This is the age of eCommerce and social media, but it’s also the age of consumer trust. Gartner explains that almost 75% of buyers expect dependability from their favorite brands.
In other words, consumers need to trust you before they buy from you.
But how can you earn such trust from customers? It’s not only a question of communication, honesty or accountability. Consumer trust is about nurturing an emotional connection with buyers.
What is Consumer Trust?
Simply put, consumer trust is the buyer’s faith in a business. It’s something you earn by delivering great products and services. But it’s also about protecting users and caring for them.
Consumer trust is hard to build, and easy to lose. It takes more than preaching a unique credo. You must also prove that you’re an honest, authentic brand that won’t harm its customers.
For example, how do you reply to customer emails? What is your response to negative reviews? The way you handle these actions will determine your long-term consumer trust.
Why is Consumer Trust Important?
The digital landscape poses more risks to customers than ever before. Now, they’re sharing personal data, and their social media intel, with brands. And that’s on top of their money. This makes it really tough to build consumer trust in online shopping.
Users also expect great and honest experiences, in exchange for such information. Misusing such data could cost you dearly. You could also lose followers, sales, and profitability.
If you want users to share part of their lives, brands need to learn how to build trust with customers. Plus, fostering consumer trust will also help you drive your seller-buyer relationships to the next level:
- Create personal experiences. Once a user shares their data, you’ll be able to create a tailored journey for them. You can offer unique products and discounts, or request feedback about their experience.
- Boost customer loyalty. To build engagement and loyalty, you need to share the actions you take to delight users. In return, they’ll become brand advocates by their own choice.
How to Build Consumer Trust and Loyalty
It takes more than repeat sales to connect with users. Trust requires openness, transparency, accountability, dependability, and honesty.
Let’s see what it takes to build each of these tenets to foster stellar consumer trust.
Trust is a two-way street. You can start building it with stellar customer service.
Customer service offers a direct line between sellers and buyers. It’s a forum where users can share their concerns. It’s also a point of contact where you can delight them.
Here are some tips you can use to boost your customer service:
- Use consumer data to anticipate the user’s needs.
- Offer product information (like pricing) at a moment’s notice.
- Offer pre-filled forms to speed up data submission.
Your goal should be to deliver quick and efficient solutions. Also, focus on patience and attention.
Users are asking for help and taking time out of their day to talk with you. So, always reply with kindness. This way, customers will remember your service in the future.
Transparency and Honesty
We’ve already mentioned the importance of protecting customer privacy. But how can you guarantee them protection? Simple: communication.
Tell customers how you’ll help and protect them. Explain what you can do to keep their data safe. This is as important as sharing your values and policies. It lets customers know who you are, and the standards by which you operate.
Also, make sure that your words and actions match. Be upfront about your possibilities and limitations as a business. And when the time comes, don’t make any false promises. In short, don’t make promises that you can’t keep.
This should also apply to marketing. Be honest about what a product can do, and how it will help customers. False publicity will only attract bad repute, and also repel new leads.
Customers trust customers. That’s why reviews are so important for brands nowadays. Positive reviews build trust and credibility. They speak about what a brand can do for the market, from the user’s point of view.
To attract new buyers and build trust, it’s paramount that you request and share customer reviews. Doing so will prove that real users can vouch for your products and services. Plus, it will only add to your brand’s legitimacy.
People make mistakes, and so do businesses. But don’t shy away from errors, it’s always better to own and address them. Users will respect this, and they’ll trust you to set things right.
Requesting feedback is key to building consumer trust. It shows that you care about your customers’ opinions. But to take things further, you should also share their feedback. Here are a few ideas to work on:
- Include reviews and on your website. You can even set up a dedicated page to showcase testimonials.
- Post customer reviews in your blog posts, and across your social media channels.
- Share them in your product pages. This will increase engagement and boost your conversion rate.
Another great thing about requesting customer feedback is that you can act on it. When you come across negative reviews, you’ll have the opportunity to act on it.
Reach out to customers and ask them to share their experience in depth. Then, take their insights and solve the issue. The user will feel as part of the solution, and also know that his experience is valuable to your brand.
Don’t let your customers think they can rely on you, make them feel like they can. That is the key to consumer trust.
But where to begin? Create great products, provide great services, and go beyond transactions. This means listening to customers.
Stay in touch to learn what they need from you, and work to deliver just that. It’s an ongoing journey, in which you must constantly prove that you have the buyer’s best interests in mind.
Esteban Muñoz is a content writer at AMZ Advisers, with several years’ experience in digital marketing and e-commerce. Esteban and the AMZ Advisers team have been able to achieve incredible growth on Amazon for their clients by optimizing and managing their accounts, and creating in-depth content marketing strategies.