Technology Increases the Importance of Trust

Technology Increases the Importance of Trust

Trust has become so important, the simple increase in transparency that has come through the tsunami of interconnected social media and other electronic communications capabilities. We’ve never lived in a world quite so exposed. The negative side of transparency is that it represents an ever-escalating threat to personal privacy. But the positive side of transparency is that it makes it much more difficult to mislead, deceive, or cheat others.It’s a cardinal principle of ethics that if something can be transparently exposed to the light of day without causing undue embarrassment then it should probably be considered ethical. However, it’s important to remember that the reverse is not true. Keeping a secret doesn’t necessarily imply anything unethical. People, businesses and governments do have legitimate reasons for keeping secrets, and sometimes secrecy is even enforced by law. If your marketing department, for instance, were to release its confidential pricing plans for a new product, tipping off your competitors, your executives could be jailed for collusion.

One of the hallmarks of any free-market economic system is that price and quality information are conveniently available to all customers. Until recently, however, information about a company’s service reputation, or about the overall customer experience at a firm, was not as conveniently available. Social media and mobile technology have revolutionized this, allowing customers quick and easy access, 24/7, to what other customers are saying about a brand or a business making the process of finding a trusted provider much easier. Other customers’ opinions on all aspects of their relationship with a company are widely available online, and one key part of any company’s overall service reputation has to do with whether customers can expect it to act in a customer’s best interest. Is the firm really trustable?

Trust is probably the single most important ingredient in any human-to-human interaction or relationship, personal or commercial, and as the volume and velocity of these interactions continue to increase with technology, so the importance of trust will continue to increase and in today's world trust is earned as trust is something you can no longer buy or cover, trust has to be earned and maintained within a business. 

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