With information coming from every conceivable resource, establishing rapport with your audience is critical. Here’s how to build a trustworthy brand that shows customers you can be trusted every step of the way.
When the world ground to a halt in 2020, information became more valuable (and misinformation more harmful) than ever. Opinions and “facts” came in from every angle, be it social media, news outlets, government officials, or peoples’ personal networks.
This influx of insights from everyone illustrated how integral trust is to the well-being of everybody. No matter the industry, people need to believe that their information resources are unimpeachable and serve their best interest at all times — and right now, the public trusts businesses more than any other major entity. According to the 2021 Edelman Trust Barometer, businesses are the most trusted institutions worldwide at 61%, followed by NGOs (57%), government (53%), and media (51%).
Time and money are precious commodities, and companies require both from customers if they hope to flourish and gain credibility. And while building this trust takes time, the end result establishes the kind of loyalty that can turn one-time shoppers into regular customers. Here’s how:
- Focus on creating a mutually beneficial relationship.
The connection between customer and company doesn’t need to begin and end with a monetary transaction. Value can be a two-way street, so make sure you and the buyer benefit from the exchange. According to Leadrilla CEO and Founder Koby Hastings, leading with service will always engage potential, past, and present customers.
“Keep service at the core of your outreach, and your leads will notice,” Hastings wrote. “In such a media-dominated world, authenticity is hard to come by — and your leads will appreciate that you truly want to be of assistance. Find out their pain points and serve up content that helps answer their questions and makes them feel more educated.”
Customers never forget about value, whether it’s relevant information, savings, or a personalized experience. The more of it you provide, the more invested they’ll feel in you as a company.
- Stake your reputation on providing excellent customer service.
For a business to net positive opportunity costs, there needs to be a comprehensive end-to-end experience. If an encounter left potential or current customers with a negative taste in their mouths, it’s not only a negative opportunity cost occurred, but also a squandered chance at building trust.
So create memorable and individualized experiences whenever possible. It’s a strategy that successful companies worldwide deploy, so why not give it a go? Pet product provider Chewy took this approach when it sent out 1,000 oil paintings a week to its customers at no additional charge. It’s no wonder Chewy added 5 million new customers in 2020, as pet industry consultants built an unforgettable experience that customers had no problem returning to or recommending to their networks.
- Don’t leave your customers’ privacy to chance.
Companies such as Google and Facebook use collected data to target ads toward specific demographics. While most people are against data collection, their information is used to arrange everything into consumable products, websites, and services.
- Open and maintain a post-purchase feedback loop.
The buyer’s journey is all around us. Whether you’re meeting a customer in-store or online, they’re engaging with your brand one way or another. And it would help if you afforded them the opportunity to share that experience and aid in your own growth. Asking for feedback may not change one individual guest’s perception of the buyer’s journey, but it could make a world of difference for future customers.
A feedback tracking system allows you to monitor frequent visitors in various ways. Instead of relying on in-person recognition or other more traditional means, you can look at data that illustrates patterns and behaviors and then use that information to collect more detailed and actionable feedback. If customers see those insights applied constructively, they’ll see that their opinions matter and feel more secure in trusting you with their future business.
Trust will never go out of style when trying to engage customers. With information coming from every conceivable resource, establishing rapport with your audience is critical. Be a trustworthy brand that shows customers it can be trusted every step of the way.
Written by Rhett Power,
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