face many competitors. Research shows that trust is a savvy tool to stand out from competitors in so many ways.

Your customers are your livelihood. You might have the best product or service in the world, but without trust, you can't maintain a customer base for very long.

Customer churn is costly, and, as the numbers show, it's about five times less expensive to sell to your existing customers versus continually looking for new customers. Building trust with your clients helps to keep them coming back.

Additionally, increasing customer retention rates by just 5% can increase your profit by 25%-95%, according to research by Fred Reichheld, author of 'Loyalty Rules! How Today's Leaders Build Long-Lasting Relations,' published by the Harvard Business School.


After all, virtually every business has an easy-to-find competitor, and 99.9% of all U.S. businesses are small businesses. If you aren't keeping your customers happy, they'll find someone else who will.

Dissatisfied customers can damage your reputation. Recent studies show that 30% of customers who negatively experience a business will share the story online. Additionally, Inc. reports that 84% of people trust an online review from a respected source as much as a review from a friend. Negative online reviews can hurt your business.

Even if you avoid online scrutiny, your customers don't have to give you a free pass for repeated mistakes. About two-thirds of customers will try a product from a company with a good reputation -- but if they don't come to trust the company itself, they'll stop being a customer.

The good news is trust establishes a real relationship between your customers and your business. Loyal customers will stand by you, promote excellent service and be more likely to stay with you if you have price increases to match inflation. Think of your customers as your brand champions.

I'll wrap with one more Zig Ziglar classic quote: "If people like you, they'll listen to you, but they'll do business with you if they trust you."

• Steve J. Bernas is President and CEO of the Better Business Bureau and can be reached at

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