The Building Blocks of Gaining Customer Confidence
Trust is hard to find and even harder to keep today. In this age of doubt and misinformation, it’s never been more important for a brand to secure their customers’ loyalty and confidence in their business. While it might seem easier said than done in a generation of cynicism and distrust, there are several steps a business can take to enhance their efforts at building credibility with their customers.
Transparency builds trust
Take a stance of sincerity and honesty with your brand’s visions, core values, and services. Transparency sets your business apart in a crowd of exaggerated claims and empty promises. It’s true businesses sometimes are inclined to stretch the truth about their capabilities, but keeping a level head and staying relevant to the wants and needs of your customers builds a sense of reliability in your brand.
Honesty is oftentimes the best policy when it comes to handling customers. McDonalds Canada employed this policy in 2014 with their “Our Food. Your Questions” campaign to address the misinformation and myths about its food and ingredients — providing the brand with an opportunity to actively engage with its audience, clarify misconceptions, and build trust among its customers.
Emphasise social responsibility and your customer’s best interest
The McDonald’s campaign above also touches on an important facet of all modern-day businesses and engaging their customers. Making an active effort of taking social responsibility and being invested in your customers’ best interest also reinforces their trust in your brand. Whether it’s fair trade or ethical consumption, or even just answering the burning questions on everyone’s minds. Sharing your business’ long-term goals and its ethical vision shows your customers that you’re in it for the long haul and not just looking to make a quick buck off their ignorance.
Handle negativity with poise and dignity
The fact of the matter is that you can’t please everybody. You can certainly try, and most brands strive for a world where their business hits all the right marks and none of the bad ones. In reality, chances are you will encounter people who will inevitably have an opinion about the things your business is doing wrong. And that’s okay. It’s not about what people say about your brand, it’s about how you handle it.
Responding professionally and diplomatically to negative reviews and comments might seem counterintuitive. Are you validating the statements they’re making by responding? Wouldn’t it be easier to delete or ignore them? That’s how the saying goes: “Don’t feed the trolls”. However, the method of correspondence your brand chooses to make with its naysayers can help strengthen your credibility and trust among customers. Negative reviews are just as important to your brand as positive reviews are. They can either highlight pain points in your buying journey that can be improved, or they can provide an opportunity for your brand to flex its crisis management skills.
Building relationships, not bottom lines
Bottom lines are the endgame for businesses, that much is unavoidable. Building and maintaining strong relationships with your customers is a vital stepping stone towards that endgame. Moreover, trust in your brand often dies somewhere along the lines of bad customer service or poor interactions with your customer-facing agents. Lose a customer at this stage of the journey, and you could lose them forever. Emphasising the importance of being invested in the customer experience and looking after their best interest to your employees, means delivering a cohesive and cooperative experience for everyone.
Think of your brand as the houses built in the story of the Three Little Pigs. Think of these points as the brick and mortar. The house built with bricks is better than a house built with sticks.