Most businesses don’t spend enough time thinking about how to earn their customers’ trust. And that’s a serious mistake.
One survey found that up to 70 percent of online purchases are cancelled because customers don’t trust the brand from which they’re considering making the purchase. That’s a huge number of potential conversions going to waste, and it speaks to the importance of investing in strategies that help your customers trust in your brand. Here are six effective ways to do just that.
Provide consistent, high-quality service.
Every member of your customer service team should be trained to provide the same level of courtesy, friendliness, and professionalism so that your company is putting its best foot forward no matter who customers talk to. Spend extra time providing your reps with strategies for effectively handling stressed-out customers—research suggests this is the time when companies are most at risk of losing their customers’ trust.
Live up to your word.
This applies to every facet of your business. If you say your company values environmental responsibility, then anyone who pokes around in your supply chain better find this to be true. If you tell a customer that you’ll resolve their service issues within 48 hours, then their service should be rolling again within two days. If your marketing promises that your product will transform customers’ lives in X/Y/Z way, then it should be truly transformative. A good rule of thumb when it comes to honesty? “Under-promise and over-deliver.”
Establish credibility through third parties.
“Social proof” is emerging as one of the most effective ways to earn customers’ trust, and for good reason: More and more consumers are relying on reviews, testimonials, referrals, and other third party opinions in order to determine whether they should place their trust in a brand. Knowing this provides you with an opportunity to build up your company’s repository of social proof by soliciting testimonials (and featuring them prominently on your site and in your marketing materials), sharing the names of the publications that have covered your product or services, and including the badges of your security partners or other major brand partnerships on your site.
Make it easy to get in touch.
If you tell your customers you value them and their opinions (and you should), then you must walk the walk by making it easy for customers to share said feedback with your company. That means making your company easily accessible by phone, email, social media, and so on. Thank customers for taking the time to reach out, and let customers know when your company is making changes based on their feedback. This helps convey to current and potential customers that you truly value your customers’ experiences with your brand.
Invest in customers’ security.
Own up to your mistakes.
If your company made a mistake, it’s easy to want to stick your head in the sand (and hope that your customers’ heads stay there, too.) But a more effective course of action is to immediately own your mistakes, express sincere regret, and take steps to correct the error and generously compensate customers for the inconveniences they’ve endured in the meantime. If it appears that you’re trying to hide information from your customers, that’s going to immediately erode their trust. On the other hand, being open, honest, and authentic about what’s going on, how much you care, and how you’re working to fix it can actually endear customers to your brand.
These tips aren’t simply the ethical thing to do. They’re also good for business. By making customers’ trust a priority, you’ll help retain loyal customers for life.