No matter how good your products or services, unless you build customer trust in your business, you are seriously limiting your potential. In this blog, we’ll look at the reasons why building customer trust is so important and then look at 5 ways to do just that.
What’s the Big Deal with Customer Trust?
When was the last time that you bought anything on Amazon, without checking the reviews? Or booked a hotel, for example, before researching whether it really was 5 stars? According to research, 87% of us read online reviews before deciding to do business and only 48% of us would consider using a business with fewer than 4 stars.
So, what does this all mean for small businesses?
According to this research from HubSpot , 55% of us don’t trust companies we buy from as much as we once did. And, although that’s pretty scary, it does present a great opportunity for those savvy businesses who recognise that if they can build trust, both through customer retention and attraction of new customers, then they could be a magnet for the 93% of those polled who told HubSpot they would make a repeat purchase from a company that demonstrates excellent customer service.
Add to this the fact that Google now evaluates the quality of, and prioritises, web pages on three factors ; that of Expertise, Authority and Trust and you can quickly see that a strategy to build customer trust in your business is essential.
Put simply, before customers move on their journey from interested party to purchase and through to loyal customer, they need to have trust in the accuracy of your communications, in your ability to solve their issue and, finally, in your customer support should something not go to plan.
However, the trust process is not something that can be rushed or forced. It’s something that must be ingrained at the very core of your business ethics and values and something that you just must earn. How do you do that?
Here are 5 ways that you can build customer trust in your business:
Know Your Audience.
Know your audience and you will be able to develop a deep understanding of their issues, problems or needs. This in turn allows you to demonstrate empathy through the type of content that you create for your website and social media and to tailor your solutions accordingly. When you use this understanding to deliver not only solutions but some added value also, then you start to build customer trust.
Being active on social media and regularly updating your website with blog content, for example, not only helps you stay front of mind with your existing customer base but also helps increase brand awareness, attracting more followers as you go. Being visible also allows your followers to get a “feel” for what you and your business are about – what your values are and whether they align with those of the potential customer. It’s also an opportunity to show the “human” side of the business – the people that make up the business. Create content that is conversational, personal, and relatable. Use your content to tell a story and don’t go in for the sale too early. Social media is much more about building the relationship necessary to build customer trust than it is to make a quick sale.
Be Honest and Transparent
Clarity is kind and that means being clear not only on what a customer can expect from your products and services but also what they can expect from your company. Give your clients as much information as they need to allow them to make an informed decision. The moment when a potential customer has to take extra steps to secure the information they need is the point at which they start to doubt your business. In addition, if mistakes are made, be quick to recognise them. If you work hard to rectify a mistake you can effectively mitigate the original error and score Brownie points with the customer!
Offer Great Customer Service.
So often businesses make the mistake of aligning trust and offering value with offering cut pricing. But it really isn’t the same thing. It doesn’t matter whether you are the cheapest or more expensive than your competitors, what really matters is your value proposition – the benefits, if you like, of someone doing business with you, as opposed to your competitor. This should include your fantastic customer service. Being responsive and being available is key, but in addition, a customer who feels listened to and as if your team has gone above and beyond is one who will return AND recommend you to their network. Make sure that your website contact page is both user-friendly and up to date. If you can provide a choice of ways for anyone to get in touch with you and your team, then even better.
Build Social Proof.
It matters far more to potential customers what other consumers say about your business than anything you say! Not only does social proof help to build customer trust, but it also helps with Google’s EAT algorithm that we touched on earlier.
Ask for reviews from satisfied customers on your Facebook , your Google My Business or relevant industry sites and share these on your website, your social media – anywhere where your audience will see them. You could also create video testimonials from satisfied customers. Not only does this tick all the social proof and user-generated content boxes, but the very fact also that we see another human on the screen reinforces and builds our trust levels – Find a loyal customer and ask them to talk for around 3 minutes from some prompts that you give them. If you would like to learn more about how to use reviews in your marketing, check out our blog here.
Conclusion – 5 Ways to Build Customer Trust.
There are no quick ways or shortcuts to building trust, it is a long-term strategy that must be incorporated into every aspect of your business. However, it really comes down to one principle: Make your customer your focus in everything you do. Be honest, be clear, be visible and authentic. That is really the only way to build customer trust and ensure you convert that one-off customer into a loyal brand advocate.
In the words of Zig Ziglar, “If people like you they’ll listen to you, but if they trust you, they’ll do business with you.
If now is the time to get your marketing up to speed or to get your socials singing, then there are a number of ways we can help. We offer social media management packages to suit your budget and requirements, as well as social media training if you prefer to mage your socials in-house. For those “Quick Wins” we also offer a Power Hour option to get you back on track. Not sure what you need? Contact us for a chat.