A number of factors come into play, from consistency in messaging to effectively dealing with mistakes when they occur, in order to build trust with customers.
Building trust and maintaining it over the long term takes a lot of time, energy, and effort. This doesn’t mean that building trust with your customers is impossible – far from it!
Read on for the best ways to build trust with your customers for better relationships and ultimately a more successful business.
Treat Security as Paramount
Would you trust an online store without a security certificate? How about an online store with an amateurish or unprofessional-looking website?
In today’s world, good security is not only essential to keep you and your customers safe, but also to show your clients that your business is professional, reliable, and trustworthy. Always be security-conscious in how you deal with your customers’ private information.
Even if your website does not deal with sensitive data, ensure that your customers can safely browse your site thanks to certified security.
Cybersecurity threats are very real, and they are increasing all the time. Ensure the policy of safe card payments is in place.
Promise Low and Deliver High
Consumer trust in brands is probably at an all-time low, with customers sick of business making promises that they cannot deliver.
To counteract this, do not promise beyond what you can deliver. For example, Amazon promises a return in 10 days policy on almost all of its products.
The company almost always fulfills this promise and also replaces the product that the consumer does not like. The product delivery time on the site very often says five days for delivery but you end up receiving the package in a day or two itself. This leaves no scope for reproach in the minds of the consumers.
Be Personal in your Approach
As you may expect, personalizing your customers’ experiences can be a tricky area.
Clients will often appreciate a rapid but generic response, but there are times when a more personal approach is needed. It is important that you see every client as an integral human being, with heart, mind, and spirit, and treat them accordingly.
Treating your customers to a genuinely human approach when it comes to marketing and customer service will make you stand out from your competitors and gain their trust.
From the professional tone of agents who answer the phone to the agility of the sales team, everything must be done with the utmost care.
Presence Builds Trust
Don’t let your brand appear inaccessible. In a modern world where people demand instant information, any ambiguous or missing data will damage your customer’s confidence.
Customer trust is built through the presence and transparent, quality communication, regardless of where your customer is located. You should develop a rich online presence, including social media, online networks, business registries, and SACs.
These are not only useful tools to engage with your audience and reach potential customers, but a healthy online presence helps to reassure your customers and potential customers that you are a reliable and professional business.
This, in turn, will establish trust in your company. Keeping multiple communication channels open is important, but above all, you need to ensure that everyone sends the same message.
Your sales representative, for example, cannot contradict your social media manager.
Everyone must be clear and consistent in order to not undermine the trust that your clients have in your brand.
Demonstrate Your Credibility
Every customer looks for evidence to demonstrate the quality of the product or service you offer before they will trust in it enough to make a purchase.
You should be proactive in demonstrating this to your audience, for example, with a portfolio of past work and the number of previous clients, preferably with the names of well-known previous and current clients.
Testimonials and reviews are also extremely useful to demonstrate your credibility.
Consciously Practise Transparency
Ensure that you share the most minute details of the work with your consumer.
Once an impression is created that everything you say is gospel truth, the tendency to double-check on your words or your work will reduce dramatically.
Consumers will be likely to trust you more and forgive you in case of any mishaps with the work, as they will completely trust your competency and reliability to do the work in the first place.
You should be prepared to face a scenario where a person or two refuses to engage your services or buy your product because of your transparency regarding the product.
Show Your Customers That You Care
All your policies, as well as products and services, must be aimed at making the customer feel like the king.
You can show them you care by asking for their rating or feedback, which means that what they think of you is important to you. It shows that you value their opinion.
You can also show customized search results with products and services you think will be more attuned to the consumer’s liking.
You can also use emails or notifications to inform your customers about new products on your website – the ones you think will interest them, or notify them when you have sales, or selling goods that they have placed on their wish list at reduced prices.
All these policies and activities will make the consumer’s job easier, and help them to shop better. They will also create the impression that everything you do is with the intent of meeting their demands.
Amazon and Flipkart follow almost all of the above policies in order to build strong and reliable relationships with their consumers.
Put Genuine Customer Reviews For Public Viewing
No matter how much customers trust the brand, they will tend to rely more on the words of other consumers. So make sure that you put genuine and a hundred percent authentic review or feedback given by a consumer for a certain product or service by you.
Do not hesitate to put up the bad reviews also, as these create an impression of transparency for the consumer. If the consumer sees positive and glowing feedback for all products and services provided by you, then even they will find it fishy and start to dig deeper, thereby creating mistrust in the relationship.
If you want them to go by what you say, you need to keep them informed of your progress, be it good or bad.
You can also ensure that after a customer puts up a bad review, you address the complaint by ensuring their satisfaction.
This will motivate the customer to write a glowing review of how the problem was handled and increase faith and reliance on you, as well as spread a good word for you to other consumers.
Give Them A Reason To Choose You
Why should the customer buy products from you when they can buy the same quality product at the same price, and maybe the same level of service from another brand?
Make them want to shop from you by pressing the unique selling points, not of the product, but of dealing with you. Make sure there is something in it for them because common sense dictates that they will make you their preference only if they see something to gain from it.
Amazon created the position of Amazon Prime for its customers, where on paying a minimal fee for membership, you are offered perks like free delivery at a faster speed than normal members.
These are reasons for the customer to become a Prime member because he sees that the value he will save, be it in factors like time or money, is a lot more than the nominal sum paid for the registration.
Only then will he be tempted to choose you.
Create A Name For Yourself
Ensure that when your customers hear who you are, all they associate with you is reliability and excellent customer service.
Be it by word of mouth, or authentic five-star reviews, or simply more customers shopping from your site, ensure that people have positive associations with your name because of your policies, as well as actions.
For example, when a product’s delivery is guaranteed by Amazon, people will tend to go for it without a second thought.
This is because they know that nine times out of ten, they can rely on Amazon for safe product delivery.
Final Thoughts: Brand-Customer Relationships
Building strong relationships with your customers based on a solid foundation of trust takes time and effort.
It involves laying the groundwork to establish your brand’s credibility, for example, through developing a strong online presence. Gaining your client’s trust takes consistency, and it takes time.
And during that time, your brand and your products or services must remain consistent. Being consistent in all aspects makes your branding stronger.
To be consistent and have a strong brand, it is necessary, in addition to good practices, the awareness that trust is a result, not a goal.
Your customer’s trust, once broken, is extremely difficult to regain, so maintaining their trust should be one of your top priorities.