Strong branding is a necessary attribute in order to optimize your company’s sales and resonate with your audience. But, building customer trust is one of the most crucial components of branding that you need to focus on in 2020.
It can seem difficult, though, to decide on the best way to go about it.
Let’s take a look at everything you need to know about building trust with your customers.
1. Prioritize Security
A company that proves to have an insufficient level of security will likely never be fully trusted by its customers. This is especially true for businesses that collect sensitive information, like bank info or social security numbers.
A notable example is the 2017 Equifax data breach that resulted in nearly 150 million people having their personal information compromised. To make matters worse for the company, they were ordered to pay nearly $500 million in settlements to those affected.
So, it’s essential you place a heavy emphasis on security. This means constantly updating your machines’ software, using trusted payment options for online transactions, etc.
You should also convey to your audience the security measures you take. Otherwise, they may not be able to know on their own.
2. Be Transparent
Unsurprisingly, honesty goes a long way when it comes to building customer trust. Some companies, though, are only truly honest during certain scenarios.
For example, a brand may be honest about its origins and backstory, but the sales copy on the company’s website could be highly misleading. The inverse is true, as well — some companies are dishonest about how they got started in order to better relate to their audience.
But, you can avoid any potential complications by being as honest as possible from the beginning. This includes avoiding exaggerated claims, providing as much detail as possible about how your services work, etc.
Your return policy, for instance, may not cover items that have been used after they were received. Rather than inform customers of this fact after they attempt to return something, display it on your sales pages so that it’s readily apparent.
3. Incorporate Thorough Customer Service
One of the keys to running a successful business is something that many professionals often forget — everyone loves to make purchases, but nobody wants to be ‘sold’ something.
If your CS department doesn’t involve making each buyer feel unique, you’re missing a large opportunity to build trust with your customers.
When people feel like just another sales number, they’re not likely to resonate with your brand. This could even lead them to prefer a company that has an inferior product/service but is more accommodating.
Showing your audience that you care about their satisfaction (and that you’re grateful for their business) is perhaps the single best way to build customer trust and loyalty.
Strategies you can incorporate include:
- Sending email follow-ups after purchases are made
- Prioritizing issues that customers may have
- Communicating with customers in a person-to-person manner as opposed to business-to-consumer
Amazon, for example, is renowned for its exemplary customer service. Although the company spends more money to deal with things like returns, customer dissatisfaction, etc., this tactic ends up generating more business in the long run.
4. Encourage Customer Reviews + Listen to Feedback
Many of your customers may have an opinion of your brand that they’d like to voice. But, they often won’t in most cases unless given the opportunity to.
Encouraging customer feedback, though, will provide your audience with an incentive to declare the attributes of your brand that they enjoy and mention others they feel need improvement.
A simple way to incorporate this is to have a review section for your website (or on product/service pages). If you do receive negative reviews, it’s crucial that you respond to them professionally.
As you may expect, this will significantly increase their trust in your brand and boost the likelihood that they go through with a purchase. When you minimize the risk involved, you’ll see much higher sales numbers in the future.
5. Incorporate a Loyalty Program
The aforementioned ‘make customers feel human’ concept doesn’t end at customer service.
Showing repeat or long-time buyers how much you appreciate their business is an effective way to cultivate customer trust. In fact, it’s difficult for many other customer retention methods to match.
When people spend money consistently on a particular brand, they debt necessarily feel ‘owed’ something. But, showing appreciation will serve to justify the purchases they’ve made.
This is especially true for customers who have been buying a particular product/service for months or years.
Many customers often never expect to be acknowledged for their purchase behavior. Going out of your way to acknowledge them (especially with a personalized message) will drastically increase the trust they have in your brand.
Loyalty programs will give them a feeling of exclusivity, leading to more repeat sales.
Cultivating Customer Trust Can Seem Difficult
But it doesn’t have to be.
With the above information about building notable customer trust in mind, you’ll be well on your way toward establishing a strong, long-lasting relationship with your audience.
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