Building Trust in an Online World

According to the Communications Authority of Kenya, 95% of the population can access and utilize ICT services with internet penetration standing at 43% in January 2020. And when you hear that Kenyan tech startups funding in 2020 was over KES.19 billion, every entrepreneur has one thought. We are here to embrace technology.

We all hear the adage, “tech is the future”. But as the Kenyan pun goes, “kwa ground, vitu ni different” (On the ground, things are different.)

dijITali began its operations in April 2020 when the Covid-19 pandemic struck Kenya. With the country in lockdown, using technology to recruit cyber cafes was the best logical option. We set up our social media and embarked on an aggressive campaign to grow our membership base. After a few strategic meetings and some research, we agreed on our value proposition and messaging.

The targets were set and we were hopeful that we would achieve it. This was definitely ours.

In a matter of days, we realized that we were not converting. Money has been spent, ideas had been borne and hope had brewed only to find that no one cared. Why!!!

Our value proposition was amazing. We want to empower the youth digitally, we want to help them make more money. Who doesn’t want to make more money!!

We realized that the biggest hurdle to our success was 1 thing: TRUST.

Using technology to grow your business makes sense logically: it is cheaper and more efficient. But how do you build trust? The journey to have a membership of 340 plus cyber cafes spread over 40 counties has been an interesting one.

Here are some lessons to all those who would like to embrace technology in their business.

People & Context

In the sales world, there is a saying that “people buy from people.” This could not be further from the truth.

When an organization utilizes technology to reach the consumer, it is easy to rely on your communication materials as a prop. You work tirelessly to get the right graphics, messaging or video and assume that it will do the same job as a human. And you can easily forget to add a human element to it.

When we launched our campaigns, we onboarded several cyber cafes and we talked to them. Yet they kept asking, “who are you?”, “what do you want?” etc

We soon came to realize that many of our potential members who reside outside major towns had one experience in common: they had been conned or heard a story of someone being conned. We had to work around this.

Ask yourself this — As you utilize technology in your business, are you considering the people and the context they are living in?

Speed & Messaging

With the invention of the infinite scroll, organizations have less than 3seconds to make a potential customer stop and read or watch. Facebook, Instagram, Linked In and Twitter all have the infinite scroll.

The infinite scroll is an interface where users scroll down a page and content loads automatically, without the need of clicking to a different page. The effect of this is the users want to see more and more.

According to Psychology Today, “The things that captivate, engross, and entertain us, all have an element of surprise. Our brains can’t get enough of trying to predict what’s next and our dopamine system kicks into high-gear” (August 29th, 2012).

With this in mind, we had to look for ways to make our potential members stop scrolling for a moment and read or watch our content.

Ask yourself this — what is the one message that will appeal to the core of your customer? What will make them stop scrolling?

Rapid Testing

“Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.” — Robert F. Kennedy

Did you know that Amazon spends $42billion on research & development? (Forbes, 2021). If one of the world’s most successful company can spend so much on R&D, how much are you willing to spend?

Most startups operate within tight budgets and sometimes, spending money on rapid testing may seem outrageous. As a startup, survival and growth are important though the former sometimes outweighs the latter. Considering operational costs especially in Kenya, survival is key.

As a leader of a startup, your key to growth lies in rapid testing utilizing a minimal budget. Through rapid testing, an idea can be validated or invalidated. The insights gathered are invaluable.

At dijITali, we believe in the power of rapid testing. We have tested several ideas, many have failed and some have succeeded. And from the failure, we learnt even more. We have gotten insights.

Ask yourself this — how often do you test new ideas?

In conclusion, trust is an innate need for all humans. As you embrace technology, you need to keep in mind your audience. Trust can be built in many ways, find the one that works for you.