Don’t Let Lack of Customer Trust or Feeling Valued Undermine Marketing Engagement


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Let’s discuss two factors that will derail your marketing: lack of trust and lack of feeling valued.

If consumers do not have a perception of trust regarding your company, they’ll have no interest in anything you have to say to them. Similarly, if you do not demonstrate to consumers that you value them, this will further erode their trust and they will move on. 

How Consumers View Value

Findings from over 20,000 hours of in-depth VoC interviews we have conducted indicate that the combination of value and trust drives a strong and lasting customer experience. Some of the BtoB and BtoC research takeaways:

  • Consumers have sharply increased expectations of brands. But, in spite of all the talk about CX, brands are not delivering on those expectations.
  • Consumers expect brands to be listening to them and delivering “reasons to believe” in your brand at every stage, as their relationship with the brand evolves.

Value is the force that propels customer experience. It is the perception by consumers that their business and loyalty are appreciated. When this perception exists, consumers are highly motivated to engage. When it does not exist, consumers will hit that opt-out link and check out. Attention to the details that perpetuate value, partnered with a high level of customer service, will differentiate your brand.

Building Value

Consumers’ needs and preferences are constantly changing and evolving. Irrelevant messaging is a major deal breaker for consumers! Be sure to continually update their communication preferences and their overall preferences to ensure that your communications are in sync with their ever-changing needs.

Remember that your customers are human beings, not account numbers or cohorts or personas! Canned responses by consumer service or sales, “spray and pray” emails, and hard-to-navigate policies, are all value killers that should be avoided at all costs. To build a credible perception of value, be sure that you are having useful, informative, and friendly communications with consumers, at every touchpoint.

How Consumers View Trust

Your “trustability” is manifested in your fundamental brand promise. Consumers’ perception of your ability to deliver on that promise is what fosters or demolishes that feeling of trust. So, marketers need to do a blunt, ongoing self-assessment to ensure that on all levels, the brand promise is evident and being delivered.

In reports by SurveyMonkey it was noted,

“Two-thirds of adults in the US say that trust in a brand has a great deal (31%) or a lot (37%) of influence on their decision when making a big purchase. Additionally, “…a poor experience with the product, [is] cited as a trust-breaker by 81% of respondents…”

Brands must reexamine all their internal and external policies and communications to ensure that they do not undermine trust. Every aspect of the customer experience must offer reasons to deepen the relationship. There is simply no way to achieve customer long term value without first building a foundation of trust.

Building Trust

During our VoC research, BtoB and BtoC customers consistently stated that strategies such as overly complicated and manipulative loyalty programs damage their perception of the brand and are therefore trust killers. If you are going to roll out programs that are intended to reward consumers, don’t make it difficult for them to achieve the rewards. And, don’t have a system which punishes them if activity drops. Motivate them to re-engage, but don’t punish them by removing all their benefits!

Consumers want to feel as though they are being treated decently, with fair policies, pricing, and customer service. Without exception, consumers will not trust a brand if they have poor experiences! If you want to get in-depth and actionable insights regarding customers’ view of your trustworthiness, then monitor customer service transcripts and do post interaction surveys.

The power of Value and Trust are often overlooked by companies who should know better. Don’t make these secondary to rigid pricing policies and rigid T&Cs. Without Trust and Value, you won’t have a sustainable business!

Ernan Roman
Ernan Roman (@ernanroman) is president of ERDM Corp. and author of Voice of the Customer Marketing. He was inducted into the DMA Marketing Hall of Fame due to the results his VoC research-based CX strategies achieve for clients such as IBM, Microsoft, QVC, Gilt and HP. ERDM conducts deep qualitative research to help companies understand how customers articulate their feelings and expectations for high value CX and personalization. Named one of the Top 40 Digital Luminaries and one of the 100 Most Influential People in Business Marketing.


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