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Trust in the Blink of an Eye


We consumers are clever people - we are programmed to make trust decisions in the blink of an eye. This, of course, is why the ‘first impressions’  adage has so much truth in it. New research just published by New York University ( ) has implications for business and particularly marketing. An immediate decision to trust has obvious benefits in retail and commerce and all relationships. 

Conversely, once distrust is established in the mind, it takes a big effort to recover and a potential or existing customer is gone. The research focuses on recognition of facial cues but, it also applies to our immediate calculations about the tone of a voice, words uttered, a handshake, the words in an advert, the look of a website, a customer process and so on. The opportunity is there and gone in a blink - so how do successful businesses and business people maximise that moment? Particularly, how do those that find themselves distrusted, maximise this knowledge. 

It takes more than a change at the top, rhetoric and piecemeal decisions. Trust drivers need to be built in to every stage of business planning and delivery. 

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Image credit to Chris McClanahan.


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