Breaching the Trust Thermocline -

November 2022
  • Thermocline: in large bodies of water, as you descend slowly enough, the temperature drops imperceptibly slowly; then the temperature drops sharply at a certain point.
  • Trust in (online) businesses works the same way, via a trust thermocline; especially businesses which form an emotional relationship between consumer and product.
  • This is the point at which a consumer decides that the mental cost of staying is greater than the desire to abandon.
  • The greater the emotional engagement, the more trust is a communal asset, rather than an individual one. The trust thermocline is breached for groups rather than individuals.
  • The problem is in viewing CX as a linear system.
  • Non-linear system: causes can happen far in advance of their effects.
  • Hysteresis: the dependence of the state of a system on its history
  • Stickiness: as long as trust thermocline is not breached, a consumer will persist in a bad economic or product relationship.
  • Dangerous because there are few ways back once it's been crossed. Substantial financial reserves and long-term lock-in may be the only survival mechanisms for a long period of time, possibly a generation of consumers.
  • Recent examples: Twitter, Netflix, Disney Parks