Author Archives: Admin

Want to Build Trust? Don’t Always Exceed Expectations

expectationsIt seems pretty ironic. If you want to build customer trust, you should not always exceed customer expectations. Common sense would say that if you provide a service and then exceed expectations, the customer will be very impressed and want to come back again and again. But actually the opposite is true. Exceeding expectations breeds mistrust.

How does it work? When you make it a habit to under-promise and over-deliver, you are actually misleading the customer. They’ll see it as something underhanded instead of a great service to them. They may become demanding and even start haggling and bargaining on service or price.

It also raises the customer’s expectations and soon you will be hard-pressed to deliver. You can’t give more than 100%. Many customers instead of showing gratitude for your services will feel entitled, much like Dudley in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone when he threw a fit because he only got 38 birthday presents (in which his mother promises 2 more).

So how do you build trust with your customer? Honesty is the best policy. Tell the truth. Let them know exactly what to expect and then deliver. That is the best way to start a good track record of credibility and reliability.

Want to learn more? Check out this article from Charles Green at Trusted Advisor:


Trust Tip from Trusted Advisor: Trust Takes Time is a Cop Out

Charles H. Green, founder and CEO of Trusted Advisor, has spent years helping businesses develop trust-based relationships with their clients. Early in his career he learned the value of authenticity, focusing on the client, honesty and playing right for the long run. Now he has written several books and spends his time giving keynote addresses, conducting workshops and training sessions and webinars.

Trusted Advisor

photo by Cindy Schultz

In this video, Trust Tip #10: Trust Takes Time is a Cop Out, Charles Green discusses the myth that building trust takes time. Trust is based on four elements: credibility, reliability, intimacy and self-orientation. Reliability is really the only one that takes time to establish. If you build upon the other three values, reliability will take care of itself.  Check out this video and great Trust Tip! Increases Their Conversion With Trust Guard Increases Their Conversion and Sews Up Their Security With Trust Guard

Stacks And Stacks, a homeware e-retailer has recently switched from another provider to Trust Guard for their website security, claiming that Trust Guard is more affordable and accessible.

Ogden, Utah (PRWEB) May 24, 2013

trust guardStacks And Stacks, a homeware e-retailer, both a leader and pioneer in offering products to organize and furnish homes, offices and gardens since 1984, has increased their Website security by switching to Trust Guard. The Richmond, California-based company made the Website security change recently, saying that Trust Guard is more affordable and more accessible than other security programs. Shortly after the switch, Stacks And Stacks was surprised to learn they had two previously undetected vulnerabilities, which have since been fixed. They are more confident than ever that they made the right choice for both their business needs and their customer’s safety and security. is a company that puts customers first. Being able to offer them the best selection at the best price fits right in with giving them a secure place to shop and feel safe. We couldn’t be happier with our choice to use Trust Guard to fill that requirement. We ran an AB test with Trust Guard against their current Security provider using a 3rd Party Testing Company. Trust Guard beat this provider by 12.2% and at a fraction of the cost! It just affirms for us that we are giving our customers the confidence they need in order to purchase from us.” Cathy McManus, Marketing Director,

The proof is in the third-party testing according to Christopher Johnson Vice President, Business Development, “As a certified partner of Trust Guard we ran our experiment on more than 55,000 visitors to The only difference in the pages we tested were the security seals. The Trust Guard seal boosted conversion rate by an amazing 12.2%!  Switching to Trust Guard has been  a resounding success for”

Trust Guard, a Website Security, Privacy, and Business Verification Seals expert, were not surprised to have found vulnerabilities that seemed to have been overlooked by the previous provider. According to Trust Guard, all vulnerabilities are dangerous to e-retailers, since Website security can easily make or break a business. The world has seen many companies in the past few years left bankrupt after word spread of a breach.

Cresta Pillsbury, CMO for Trust Guard said, “I cannot begin to emphasize how absolutely critical security is to the continued growth of the company. When came to us and we ran our initial scan we found two medium vulnerabilities that should have been detected by their current provider. They were easily fixed, but the fact that they were not detected should give e-tailers a rise for concern. We’ve just seen too many merchants come over to us from other security providers and we have been able to uncover serious security holes at companies that were absolutely convinced they were secure. Not only do we help e-commerce merchants get secure and remain secure, Trust Guard is a win-win for the merchant because it delivers an ROI that is extremely difficult to obtain from other security or Website optimization services.”

Stacks And Stacks hopes that by maintaining a high security standard they are adequately portraying their core values to customers. It is important for them to be honest and fair, with a high standard of integrity, innovative, flexible and customer focused. They always want their customers to know that they come first.

Ethical business: companies need to earn our trust

ethical business

photo by Leigh Blackall

Tim Melville-Ross recently wrote an article in Guardian Professional about ethical business. He said that it was not enough for businesses to say that they are ethical, they need to show it by upholding ethical values and standards. It used to be that telling customers you were trustworthy was enough, then they wanted you to show them, but that is not enough anymore. Now stakeholders want businesses to prove that they have embedded ethical values into their company.

Click here to read more about how businesses can prove that they are trustworthy:

Tip of the Week: Self-Orientation and Trust Go Hand in Hand

Have you ever been in an interview or a meeting with an employer and felt like you were the most important person in the room? You felt valued and heard. Your opinion mattered and you were part of the team. Chances are, your employer had low self-orientation because he or she focused on you and your needs.


photo by o5com

Have you ever had to address an audience and felt your heartbeat rise or your hands begin to tremble? Were you worried about how your presentation would come off? Would people like it or “boo” you out of the building? At that moment in time, you self-orientation was rather high because you were focused on yourself.

Having a high self-orientation does not necessarily mean that you are selfish, but it does mean that you’re going to have difficulty really knowing your clients’ fears, desires, motivations and needs because your mind is littered with self-conscious thoughts.

When you are meeting with a client and focused on yourself, even if it’s just in making sure that you are doing everything “right”, it will be a challenge to understand the needs of your client. People can sense when you’re attention is focused elsewhere and it will affect their trust in you.

I admire those that can go out and be themselves without worrying how others will perceive them. They are outgoing and focused on the person they are speaking with instead of their own insecurities.

In order to be client focused it is important to get past self-doubt and really try to see the client for who they are and what they need. Some people naturally have a low self-orientation while others may need some practice.

Tips to having low self-orientation:

  • Get to know people as individuals
  • Practice good listening skills
  • Find opportunities for informal conversations
  • Connect actions to your words
  • Realize the value of others’ opinions
  • Take Personal Risks

How to Make Friends and Build Trust with a Simple Handshake

handshakeIn a previous post I wrote about the importance of body language in building trust. I found this great video on youtube, featuring Mark Bowden in a business keynote address about trust. He give tips on how a simple handshake can instantly help you build trust and make friendships. But just shaking someone’s hand is not enough. There is a right way and a wrong way to shake a hand–the right way will build trust and the wrong way…well, it just feels wrong. Mark Bowden presents his information in a fun and humorous way.

Check it out:

Governments Are Increasingly Censoring the Internet

censoring the internetTransparency is always important when it comes to building trust. For the past 4 years transparency advocate groups have praised Google for reporting when world governments ask for a certain websites to be taken down or blocked. While these reports may be beneficial, they are often difficult and boring to read. Designer Sebastian Sadowski created a visualization chart that made it easy to read and compare Google’s transparency reports for different countries. The results of the charts show that governments worldwide are censoring the Internet more than in previous years.

Click the link below to see the charts and read the detailed article by Betsy Isaacson from the Huffington Post:

Survey: 98% of Americans Don’t Trust the Internet

trust the internetErica Ho discusses a study that was conducted by Harris Interactive in her article, ‘Almost Everyone Doesn’t Trust the Internet’. According to this study, almost everyone has something that they discredit about the internet. Out of 1,900 Americans surveyed, 94% worried about bad things happening online while 54% didn’t trust the information they read. 53% believed that what they read was self-promotional.

Read more about this study: