The Art of Building Trust in CX Research

Vaishali Dialani - Senior Customer Experience Strategist

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The Art of Building Trust in CX Research

In my time working in the customer experience landscape, I've often faced challenges, not just from the external world, but from within organizations themselves. There's a nuanced element of human psychology that plays out vividly here – the hesitance to open up, to share information, especially when one perceives it as their 'territory'.

Why Open Doors Sometimes Remain Shut

We've all been there, haven't we? You approach a colleague or a stakeholder for insights, and you're met with a guarded demeanour. It's not about the unwillingness to help; often, it's about trust. The individual might be protective of the knowledge they possess, viewing it as their unique value proposition. The question then is, how does one navigate this?

More Than Just an Interviewer

One of the key realizations I've had over the years is that when you approach someone purely as a data source, the dynamics change. People aren't just reservoirs of information waiting to be tapped into; they're human beings, each with their own narratives, fears, and aspirations.

As I always emphasize, the trick isn't to view someone as a mere 'target.' Instead, treat them as a friend. This simple shift in perspective makes all the difference. The empathy you offer can lead to a deeper understanding of their responses and motivations, enabling you to ask more insightful questions and interpret their answers more effectively. Moreover, creating a comfortable environment leads to a natural flow of conversation, making it easier for the interviewees to express themselves and share insights that they might otherwise withhold.

Embracing Vulnerability: A Two-Way Street

It's a bit counterintuitive, isn't it? In a professional setting, we're often taught to be assertive and to put on an armor of confidence. But when it comes to gaining trust, I've found that letting down one's guard and showing a bit of vulnerability, makes the other person feel safer. It signals that you're genuine, that you're there to listen, and not just extract. Embracing vulnerability encourages reflexivity, which is the practice of reflecting on your own role and impact in the research process. This self-awareness can lead to more thoughtful and meaningful research design and interpretation.

Over the past six years, the key takeaway from my research and interviews has been the importance of openness. It's not about having a set script or a list of questions. Instead, it's about creating a space where the person opposite you feels comfortable. And that's why my interviews are conversational. They're peppered with chit-chat, laughter, and sometimes, profound insights hidden amidst casual banter.

Concluding Thoughts

The world of CX and research is vast, but at its core, it's about understanding human emotions and motivations through every interaction. Building trust isn't an overnight process. It requires patience, empathy, and the ability to be truly present in the moment. By being open and vulnerable, we pave the way for more meaningful connections and deeper insights, which are invaluable in crafting a holistic CX strategy.

We Are Here to Help!

Navigating the intricate terrains of Customer Experience might sometimes feel overwhelming. Remember, you're not alone on this journey. At Konabos, we deeply believe in empowering and guiding businesses towards creating unforgettable experiences. Let's collaborate and craft the perfect CX strategy, tailored just for you. Success is a path we'll walk together.

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Vaishali Dialani

With over 8 years of experience as a data-savvy experience designer, research specialist, and strategic change-maker, she passionately advocates for integrating emotions and efficiency through customer experience research, product insights, and communications.

Recognized as a CXPA Emerging leader, CX Leader of The Year 2023 Finalist, and ranked among the top 11 CXMStars worldwide, she believes in the power of knowledge sharing to foster growth and awareness within the CX community.

Vaishali’s commitment to knowledge sharing extends to podcasts, blogs, guest lectures, speaking engagements, and training programs. Simultaneously, conducting leadership training workshops for low-literacy level professionals, making a positive impact through collaborative efforts across diverse spheres.

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