Trust. It’s the foundation of all relationships, including the business-consumer dynamic. In fact, 83% of customers will enthusiastically recommend a brand they trust to their friends and family. Customer trust not only fosters positive word-of-mouth, but it also builds loyalty (which we’re all about!). Once you’ve spent time building that trust with your consumers, it’s crucial to maintain it. Let’s get into eight of our favorite ways to keep trust alive.
When was the last time you engaged or interacted with a brand you didn’t trust? We’re guessing rarely if ever. And, if you have, you probably didn’t go back for seconds. Consumer trust is what keeps them coming back. Once trust is gained, it directly affects a customer’s lifetime value, and in turn, your company’s revenue.
When a customer is having an issue, their trust hangs in the balance. What you do next can make or break their experience. They may love how you handle it and feel compelled to purchase again, or they may feel slighted and never come back. Your customer care team is on the front lines; they will be the first to know when problems arise.
Going all out when it comes to customer service is not something to shy away from. Providing customers with the support they need proves that you know what you’re doing. Whether it’s a burning question, a concern, or an issue with their order, your team rising to the occasion and doing everything they can to help is one of the most valuable actions to take.
Imagine this: you have a question about an order you made recently, but Customer Care never returns your call. How likely are you to purchase again? Probably not at all. If customers are going to trust you, they have to be able to reach you and know that you’ll see their case through to the end. When customers know they can rely on you, they’ll continue to trust your brand.
Customers continue to value transparency, especially during the consideration period. At this point in the customer journey, consumers are on the lookout for reasons for and against competitors. Be upfront about your products’ capabilities, underpromise, and let customers know exactly what they’re signing up for.
You’ll also want to be open about what you’re planning to do with customer data. While personal data is not a concern for all customers, a large portion of consumers do care what happens to their information. Reassure them you won’t be selling their data to third parties and state clearly how their info will be used.
An important component of transparency is accountability. No business is perfect; issues may arise, and when they do, address them. Sweeping them under the rug makes your brand look like you’re trying to hide something. When you choose to apologize publicly, and even offer the affected customers a discount, you show responsibility for your actions. Chances are your consumers will appreciate it.
What better way to show your customers that you care than to request their feedback? By asking your consumers for their thoughts, you’re accomplishing a few important tasks. Customers complete surveys from brands because they want to be listened to, which builds trust over time. You’re also closing the customer feedback loop, and thus reducing churn rates.
If you do conduct a survey, you can’t just let the results sit in a vacuum. All that information that customers give you can be used to carefully tweak your products and services. When consumers see those changes and realize that their comments actually made a difference, they will continue to feel heard and appreciated. They’ll also be more likely to stick around.
Surveys aren’t the only way to collect feedback from consumers. Reviews and testimonials can go a long way in helping your customers feel connected to your brand. When you encourage them to leave a review, you’re listening to them and are interested in what they need. As long as these testimonials are visible and offer constructive and relevant information, they’ll help to build trust with both new and existing customers.
Consider the brands you support. How many of them take a more personal approach to marketing? Maybe their employees speak from the heart, avoiding templated scripts. Or, maybe they engage with customers like real people, injecting a little humor into their interactions. Elements like these will make your brand appear more human and give your customers a better impression of who you are.
We’re always the first ones to tout the importance of a loyalty program. Existing customers are easier to sell to, after all. When you offer them rewards in exchange for continued purchases, you’re strengthening your relationship with them and showing your appreciation. Your offers can range from birthday discounts and anniversary acknowledgements to insider information and exclusive deals. Just be sure you’re analyzing your results to see what consumers respond best to.
The way you market your brand reflects your products and services. Today’s consumers are smart; they know when you’re using shortcuts, clickbait, and overpromises to drive traffic. Once they sniff that out, you’re likely to lose them. Being honest about your offerings and meeting customer expectations will give you the quality traffic and customer trust you’re after.
While you can give it your all when maintaining customer trust, mistakes do happen. Issues can sometimes fall through the cracks. It may be tough to come back from, but businesses can and will recover. Whether a software bug isn’t fixed by the promised date, or a data breach occurs, missteps need to be acknowledged.
It’s imperative that your business publicly apologizes for the mistake and the harm it caused. You should also be open about how the issues came about, while committing both verbally and through actions to ensure it doesn’t it happen again. This will help you weather the storm, and customers will begin to rebuild their relationship with you.
Maintaining customer trust takes a lot of time, resources, and strategy. At the end of the day, consumers want to feel heard and appreciated. The more you can let them know you value them, the more they will continue to trust you. You’ll be well on your way to a long-term loyal following.