April 07, 2022 | Rich Martin

How to build trust in a digital era

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Head of Enterprise Operations & Access, Windstream Enterprise

Rich Martin

Rich is responsible for Enterprise customer care, service assurance, service delivery and carrier relations. He has 25 years of experience leading and managing strategic development, growth, integrations and restructuring.
Summary: In an increasingly virtual world, customers and employees are demanding better experiences, greater security and more agency over their information. What are the best ways to build digital trust?

Trust is a foundational part of any organization’s success, especially as our increasingly digital world brings about new types of complicated challenges—and incredible opportunities. As we navigate through today and tomorrow’s uncertainties and circumstances, trust is always left hanging in the balance.

Building trust is an all-encompassing leadership challenge that requires organizations to address gaps and opportunities to grow and nourish culture and operations—both internally and externally. Moreover, it requires buy-in from everyone.

No matter how much change we are prone to experiencing in this digital age, we know one thing will never change: People expect seamless and secure experiences that foster an environment of trust via communication, transparency and security. In fact, trust is essential to providing unified experiences and keeping customers satisfied. 

Given this is something we at Windstream Enterprise take very seriously, here are five things we believe are crucial to building digital trust with your customers, partners and employees:

1. Communicate clearly

An organization’s online presence—whether web, mobile or social media—says a lot about its values. Clients and prospects can easily spot misspelled words, and broken links, confusing pricing information and hidden contact information can all deter their intentions to conduct business. Good, consistent and authentic communication is essential to winning confidence as it removes doubts, saves the client time and shows that you are serious about providing unrivaled experiences from start to finish.

2. Listen carefully

Genuine and empathetic listening is just as important for effective communication. Opening ears to customers’ or workers’ needs and desires will demonstrate that you care. You can create space for two-way communication by asking clarifying questions, or paraphrasing to ensure that you understand what the other is trying to say. Also look for opportunities to provide feedback on services and solutions—whether that may be with a customer success manager, a contact form or webchat functionality, or a Net Promotor Score (NPS) survey to collect feedback on experiences.

3. Prove it

We all know the saying, “if you’re going to talk the talk, you’ve got to walk the walk.” Matching words with actions is a failproof process that builds trust and earns credibility. Honor your commitments. For example, it’s one thing to say that Windstream Enterprise makes it easier for clients to accelerate success with resilient cloud infrastructures and solutions. To back up our verbal commitments, we provide industry-leading commitments that ensure client satisfaction, locked-in rates, 100% network uptime and free Professional Services when partnering with us—all guaranteed or your money back. 

4. Offer a secure experience

It should come as no surprise that businesses are facing more cyberattacks than ever before, with corporate networks facing 50% more attacks per week in 2021 when compared to 2020. Cybercrime often results in compromised client data, which leads to the erosion of brand trust. 

On a more positive note, organizations are responding to the rise of these threats by pouring greater investments into cybersecurity strategies. PwC’s 2022 Global Digital Trust Insights found that 69% of organizations predict a rise in their cyber spending this year, compared to 55% last year. Many organizations are turning to next-gen security solutions, such as Secure Access Service Edge, to stay ahead. Additionally, it’s important to stay on top of important certifications that apply to specific industries, like PCI Compliance for retail and HIPAA and SOC 2 for healthcare. Investing in security is a great way to show your stakeholders that you are someone they can rely on.

5. Display transparency

Transparency will always be a crucial factor in eliciting trust. It’s all about showing the truth about your organization’s leadership, products, services and so forth. How you display transparency depends on your business. One of the ways Windstream Enterprise achieves transparency is by providing a single pane of glass into clients’ connectivity, security and collaboration solutions via the WE Connect portal. This form of centralized management provides immediate access and total visibility and control into the way clients can manage and optimize their solutions for better business success and results. 

Building digital trust is essential in this modern age. Even IDC states that digital trust is the key economic driver of a digital transformation strategy. With two-way communication, greater transparency and security, and by proving your organization’s values, trust will follow. 

For Windstream Enterprise these five bits of advice aren’t just words we write on a page—they are all real-life ways we work to provide a trusting environment with unrivaled support to our customers and partners. 

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Key takeaway: Trust is a foundational part of any organization’s success. These five tips are essential to building digital trust with your customers, partners and employees.
Head of Enterprise Operations & Access

Rich Martin

Rich is responsible for Enterprise customer care, service assurance, service delivery and carrier relations. He has 25 years of experience leading and managing strategic development, growth, integrations and restructuring.