This article was co-authored with Russ Brooks. https://www.tildensst.com/who-we-are/profile-brooks/
There is an old saying – “All things being equal, people prefer to do business with people they know, like and trust. All things being unequal, people prefer to do business with people they know, like and trust”.
Ask any salesperson and she or he will tell you the key consideration in business development is always TRUST. The central question here is: Can you build trust with a machine?
Two trends of the last two years have changed relationships between businesses and their customers. The first is the pandemic, which caused customers to alternately be locked out or discouraged from making in-person visits. The second trend is the introduction of artificial intelligence as a primary interface between businesses and their customers or clients. Initially, the use of AI was a part of ongoing “innovation”. But AI has evolved into a rescue tool to maintain service levels with customers in the face of pandemic lockdowns and staff reductions.
With a new normal emerging, there are real risks for businesses in rebuilding trusting relationships with their clients.
The question posed in the title is, How Do You Build Trust with a Machine? The simple answer is you cannot. The reality is humans are highly social creatures and anything that interrupts building interpersonal relationships and the trust they can foster will have a negative impact on the business. It is only a matter of time before human beings determine that Artificial Intelligences is, well, artificial. Even chatbots will be detected as annoying machines pretending to be human.
Pity the business that that is enamored by AI as a shiny solution and relies on it to build relationships. Instead, to succeed, indeed flourish, leaders need to address these three strategic questions:
1) Who are the customers who want and need interpersonal interactions?
2) How do we build trust when AI is unable to handle complex situations?
3) What training initiatives are required for existing and new customer-facing staff to ensure that trust is reinforced and strengthened?
We can help you answer these questions.