Without trust, your brand doesn’t stand a chance to survive in today’s competitive market. Customers expect a lot from the companies they do business with, and for good reason. There are plenty of options to choose from. Plus, the availability of public reviews and ratings makes it easy to see which brands deliver and which don’t.
How to Create Trust in Your Brand
As you solidify your business offering, integrate trust-building best practices into your strategies. Customer trust doesn’t manifest by accident — it takes consistent, strategic, and authentic effort over time.
1. Follow Through on Your Brand Promise
Companies often adopt a brand promise in conjunction with their strategic marketing and communications program. An aspirational goal or stance on improving customer experience is enough to market, but it’s another thing entirely to deliver. Companies should seek to follow through on their brand promise within every interaction.
Telehealth provider Nurx has staked its claim on making health care accessible and simple for everyone. Initially, they set their sights on improving access to commonly prescribed and long-term medications like birth control and acne treatment.
Recently the company decided to leverage the customer trust they’ve earned to address a major pain point in healthcare: mental health treatment. Patients can benefit from their reimagined approach, which enables convenient access to needed medications for treating mental health concerns.
2. Provide Value-Adds
Sure, you offer a great product or service, but how can you make your customers’ experience even better? Consider how you can continue to help your customers as they navigate life while using your product or service.
Approach this opportunity with a “What’s in it for them?” question in mind, focusing on customer value, not business benefit. Value-adds like a content library or dynamic knowledge base for trouble-shooting common problems can enhance your customers’ experience.
Fintech company Ellevest focuses on getting more money into the hands of women, delivering on that promise in many ways. First, it provides access to low-cost investments with simplicity. Second, it backs up financial access with educational offerings, career coaching, and products that support women. This approach earned the trust of enough clients that Ellevest recently locked down a $53 million Series B funding round.
3. Engage Authentically
American businesswoman Kat Cole has held top roles at legacy brands for over two decades. But her rise to leadership didn’t follow the traditional path. While some leaders hide behind titles, Kat has used her story to further establish her expertise and connect with others.
Her transparency about starting as a Hooters server, skipping college, and saying “yes” to risky opportunities eventually earned her C-level roles. And the companies she led garnered customer loyalty thanks to the transparency of the “who” behind the brand.
People aren’t fooled by the self-serving corporate jargon often pushed out by storied companies. Today, customers want authenticity alongside authority, with clear knowledge of who is at the helm and what they stand for.
Organizational leaders have become brands themselves, meaning that establishing a narrative is a must for creating trust in your brand. As you craft narratives for your top leaders, emphasize not only authority but humanity. Weave in business priorities where they make sense, but focus on creating authentic connections above all else.
4. Welcome Customer Feedback, the Good and the Bad
The average customer trusts strangers on the internet more than they do a brand. After all, why would a brand say anything negative about itself?
While opening up to candid comments and feedback can be scary, it’s a necessary step toward building transparency and creating trust in your brand. Allow customers to rate and review your products directly on your website, social media pages, and third-party listings. Request ratings and reviews through follow-up email campaigns, encouraging honest, unvarnished feedback.
Use what you learn to influence innovation and improvement while resolving outstanding issues with urgency. Empower social and web managers to respond directly to feedback with gratitude or solutions, offering training to enable clean handoffs.
Acknowledge negative feedback or comments with grace, doing so publicly so others can see that complaints are addressed. These actions can establish social proof that humans who care are working behind the scenes, seeking to make things right. Even negative feedback can lead to positive impressions when potential customers see that guarantees of satisfaction are taken seriously.
5. Deliver on Customer Expectations
There are many business transactions in which customers have set expectations, and it’s a company’s job to deliver on them. Meeting quoted delivery times, updating customers on changes, and providing products and services consistent with one’s sales pitch all matter.
For example, if an Amazon delivery is promised to arrive in two days, the customer’s expectation is set. When the delivery arrives on time or early, they’re delighted. If it’s late, they’re annoyed and question whether they can trust quoted times in the future. When a customer can’t rely on a company to follow through, they may make different choices about whom to do business with.
In Conclusion, strive to do right by your customers by being true to your brand promise and doing what you say you will. Find ways to provide value over and above that of your product or service. Communicate openly and honestly just as you would with a friend. When you treat your customers with respect and gratitude, you’ll earn both their trust and their loyalty.
Image Credit: Energepic.com; Pexels; Thank You!