Building trust takes a lot of work and requires you to deeply understand your customers, remain consistent and consistently deliver.
Every successful business has one thing in common: a strong foundation of trust with their customers. Just like a romantic relationship or friendship, trust deals a lot with emotion. And like many things involving human emotions, building trust with your customers is no easy feat. It takes dedication and intention to build trust and it can be lost in an instant if you’re careless.
Yes, throughout the purchasing process functional aspects like price, quality and convenience are important. However, what customers want is to buy from a brand that shares their personal values. According to a study by Rare Consulting, 83% of customers said their brand loyalty stemmed from trust. In other words, loyalty is about likability and the ability to trust the product and brand.
Whether you’re new to business or have been around the block, we’ve provided a few ways you can start building trust with your customers that will hopefully turn them into long lasting, loyal buyers.
Make Sure Your Product Is Reliable
First things first, is your product reliable? Round of applause to the marketing teams that can make a really horrible product seem like something you need. Well, great for them, bad for those who choose to actually purchase it.
The truth is, us humans tend to make decisions based on instinct and emotion rather than logic. Using mental shortcuts, we focus on one key factor (like that awesome packaging or that landing page that told us that we indeed do need to buy) instead of taking into account all of the smaller details. That being said, once those emotions wear off and that shiny new product we just purchased isn’t delivering on it’s promise, we feel like we’ve been scammed. The ol’ bait and switch.
Moral of the story? It may seem like a good idea to ‘just get the product out the door’ and worry about the rest later, but people will eventually find out about the corner cutting. Make sure you’re living up to word if you want to build trust and credibility with your customers.
Get To Know Your Customers
We’ve talked about it on the blog before, but adding a personal touch to your customer relationships makes all the difference. Depending on your business, it may not always possible to get to know your customers on a personal level. But genuine action speaks volumes even if you aren’t able to be on a first name basis.
Don’t just tell your customers you’re here to help, show them. Take into account that many people have been burned in the past. After all, there were days when treating customers as mere dollar signs was the norm.
Take an interest in helping them make the right purchasing decision, answer their questions (without immediately sending them to an FAQ page), follow up if necessary and train your team to go above and beyond when they can. Trust can be slow to build. Showing you’re not just in it for a quick transaction and truly care about the people you’re serving builds rapport and likability. Two necessary components in the recipe for building trust.
Transparency and Honesty Are A Must
Almost 40% of customers say they’d rather do business with a brand that offers transparency, even if they’d previously been loyal to another brand. Transparency, in it’s simplest form, means being real about who your company is and what you do. It means being honest about your strengths and weaknesses. It means being vulnerable and admitting that your product or you aren’t always in the right.
Take for example, RXBar a Chicago based health bar company. Health food has gone mainstream, and many companies make as many claims as they can to grab your attention. You know the kind – “GMO Free, Vegan, Made with one ingredient – air!”.
RXBar decided to take the no BS route and list all of their ingredients simply and plainly on each bar’s package. Yes, there are plenty of other companies that claim to have better tasting, healthier and cheaper options. But with RXBar you know what you’re getting. It’s all laid out in simple terms – no googling esoteric health food terminology involved.
On the contrast, companies like Jessica Alba’s Honest Co. (how ironic) has just settled it’s second lawsuit debunking claims that they’ve been fraudulently labeling at least 41 of their products as natural, plant-based and/or chemical free. Though the company has since re-labeled those products and stands behind the fact that they’re safe and effective, there’s no denying a second lawsuit for fraudulent claims doesn’t look too good for business.
Maintain Consistency For A Competitive Advantage
A consistent brand increases the perceived value of your company by staking out your company’s position as a leader in your niche, attracting high-quality customers and strengthening the value of your products and services.
Take a second to consider a few questions from world-famous hustler and founder of VaynerMedia, Gary Vaynerchuk.
- To position yourself as an expert is difficult, but most people aren’t asking the first important question, which is: expert in what?
- What do you want to provide people with?
- What are you great at?
- What do you love?
- What is your legacy going to be?
Once you’ve found the direction you’d like to take your company’s brand, stick to it. Create brand standards for your message and design then hold yourself and team accountable to them. When a business consistently delivers on their message not only does it make it easier for potential customers to get to know your business, but it becomes a lot more difficult for competitors to compete.
Trust Breeds Loyalty
Brand loyalty is a bi-product of a trust filled customer relationship – 83 percent of consumers said that they would recommend a company that they trusted. Meaning trust will not only help you gain repeat business and but it will create new customers alike. As you probably know, customer acquisition can be costly, so growing your customer base organically is always a plus.
But building trust doesn’t happen in a over night or in a vacuum. Building trust takes a lot of work and requires you to deeply understand your customers, remain consistent and consistently deliver. Only then will you have a brand that will keep people coming back for more.