Did you know that 75 to 82% of customers continue to use a trusted brand even when another brand starts trending? Most of these customers will also recommend the trusted brand to others. Trust in turn drives loyalty, and these two can reinforce each other over time.
But customer trust and loyalty don’t just happen. Selling valuable products and services and having good customer support is only the first step.
Brands that enjoy high trust levels tend to have a proactive approach to generating trust. Here are some of the best ways to build customer trust.
1. Ask for Reviews
Whether positive, negative, or neutral, customer reviews are valuable. The good ones improve your brand image and can encourage hesitant customers to press the buy button.
Neutral and negative reviews show you which areas to improve. They also make customers feel that you are listening to them and caring about their experience.
Many customers won’t leave a review if not prompted unless we’re talking of a negative review after a bad experience. When you ask for reviews, you can encourage customers who wouldn’t otherwise share their experience to do so.
2. Don’t Remove Negative Reviews
Negative reviews are natural. Every business gets them, including the most successful companies. The more customers you have, the more likely you are to accumulate negative reviews—it’s unavoidable.
But while you have to address negative feedback, you don’t want to remove it. Removing negative feedback can lower trust. A business featuring only positive reviews looks shady.
Instead, you want to respond to each negative review and offer potential solutions when possible. It’s not just unhappy customers that will notice your effort, but all the others too.
3. Handle Customer Data with Care
Data leaks, compromised personal information, and even hacked accounts keep making it into the news. Poor password security is the root problem of many data breaches, as the 2021 Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report highlights.
Few incidents can hurt customer trust and loyalty more than data breaches. Yet despite all the security measures you may be implementing, your customer data is only as safe as your passwords.
Creating strong passwords across all accounts and updating them regularly takes time. Done manually, it’s a process prone to errors.
Consider using a business password manager if you don’t already. With it, you can streamline generating and managing passwords while at the same time reducing vulnerabilities.
4. Create a Loyalty Program
Loyalty programs take many forms, and you can always adapt them to your business model. From discounts and free shipping to bonus points and other perks, loyalty programs help make customers feel looked after.
If you’re not using one already, you’re not maximizing the trust you can generate. 79% of consxumers say loyalty programs make them more likely to keep buying from brands.
5. Offer the Best Customer Service You Can
For many customers today, customer service is the only direct point of contact between them and your business. It can play a major role in whether your brand generates trust.
People often formulate strong opinions about brands while interacting with customer support. All the more so when they are facing a problem of some kind.
This is why it’s crucial to have an action strategy for those problems for which you don’t have a quick solution. Or when the customer is simply not right but will not see reason.
Customer support that’s generous, prompt, and humane can have a dramatic impact on customer trust levels.
6. Treat Customers as Friends
Which brand do you think customers trust more? The one that treats them as customers? Or the one that treats them as friends?
Treating your customers as friends is a multi-department approach. It’s not just about customer support. It’s about your product descriptions, marketing message, the tone and content of your website, social media profiles, and user manuals. It’s also about the attitude of your sales team.
Treating customers as friends requires work, care, and patience. But it’s a long-term investment that builds trust like few other strategies can.
7. Don’t Promise What You Can’t Deliver
Many companies make promises with the best intentions. Only to see their customer trust levels plummet when they can’t keep them up.
Today, customers are savvier and better informed than ever. They are wary of hype and clickbait strategies, of products and services that promise fantastic results.
This goes back to the previous point on friendship. Because you care about your friends, you probably won’t make promises to them you can’t keep? The same applies to your customers.