Consumers trust is a valuable asset to your company. When consumers trust your brand, it means that they will keep coming back, and they will recommend you to others. But as with all relationships, trust does not happen instantly. It is cultivated over time with every interaction with your company and every story about your brand. Here are some suggestions for growing consumer trust in your brand.
Open communication is a two-way street. When a consumer contacts you, that person needs to feel heard. Email and social media now allow for very fast responses to consumers. However, it is critical that communication with consumers be authentic. You may want to have someone in your business who is responsible for such communication. People will figure out that they are receiving an automatic response. It is best when someone takes the time to craft a response that speaks directly to the consumer’s concerns.
Positive reviews catch people’s attention. When people search for a product or service, they will often search for customer reviews at the same time. There are a few things to know about Google reviews, but basically, you should know people trust them. You want to encourage happy customers to leave reviews about your business as this will increase consumer interest. Whether it is Google reviews, Facebook reviews, or reviews on other platforms, positive customer reviews are key to business growth in the digital age.
The challenge of the ease of communication that social media provides is that bad news also travels quickly. Some consumers will be critical of your business. They may have had a bad experience and want to let other people know. Because you have so much invested in your business, it can be tempting to give an angry reaction to a bad review or respond to snark with snark. This strategy almost never makes things better. Instead, respond calmly, apologizing for mistakes that have been made and acknowledging valid criticism. That poor review is an opportunity to step back and look at your business from a different perspective. A calm response allows you to get past the situation and move forward.
False or exaggerated claims will destroy trust in your brand. It can be tempting to make such claims if you are trying to sell a product quickly. However, you will have a series of one-time consumers rather than a growing customer base. Instead, be honest about the limits of your products and services. People would rather be surprised by a product or service that exceeds expectations than disappointed by a brand that falls short of its claims. The need for honesty also extends to acknowledging mistakes. Tell it like it is when your company misses the mark. Consumers will respect your honesty. They will be much more likely to give you a second chance.
One way of encouraging trust is by cultivating goodwill for your brand. While it is important to make a profit, it is also important to find ways to share your success with the local community your serve. Investing in service organizations, youth sports teams or community projects help people see that you care about the well-being of the community. Generosity is also seen in the way you treat employees. People respect a company that cares for employees at all levels. Treating them fairly and providing adequate wages and benefits creates a positive culture. Consumer trust will grow as they see your company creating a caring atmosphere.
Growing consumer trust involves a series of intentional choices. Pursuing trust may not create larger profits in the short term, but it will lead to higher growth in the long term. People keep returning to the brands they trust.
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