Chris Brogan interview on Trust and Being Human on the Web
Updated on July 8th, 2013
Chris Brogan is a social media personality who needs no introduction.
Chris has been an aspirational contact of mine for years and whilst we’ve connected online a few times, I was thrilled when he agreed to meet up with me for an interview in Boston (well, the Newburyport area to be precise) on my recent trip. Here’s what we discussed:
Here’s the transcript:
<Start of interview>
Adam Franklin: Hi it’s Adam Franklin here in Boston and we’re lucky enough to be here with Chris Brogan, the author of Trust Agents. Thanks for meeting up with us today Chris.
Chris Brogan: Sure.
Adam Franklin: Now, there’s two words that I associate with you Chris. One of them is TRUST and the other is HUMAN. Would you be able to talk to us a little bit about trust and the importance of being human?
Chris Brogan: Sure I mean one of the biggest things is that when we started getting online we thought we’re afraid of, or missing the human part, because we’re touching this box, this computer we’re not feeling like there’s people on the other side of it, so we lose some of those elements that have to really think about.
With regards to this, we need to think about: ‘how do we make a relationship when we’re at a distant, how do we show people we care, how do we communicate that we have good intentions, how do we show are we who we say we are? These are the things that are required for people to understand how to do business with us digitally. And it’s not things we’re thinking about, we’re saying well we have a website, people know who we are, and calling that good.
With TRUST: the whole banking problems that happened everywhere was a trust meets human issue because that we trust wouldn’t give us those kinds of loans that would cause all those housing issues. If you’re believing that we want a relationship with our customer, we would never put them in a spot where they would not be able to pay us ever.
So with trust, now what we’re trying to do to establish trust is show people everything, the good and the bad. One of the things most people do wrong on the web is they only show the positives – they’ll never show a negative comment. For example, in surveys when people see a website with reviews or ratings on it, and if all the ratings are positive, then 70% of people will say “there’s something wrong with this page, I just can’t put my finger on it.” So they feel it even if they dont know why.
We know to look for this now – we know that there’s issues. So with trust one of the other things is that organisations really need top work to acknowledge when something goes wrong. Apologise and then move on. Really more often than not what the people want when something like that happens is acknowledgement that it happened and just say I’m sorry that it happened and just do what’s going to happen next.
Adam Franklin: So basic human manners just applied in the digital world online.
Chris Brogan: The simplest ones Adam, but they’re simplest but hardest because most people are saying that’s not pushing my new product I need to sell. That’s not helping me sell a thing. “Be human? How’s that making me any money?”
You know we don’t buy from robots, we buy from people we like, especially as the cost of a product changes or the complexity of the product, so I’m really translating what people actually do across from each other on a desk into the web, and that’s what I understand you do as well?
Adam Franklin: Yeah. And it’s ironic that the more human you can be, for these organisations that don’t quite embrace being human on the web, if they were more human they’d actually be selling more.
Chris Brogan: I think they would. I think that opportunities abound because your customers are already on the web. People say that to me often ‘my customers not even there yet, why should I be there?’ They are there. They’re just not there for you yet because you’ve not given them a phone to ring. You know, Marcel LeBrun from Radian6 which is a listening software , he says the social phone is ringing but are you answering. The minute your customer calls out for you on the web, if you are there to pick up there’s opportunity!
Adam Franklin: That’s fantastic, thanks so much for sharing that Chris. And where can people go to find out more about you?
Chris Brogan: bluewiremedia.com.au
Adam Franklin: [laughing] Thank you, that’s great!
<End of interview>
Chris, thanks for being as generous, helpful and human in real life as you are online! Much appreciated.