It’s difficult to overestimate the value of trust in today’s trying times.
For years, leaders in the digital marketplace like Microsoft, Google, and IBM have helped us to understand the value of trust, even when you’re selling incredible products.
Ultimately, if your customers don’t believe in you and what you stand for, they won’t buy from you. It’s as simple as that.
The good news? Building your credibility doesn’t have to be a challenging experience. Around 8 in 10 customers say that they will continue to buy from a brand that they trust.
At a time when fears are high in the eCommerce landscape, here are some top tips for taking trust to the next level.
Communicate (Send the Right Message)
Ask any marriage counselor, and they’ll tell you that excellent communication is the secret to a good relationship. That rule doesn’t just apply to married couples; it’s also relevant to your business too.
The first step to good communication is thinking about what your customers want to hear from you. For instance, when the COVID-19 pandemic broken, Microsoft knew that its customers would want to see that it was acting ethically to help its employees. Because of this, the Microsoft team announced that hourly workers would continue to get full pay, no matter what.
What kind of questions are your customers asking about your brand right now? You can find out by listening to the conversation on social media, looking at issues on Quora, or even speaking to your customer service and sales team.
Once you know what your customers want to hear about, upgrade your communication strategy by:
- Embracing the right platforms: Reach out to customers where they spend the majority of their time. That could mean putting statements and announcements on Facebook or publishing a video on Instagram. You may also need to improve your email communication methods.
- Using language, your audience understands: Skip the jargon and stick to straight-forward, easily digestible content. Your customers don’t want to struggle to figure out what you’re talking about.
- Keeping your customers in the loop: Don’t just send one message to your audience addressing their concerns then go straight back to marketing emails. Make a strategy to regularly update your customers with a newsletter or press release.
Practice Listening to Your Audience
One of the biggest problems that businesses have with developing trust is that they assume they know what their audience needs and allow their assumptions to guide them. However, your customer base isn’t a static thing. The needs of your clients are constantly evolving and changing.
Show your customers that you’ve made an effort to understand them, and they’ll reward you with higher levels of trust. You can do this by:
- Examining your data: Dig into your data. Details from your marketing campaigns, sales information, and even competitor analysis can give you a useful insight into common concerns, pain points, goals, and interests. Your brand messaging needs to highlight what you learn about your audience from those insights. For instance, Google and Apple learned that customers were concerned about how governments could track the spread of COVID-19, so they released an article on how they’re working together to solve the problem:
- Trying social listening: Through social listening, you can monitor the trends in your marketplace. There are apps available that tell you everything from what customers are saying about your service and competitors, to when people communicate online. If you’re struggling to find the insights you need, then ask your customers for them. Request feedback, host a poll on Facebook, or just give clients a chance to win something in exchange for their thoughts.
- Exploring your landscape: People have conversations in a lot of different places online. Finding out what’s trending in Quora, or the subreddits for your industry could give you a behind the scenes view of how to better reach your customers.
Be Authentic (Share Your Story)
If you want to gain your audience’s trust, then you need to be willing to share your true brand story with them. That means being authentic and real about what your business is, what it stands for, and what your mission might be.
Being authentic with the content you put out into the world is simple enough. You produce valuable content that highlights your values and draws attention to what makes your company special. According to this survey, customers are more likely to trust brands that take a stance on key topics.
Useful information can be anything valuable and engaging for your audience. It might be a how-to guide on how to do something with your software, or a news report on a trending topic in your industry. However, it shouldn’t always be about selling something.
There’s another side to being authentic too, and this is the part that many brands struggle with – responding to criticism. You can’t just ignore the things that your customers don’t like about your brand. 75% of customers say that they expect a response to their complaints within less than five minutes. Social media gives you a direct avenue to respond to feedback, so do it right.
As you can see in this example below, responding effectively to feedback can turn an unhappy customer into a happy one, and even take stories about your brand viral:
Create Fantastic Customer Experiences
Want your customers to fall in love with your brand? Give them the experiences that they deserve. Virtually all major buying decisions today are influenced by the experience customers think that they can get from a brand.
So, how can you take the experience to the next level?
Start by giving them an excellent on-site experience when they visit your web page. Show them that you value their privacy and security by using an SSL certificate, and add any verification badges to the bottom of your page that you’ve earned to make your clients feel safe.
Once your customers have made their purchase, prioritize that post-sale relationship. Don’t ignore your customers because they’ve already bought something from you. Follow up with offers tailor-made to suit their needs. You can make suggestions based on the previous services they purchased.
Get in touch with your audience when you have unique deals to offer, or send an anniversary email to show them that you value their loyalty:
Share Plenty of User-Generated Content
Finally, one of the most effective ways to gain customer trust is to share the happy feedback and positive reviews that your clients leave for your company.
Every time you earn a five-star review on Google My Business, or you get a delighted message from a customer in your Facebook inbox, sing it from the rooftops. Over time, you’re bound to have some customers that use your hashtag to show off their love of your product, or @mention you on social media. Take advantage of this!
Re-share the tweets, blogs, pictures, and other content that your customers post, and allow them to become advocates for your brand. Depending on the nature of your business, you can even invite customers to become affiliates for your brand. These VIPs could earn extra points towards discounts and other rewards every time they endorse your business or send something new your way.
These programs don’t just boost your chances of earning the trust of future customers; they can help to keep existing clients engaged too!
Be More Trustworthy
In today’s competitive landscape, there’s nothing more important than showing your customers they can trust you. When the marketplace goes sideways, and uncertainty is everywhere, clients will flock to the brands that they believe are the most credible and authentic.
Make sure that you have what it takes to earn your client’s trust.