Customer trust in organizations is at an all-time low, which isn’t very surprising: with so much false marketing and scams going on, customers need to be as careful as ever. You might know that your brand is genuine, but customers are suspicious of you by default. However, if you work on building stronger relationships with your customers based on trust, you might just see your sales skyrocket.
Most companies collect customer data, and we keep hearing about data leaks even from big firms. Prove to customers that you are different and that you take their data protection very seriously. Consider publishing a cybersecurity report on your website to communicate the exact steps you take to protect their data. Of course, this may mean taking your security practices up a notch. Some simple ways to do so are improving your password security, creating secure backups, improving the strength of your encryption, etc.
Avoid deceptive marketing tricks and don’t promise your customers anything that isn’t 100%. For example, avoid phrases like “our miracle face cream will make you look 10 years younger in just one week”. These tactics may work out in the short term, but your customers will eventually notice that they aren’t getting what they were promised, and their trust in you will be gone. Be honest about what your product offers and provide some evidence. With the example of face cream, add pictures to your website that show the actual effect that customers can expect.
Since so many people are losing trust in companies, they’re turning to recommendations from others. Brands are incentivized to lie to increase sales, but people have no incentive to do so and will be honest, making them a much more reliable source of information. Ask your customers to leave reviews for your product. If your product is good, you’ll receive some great reviews in no time. Once this happens, publish them on your website so that other potential customers would see them.
Even the best of companies receive bad reviews occasionally, so be prepared to receive a few as well. Everything depends on how you respond to them. Ignoring a bad review or comment is probably the worst response. It will make customers think that you can’t think of a response because the bad review is true.
Keep track of bad reviews (which can be posted on any platform from the app store to your website to social media posts), and respond to each one individually. If a customer complains about a defective product, tell them that you’re very sorry and that you’ll send them a free replacement right away.
Your customer service agents are the face of your brand. Even if your product is amazing, poor customer service can lead to horrible reviews and a drop in sales. Take extra care in hiring your customer service agents and set a clear policy on how they should interact with customers. Evaluate how good your customer service is by tracking specific metrics. It’s also a good idea to monitor your agents every once in a while by posing as a customer and seeing how they treat you.
You obviously don’t want to lose any of your email subscribers, but you can’t hold on to them by force. If a customer wishes to unsubscribe from your mailing list, ensure that this process is as smooth as possible. Add an opt-out button at the bottom of the mail, and don’t add any tricks that might confuse customers into remaining subscribers.
This can be applied to other types of subscriptions, like text messages - after each promotional message, write clear instructions on how to opt out. Keep in mind that as long as you aren’t spammy and offer valuable information to your subscribers, they shouldn’t want to opt out.
Consistency is very important in building customer trust, and it applies to many areas of business. For example, try to post on social media as consistently as possible and don’t take long breaks. Also, make sure that everything you communicate with customers is consistent with the true situation. Make sure there aren’t any discrepancies on your website. For example, if you mentioned somewhere that shipping time is 5-7 days, you shouldn’t say 7-8 days on another platform.
Try to build personal relationships with your customers, and don’t just make yourself look like a dull brand with no personal touch. People want brands to understand them and be interested in them. Evaluate who your target audience is and understand what they’re going through and what they need. Also, try to interact with as many people as possible through social media when they comment on posts or reply to stories to make your connection with them even stronger.
Building customer trust can be what makes or breaks your business, which is why you should start making it one of the top priorities. As long as you’re genuine, consistent, and communicate honestly with them, the relationship your business has with customers should become as strong as ever.
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