Trust is the most important pillar of a brand’s relationship with its customers. The different kinds of approaches a company takes to bring more customers on board, engage the customers with frequent interactions and the approaches they take that determine whether the audience they have gathered will be retained are all part of the customer relations mechanism. The ties with customers do not end once the purchase is made but it starts from that very point. The customers need to be loyal to the brands and the brands need to work consistently towards making their customers loyal to their brand. But the question is how to establish a feeling of trust in your customers.
The 10 most efficient ways to build customer trust are:
1. Social media presence:
Have you ever gone for a brand you have never tried before but have heard a lot about, seen in the hoardings and on your Instagram? You must have. People tend to go for brands that are seen the most as it develops a notion that since it is a very popular brand, it must be trustworthy. So the idea is to “be seen.” 51% of Facebook users and 61%of Twitter users are more likely to buy the brands they follow or are a fan of. Brands need to be present and active on social media as it makes all the people who see your activities your potential customers.
Social media builds visibility for your brand and the greatest benefit that it can give you is that your followers on social media see you for what your brand identifies. You can showcase your products, trailers of your upcoming advertising campaigns, or just update followers with news and information to increase and maintain a certain level of interaction. It is not good to post something on social media and create a buzz for the time being and being absent from the public eye for the rest of the time.
2. Transparency and straight-forward attitude:
Customers do not like it at all when they are promised a certain kind of service but receive the other. Though your campaigns were not necessarily shady, they might sometimes give a very vague or wrong description of your scheme of service if not paid attention to. Or, the case might be that since your terms and conditions were not clear the customer got the wrong picture, and somehow, availing of your service became a hassle.
Now, your customer has already felt cheated and you cannot undo it. This just loses you not only one but a complete group of potential customers that might have availed the services of your brand or used your products had that particular customer been happy and shared positive views about your brand.
3. Promise less and deliver more than expected:
Suppose you have ordered some products from Amazon and it shows the expected time of delivery within 10-12 days, but only after 5 days or a week at maximum, the products reach your doorstep and suddenly you are so impressed by the service that every time you think of ordering something online, you go on Amazon because you remember that it is so punctual and the products so supreme in quality that you don’t need to comb through different other sites.
This is the mantra almost every successful brand goes with. What happens is that when you promise less than what you know you can deliver, the customers set their expectations accordingly. So, when you deliver your products or services before the expected time of arrival, it gives a very positive brand impression. If you can deliver the products in 5 days, you show the expected time of delivery as 10 days, if your product carries a guarantee of 10 years mark the guarantee period as 8 years, and so on.
4. Robust customer service mechanism:
Your customers ought to feel a certain degree of relief even if they face some kind of error in availing of your products and services. They should feel that even if, something goes wrong like a problem with a transaction or the products come faulty, the company is going to take the matter very seriously so that they do not have to put any effort. If a customer experiences a problem and receives prompt, diligent, helpful, and memorable customer service, the error he or she faced is only going to add to your brand’s reliability and credibility.
You need to hear your customers on what they have to say or report or they will not feel as connected to your brand as required and if this happens, no matter how much you grow on your existing family of customers, you are only going to lose them eventually because of low satisfaction rate or lower involvement with them.
5. Communication is the key:
This is also in connection to the previous point. Communication is the key to building healthy and ever-lasting relationships with your customers. That includes your social media presence, your customer service, and your interaction with customers for seeking reviews on your service.
If ever something goes wrong, you need to accept proactively that the error was on your part. If you try to conceal details or neglect your mistakes and try to cover up, the relationship you have established with your customers will fall apart and your brand will no longer be a symbol of trust. This will, again, hamper your current audience as well as the potential audience.
6. Timely response and making your brand personal:
If your customer service does not respond timely to the issues of customers, what good is a nice and kind chat with them?
Brands are encouraged to not have scripted communication but to talk like they connect with their customers and completely understand what problem they are facing. The brands need to interact like real people to seem more human and not just corporate.
You can always add certain customer service helplines to your website to which the customers can talk when they face any issue or you can add a live chat option because it makes people feel that somebody is there to guide them and solve their queries.
7. Testimonials help build a reliable image:
When people see other people sharing their experiences, it is a source for them to evaluate how trustworthy is a brand. People figure out different things from the testimonials like how timely does the brand responds to order, how good is the quality of the products.
For example, you see that you are getting a pretty good deal on a Lakme product but you have never tried it because not all products suit your skin. So, you go to the reviews part and look for reviews from people with sensitive skin. If you find that the product suits every skin or particularly your skin you go with that product. It is like you and endorsing your brand through word-of-mouth of your experienced customers.
8. Video charting and teleconferences:
In this era where people are less likely to trust brands easily, written testimonials are sometimes not enough. The best example of using video charting is how the brand, SkinCraft uses it. They ask their happy customers or in some cases, even influencers to share a video of how they were so unhappy with the products they previously used and the results they got after they used to this particular brand. It helps people see the visible changes and seeing that so many customers were happy with the products, people become eager to try them out.
It is also quite beneficial to go live on social media with Q&A sessions addressing the queries that followers raise because people hesitate in buying certain products just because they have some misconceptions or are not clear about the brand. This way, customers also are given a platform to voice their opinions as to what they think the brand should do or change to improve its services or products.
9. Security on your website:
As people as well as brands have shifted to online platforms and made it their hub, websites are very crucial in the imagery of a brand. The amount of safety the customers feel while exploring your website defines the amount of trust they have in your brand. The websites should have basic SSL protection and the payment option must be secure. If the customer faces any problem during the transaction process, you are never going to be able to establish trust through your service.
Even if you build the most efficient strategy to build a relationship with your customers bound with trust, the only way you can retain your audience is by consistency in putting efforts and delivering uncompromised service.
Companies like Amazon, Starbucks, Domino’s, Zomato, etc ace their customer relationship strategy and also include the above-mentioned points and have emerged, thus far, as the most trustable brands and you cannot deny that.