What takes years to build, seconds to break and forever to repair? We’re talking about trust, of course. And your customers aren’t just going to place that precious trust in you straight away. It takes a great deal of time and effort to build trust with customers. So how do you go about it?
1. Be open, honest and transparent
If you want people to trust you, whether as an individual or a business, you need to actually be deserving of that trust. Ask yourself what your customers should expect from you, and make sure this is conveyed openly from the very first time they come across your business.
Don’t exaggerate, don’t be gimmicky and don’t push any ads or messages that are misleading or outrightly untrue. Focus on being clear rather than trying to grab their attention from the get go.
Make sure everyone is bought into this message, as it’s no point your marketing team doing one thing whilst your sales team is doing another and the customer service team is doing something totally different.
2. Ask for feedback
And actually use it.
Customers like to feel listened to by the brands they purchase from. So to make them feel valued, it’s important that you give them a platform to voice their thoughts directly to you.
Send out surveys on a regular basis. Did you live up to their expectations? Can they access support easily? Are they satisfied with the overall experience of your company?
You should also make sure your surveys include somewhere your customers can leave comments rather than selecting an option. And once you receive this feedback, make sure you actually implement it where you can. It won’t be possible to act on every suggestion, but making tweaks to your offering and letting your customers know changes have been made will help them feel valued and listened to.
3. Publish reviews... no matter what they say
It doesn’t matter how trustworthy you say you are, people will always hold a certain amount of distrust in companies. Your main goal is to sell to them after all. People are always going to trust existing customers more, so utilise those people to shine a positive light.
Encourage people to leave reviews and make those reviews as accessible as possible, or add a testimonials page to your website.
Even if the reviews are negative, avoid the temptation to take them down and brush them under the carpet. Not only is it a big no-no, as a big wall of positive reviews will rouse suspicions in many people, but it gives you the opportunity to respond positively and do everything you can to correct the situation. People like to see that if something goes wrong, you’ll go out of your way to right the ship.
4. Be active on social media
Social media is not only part of your marketing efforts, it can also be used to build customer trust. Your social media channels is a place for you to show off a whole other side of the business, a behind-the-scenes if you will, and it’s also the perfect place to interact with your customers on a more informal level. Exposing this side of your brand allows your followers to get a sense of “who” you are as a brand, and helps build trust along the way.
5. Make them feel included
People love to share on social media, especially when it comes to brands they are happy with. When this happens, make sure you are there clicking retweet, like and sharing photos and videos that people post online.
Customers just want to be heard, and social media is an instant way to do this.
Trust is a real supporting pillar when it comes to the overall customer experience. It can’t be built in a day and takes a great deal of time to construct, so take your time. Put your focus on each customer and treat them like the individuals they are, opposed to rushing and trying to implement a blanket solution for everyone. Long-lasting and strong bonds of trust will soon be yours.