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Trust is a tricky business. Creating it is a slow, delicate process, yet losing it takes only seconds, leaving customers with a sour taste and our sales margin worse for wear.

Don’t take just my word for it. Last year, we spoke to 50 qualified, predominantly C-level, decision makers from channel partner organisations that provide managed services throughout Europe and discovered that, despite the increasing use of managed services, adoption still leaves a lot to be desired — with lack of trust in providers being the biggest obstacle in the way.

Of the 13 percent that didn’t use managed services, almost all (83 percent) put their reluctance down to a lack of trust for the third-parties that would be handling their sensitive data. Clearly there is a lot to be done when it comes to showcasing transparency and building that all important end user trust. How do we create a human-first brand that businesses are proud to call a partner?

Those channel organisations offering managed services may get a kick out of acronyms, synonyms, and all the ‘as-a-service’s you can shake a stick at, but we’d be mistaken to believe that everyone has love for such niche technicalities. Think about your business customers. They’re not concerned with the technical features, bundle options, and marketing jargon. They don’t need or want to understand this perceived voodoo magic.

Ultimately, all a customer wants is for your X to solve their Y, ideally in an easy, accessible, and honest way. Be forthcoming with how you can help, without beating around the bush. The trust won’t be far behind.

The next step: delivering it

Jumping through hoops and taking a ‘say yes and worry later’ approach may win over customers in the first instance, but whatever trust that creates will quickly disappear if you can’t walk the walk. If you want customers to trust you, you must first trust yourself to provide the best service you possibly can; nothing less, nothing more. With this open and honest approach, expectations are firmly in check, trust is created, and any ‘above and beyond’ work from yourself will only strengthen your customer relationship.

This trust-building directly reflects your brand. Thanks to social media, today’s hyper connected consumers are increasingly conscientious of the brands they engage with — and the same is true in a business to business relationship. Regardless of whether you offer the most impenetrable firewall the world has ever seen, if your business doesn’t wear its core values on its sleeve, you’ll eventually lose customers to a business that does.

Businesses that are winning the hearts of their customers aren’t doing so by their offering alone. They’re letting their values shine through everything they do and engaging with customers on an emotional level in the process. It’s no wonder that those who feel emotionally connected to a brand are far more likely to recommend them (71 percent), compared to those in other circumstances (45 percent).

This may all sound daunting, but the great thing about trust is that, regardless of your product offering, team size or competition, it’s a basic human element we can all start leveraging today. Channel businesses looking to prove themselves as trustworthy partners must make sure to inject that much needed humanity and transparency into their customer relationships. Take care of this, and the sales will take care of themselves.

Photo: Love the wind / Shutterstock

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Jason Howells

Posted by Jason Howells

Jason Howells is the EMEA Sales Director for Barracuda MSP. Email Jason at: or connect with him on LinkedIn (

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