Why Brand Trust Is Vital to Your Business’s Success
Do your customers have confidence in your brand? The answer could have a significant impact on your business. Indeed, according to the 2020 Edelman Trust Barometer Special Report, trust is now the deciding factor in whether a brand succeeds or fails.
According to the report, 70% of consumers believe brand trust is more important today than it was in the past, and more people are choosing to spend money with brands they trust—46% now say they trust the majority of brands they use, up from 34% in 2019. For 53%, trust in the company behind a brand or product is more important than price when making a purchase decision.
Not only is trust critical for acquiring and retaining customers, but it also has a direct correlation to your business’s financial success. According to an Accenture study of over 7,000 businesses, trust is as critical to a company’s financial health as growth and profitability, and that a loss of trust can result in a significant decline in revenue.
To earn trust, a business must be trustworthy, dependable, meet customer expectations, and keep its promises. A business that develops strong trust relationships with all of its stakeholders—not just customers, but also employees, suppliers, and investors—will benefit from increased customer loyalty, increased repurchase rates, increased referrals, and a more positive reputation.
Steps to take to build trust in your brand
1. Put your customers first, especially during times of difficulty. When your customers are going through a difficult time, the last thing they need is a sales pitch. Rather than self-promotion, concentrate on ways you can assist.
2. Maintain a strong online presence. Nothing raises a potential buyer’s suspicions more than a non-existent, sketchy, or out-of-date website these days. According to the SurveyMonkey survey, 26% of US consumers do not trust businesses that do not have a website, yet 45% of small businesses do not have one. Ascertain that your website is professional-looking and functional, that it contains all the information your customers may require, and that it provides a positive user experience.
3. Maintain a strong social media presence. Social media is being used by an increasing number of businesses to communicate with their customers. While social media can be used to share company news and special offers, it’s also an excellent way to demonstrate your fun side to your customers! Utilize social media to provide an inside look at your company culture and to demonstrate what makes your business unique.
4. Maintain transparency. The majority of consumers are already wary of being taken advantage of by businesses—do not add to their fear by concealing information from them. Include your complete contact information on your website, maintain a FAQ section that addresses frequently asked questions, be transparent about your pricing and policies, and be willing to answer questions.
5. Pay attention to your customers and respond promptly. Every business should actively seek customer feedback, as knowing what your customers like and dislike is the only way to ensure you’re providing them with what they want. When a customer contacts you with a suggestion, complaint, question, or comment, respond promptly—73 percent of consumers believe that a quick response time is a critical component of good customer service—listen carefully to their concerns, and demonstrate your concern by taking action.
6. Provide superior products and services. When attempting to earn your customers’ trust, the first step is to actually provide a good product. No amount of attentive customer service, captivating social media content, or effective advertising will be able to build trust if your products or services are fundamentally flawed.
7. Resolve customer issues. According to a survey conducted by SurveyMonkey, the most important aspect of customer service is resolving problems to the customer’s satisfaction. However, don’t wait until a customer contacts your company—develop useful content that demonstrates you understand them and want to offer solutions to their problems.
8. Avoid being a bot. According to the survey, 61% of Americans believe that “acting like a human being” is a critical component of customer service, while 37% believe that “feeling like the customer service agent cares about you” is a critical component of customer service. Avoid an impersonal tone when communicating with your customers; instead, be genuine and relatable, and your customers will trust you more.
9. Provide multiple contact points for customers. Individuals have varying preferences for how they contact customer service. Ensure that you accommodate those preferences by providing at least a few different ways for customers to contact you, including email, phone, an online form, social media, and live chat.
10. Share testimonials and positive reviews. One of the most effective ways to earn people’s trust is to demonstrate that others trust your business. Include customer testimonials and positive reviews on your website, and keep an eye on your online reputation to ensure your business is presented in the best light possible.
11. Establish a two-way communication channel. Outbound marketing efforts such as advertisements and emails can only influence a limited number of purchasing decisions. Ascertain that your efforts are equally focused on nurturing relationships with your customers by inquiring about their preferences through social media posts, online surveys, and good old-fashioned conversation.
12. Demonstrate your people and share your stories. If you want your customers to think of you as more than a business, show them the faces and stories behind the brand. Create an engaging team page featuring profiles of key company personnel, and use your about page to explain how your business came to be, as well as the values and principles that guide it.