In today’s crowded market, it takes years of hard work, clever promotions and consistently high standards to build customer loyalty.
But it takes only one silly little mistake or misguided moment to instantly lose it.
After all, customers have got plenty of options. Fail to meet their expectations and they’ll soon find another business that does.
Even worse is how quickly a bad review spreads, thanks to social media and the popularity of sites like TripAdvisor. Nowadays, it just takes one disgruntled customer to destroy your reputation and send your profits spiralling downwards.
Simply winning the trust of customers isn’t enough anymore – you’ve also got to keep a tight hold of it.
So how do you safeguard your business and keep it queued out the door? We’re sharing a step-by-step guide to creating a trustworthy reputation no customer will be able to resist. Check it out.
#1: be clear about your business goals
If you want customers to buy into your brand’s commitment to integrity, then every single aspect of your business needs to support that mission – and it all starts with you.
Be clear about the longterm motivation and ethics behind your business, and make sure everyone in your team supports your vision.
That means thoroughly educating your staff about these core principles so that they can embody and reflect them in everything they do. Consistently presenting a strong and united brand identity in this way will eventually resonate with customers.
#2: keep on the right side of the law
If you’re seen to fall on the wrong side of the law at any point your customers will quickly desert you. It only takes a hint of a financial scandal, a suggestion of dodgy manufacturing standards or one rumour about mistreated staff to give people the wrong impression.
Be aware of all the legal responsibilities you must fulfil and do whatever it takes to ensure your business meets those regulations.
For example, you could invest in HR software to keep on top of new workplace pension rules and open an offshore bank account to manage overseas trading (exchange rates and local taxes can be hard to navigate otherwise).
#3: face negative feedback head on
After a horrible afternoon dealing with an angry, dissatisfied customer, you’ll understandably be tempted to write it off as a bad day and forget it ever happened.
But facing up to negative feedback is key to building up a trustworthy reputation. Your customers need to know that you’re receptive to complaints and capable of handling issues professionally.
Always respond to any negative comments and provide a feedback number or email address (these should be clearly displayed on your website at all times), so that you can resolve problems quickly and with minimum disruption.
#4: be authentic in your marketing
Pepsi’s disastrous Kendall Jenner ad is proof of how important it is to be authentic, ethical and responsible with marketing – hit the wrong note and everyone will turn on you in the blink of an eye.
Avoid controversy by always being honest and forthright in any content or advertising your business puts out, including your packaging, website and any social media accounts you run.
Not sure where to start? One way of developing a strong and trustworthy voice in your marketing is to rely on customer testimonials. Research shows 88 per cent of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations, so create content centred around positive feedback you’ve received from satisfied customers and share it online.
Do you have any other top tips for winning and retaining the trust of customers? Leave a comment and let us know.