How trust helps us take the leap into technology’s new realms 

Cast your mind back ten years or so, to the first time you digitally signed a document. You may have used Docusign (we hope you did!) or some other platform, and you were no doubt thinking, “Is this legit?” 

Every time we do something new – whether it’s using eSignature for the first time or buying an NFT – trust helps us move from the known to the unknown with confidence. And, when it comes to new technologies that we might not understand, trust is imperative. 

To explore this big issue around trust and technology, we recently hosted world-renowned trust expert Rachel Botsman. Among other things, Rachel discussed how we, as humans, are constantly taking trust leaps – and what it means for business. 

You can watch our webinar, The Business of Trust, on-demand, catch up on our recap of Rachel’s four traits in the science of trustworthiness, or read on to learn about taking the trust leap.

Taking the trust leap

To kick off the conversation about trust leaps in the webinar, Docusign’s Dan Bognar brought up the example of how our own eSignature platform is evolving to embrace artificial intelligence (AI), saying, “The pandemic meant that orgniasations have had to place even more trust in the digital signature, largely out of necessity. As Docusign evolves its technology, we’re going to embed AI into the agreement process, and the need to trust the technology will increase.”

Indeed, AI is a great example of a next-gen technology that many businesses – and, indeed, many consumers – are being asked to put their trust in. When it comes to the agreement process, AI will make life easier for people who are signing complex contracts – helping with everything from identifying clauses that need attention, to scanning the document for inconsistencies in the terms of agreement. 

Yet people need to trust in the process. As Rachel explained, using AI in agreements requires Docusign’s customers to take another trust leap. They already took the leap with eSignatures, so how can we now earn our customers’ trust for this new, AI-driven behaviour? How can we deepen an existing trusted relationship and ask them to take another leap?

Rachel suggests treading carefully. “Technology companies can underestimate how high and how far they are asking a customer to leap,” said Rachel. “They’ve been working on the technology for years, and can clearly see the benefits. But all the customer sees is a new way of doing something.”

Encouraging customers to take that next trust leap is an iterative process, and it’s all about helping people retain a sense of control over the situation. “As technology becomes more sophisticated, you’re asking people to interact in more powerful and deeper ways, which requires more trust,” she said.

Being mindful of what you’re asking people to do, and how far into the unknown you’re asking them to go, is a great first step in helping them bridge the gap and put their trust in your new technology. Helping customers understand why the new technology has been introduced, and acknowledging their uncertainties, can also help. 

Final thoughts on trust 

Rachel concluded the webinar with some final thoughts about trust. One observation really stood out. “We need to see more humility in leaders and organisations.  Once you’ve established yourself as capable, it’s OK to say you don’t know the answer to something. This ability to say ‘I don’t know’ is rocket fuel for trust.” 


Like this idea? We certainly do! To discover more of Rachel’s insights, watch the webinar now

Related Topics