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Who do you “trust”?

Collin at RadicalTrust.ca has a good post up about, well, radically trusting your customers. I have another post noodling around in my head regarding community, anonymity, behaviour, etc. but in the meantime, I really am stuck on the “trust” factor as Collin describes it. Granted, I get his point that – Consumers have no reason to trust you – and I for the most part agree. But the conclusion from that – When you open the relationship by trusting your consumer, you may actually earn their trust in return. – opens a slew of questions for me about what consumers/ people actually want from a business. Do they want to trust them as individuals, or in the aggregate? I trust American Airlines that their planes will stay in the air. I trust they have hired qualified mechanics and that the gov’t has systems in place for quality assurance. Do I trust them not to raise airfares, lose my bags, or cut back on flight routes? Not really. And only one of those do I believe is directly within their power to control (the bags). The rest are the results of the competitive business landscape they operate in.


So that leads me to my boat-load of questions…


Would you trust a company? Can you? Do you need to? What is the/your definition of trust? Is it the same way you trust your spouse or parent? Your boss? Your friends? Can you trust an organization, or just the individual people within it?


Can you trust it to always live up to your values? Does it have to? Can a company be all things to all people, as what may make me trust a company may not be what makes you trust them. Where’s your dividing line?


Do you still do business with a company who has broken your trust before? Is there a degree in the trust level?


Who decides and how?

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