One of the most important things you can do in business is to create trust. When consumers trust your brand, they are more open to buying it. After all, would you buy from someone you don’t trust?
Consumers today are more demanding than ever. They want to know about your products and services, but they also want to know the story behind it. They will go online and research you. They will read reviews. They will check you out before ever visiting your website or your store. This means you may not even have a chance to convert a customer to a sale until trust has been established.
Trust is critical. 73% of consumers consider transparency and trust as more important than price when making a purchase decision.
Building Trust with Your Customers
When it comes to building trust with your customers, there are tried-and-true methods that have worked consistently over time. While approaches have been adapted to deal with a mobile, connected, and online world, the underlying strategy remains the same. Here are three timeless methods to build and maintain trust with your customers.
1. Provide Great Customer Experiences
Great customer experiences create fans. They will buy from you more often and will spend more than average customers. Satisfied customers buy as much as 50% more frequently and spend 200% more each year. Loyal customers are more open to cross-selling and up-selling opportunities.
86% of consumers report they are more likely to repurchase from the same company when they have a great customer experience. This experience evokes trust: 79% are more likely to trust you after just one positive experience.
Word-of-mouth and referrals are your most powerful form of advertising. Your fans will share their positive experiences with their friends and using social media. 77% of consumers say that positive interaction will increase their likelihood to recommend your business.
Part of that great experience is creating a consistent experience.
2. Manage Your Reputation
Trust can be incredibly fragile. If they have a poor experience, they will often shout it from the rooftops. 92 percent say they speak up when they experience poor customer service. A whopping 47% say they share that bad experience on social media. That’s not just telling their friend or co-workers; that’s telling everybody they connect within their social media circle.
In addition, unhappy customers don’t come back to you. 67% of customers cite bad experience as the number one reason for churn.
Customers can easily check your reputation online by doing a quick search. 90% of consumers claim they now read online reviews before visiting a business. Nearly three-quarters say the reviews are a key component in whether they trust your business.
Make sure what they find puts you in a good light. They key here is to be authentic, however. Showing only 5-star reviews makes people wonder if you’re hiding the bad ones. Sometimes the most powerful thing you can do is to allow bad reviews to surface but respond in a way that resolves the problem or shows you will do whatever it takes to remedy the situation. After all, every business has problems on occasion. It’s how they respond to the problems that set the great ones apart. And, if you’ve made a mistake, admit it, fix it, and let everyone know what you did.
Responding to a bad review in the right way has a net positive impact. According to the Trust Economy Report, 15% of shoppers surveyed said they are more likely to do business with a company which responded to negative reviews.
Businesses that monitored what people are saying about them online and responded see higher conversion rates. It demonstrates a commitment and dedication to providing quality customer services.
Customers also place value on recent reviews. 85% feel that reviews dated more than three months old are no longer relevant.
3. Provide Real Value
In today’s social media and online world, one of the easiest ways to demonstrate your expertise and provide real value to your customers is to post consistently to your blog, website, or news feed. By sharing your insights, tips, and expert opinion with your customers, you can build trust through content marketing. Brands and businesses are evolving from simply selling products and services to providing advice and information. If you can establish yourself as an expert willing to help, it gives customer confidence to do business with you.
This works only if you are completely honest and authentic. People can spot a phony or a hidden sales pitch quickly. Whatever you post, make sure it has real value that’s worth the time they took to read it.
Writing something of value can be a scary proposition for a lot of people – especially when you have a business to run! Consider hiring a freelancer or professional to help craft your content. Freelancers can ghost-write content for you or craft your words and thoughts into a well-written piece.
The other way you provide value is by listening to your customers and making the effort to understand their needs. By showing empathy and providing solutions, you are demonstrating you really care. Respect goes a long way toward establishing value and trust.
Trust Can Be A Key Differentiator
Trust in general is at an all-time low. Survey after survey shows a lack of trust in government, institutions, and businesses. False narratives shape public opinion and take on a life of their own. This represents a significant opportunity that businesses that take proactive steps to build and foster trust with customers.
When customers trust you, they are more open to your advertising messages. They are more likely to believe the things you tell them. They are more likely to distrust bad reviews and give you the benefit of the doubt.
Trust can be the key differentiator in attracting, retaining, and growing your business.