Building customer trust in a digital world
So many customer interactions are now happening entirely online. But how do you build trust and inspire loyalty in customers who you may never meet?
Here are some essential points towards establishing that vital relationship of trust with your digital customers.
1. Be honest, upfront, and transparent
People don’t like to have their expectations blighted, so be completely upfront about how you intend doing business. Your customers must know what they can expect from you, and how the whole process is going to work.
Ensure that there are redress measures in place, and that your customers know about them. Transparent information leads to realistic expectations – and this is a great start towards building trust in your brand. In fact, 85% of consumers will continue to support a brand during a brand crisis if it has a history of being transparent.
2. Provide stellar customer service and CX
Providing excellent customer service is an unmissable element of building trust online. The process whereby customers can contact and interact with you must be easy, accessible, and straightforward. Remember, the better a customer’s experience is, the more likely they are to make a purchase.
Make sure your customers have a user-friendly platform for leaving feedback. Encourage your customers to interact and share their opinion (good or bad) through reviews or on social media.
Don’t be tempted to remove bad reviews! Acknowledge the reviews or comments publicly, so other potential customers can see you take feedback seriously. To win trust you have to be transparent and deal effectively with things that go wrong.
3. Give your customers up-to-date, interesting, and engaging content
They say that ‘content is king’. Whenever possible, engage your customers through interesting and relevant video content, brand stories, and informative blog posts.
Precise and up-to-date content is key here. Incorrect information and non-valid links are absolute no-nos, as are incorrect grammar, punctuation, and spelling.
4. Project a consistent and convincing brand personality
Customers don’t enjoy feeling confused. (Who does?) They are most comfortable when they know exactly who they’re dealing with.
The same pertains to your brand personality. You need to consistently maintain a warm, welcoming, and approachable tone throughout.
The same goes for your style, brand image and colour scheme. You want to consistently project the brand persona your customers have become familiar and can identify with.
5. Be sincere, respectful, and LISTEN
Online trust is built through and based on successful communication, and this process always starts with you listening to your customers. Your customer support team must come across as sincere, welcoming, and helpful.
Your tone must be respectful, empathetic, and supportive. Your customers should feel that you are genuinely concerned about their well-being, and committed to ensuring a great interaction with them.
Interacting with your brand online has to be easy, pleasant and never a drag! Remember many of your customers will interact by cell phone or tablet, so your mobile experience also needs to be slick and seamless.
6. Prove to your customers you’re a great brand
Your customers aren’t simply going to take your word that you’re the best – you have to prove to them that you’re the real deal.
- Feature case studies, reviews, and testimonials on your website, as well as any positive brand mentions on other channels and sites.
- Put the spotlight on any awards, endorsements, or accreditations your brand has received.
- Highlight any community work you’ve done or relevant causes your brand supports.
- Let your customers get to know some of the faces behind your brand by featuring them on your website.
All this boosts your visibility and builds respect and trust.
7. Make sure your customers feel secure
You must protect your customers’ data and they must know that you’re doing it. Your privacy policies and terms of service must be crystal clear and unambiguous with no room for confusion.
In all your dealings and transactions, you must adhere meticulously to PCI compliance guidelines so your customers can buy from you with complete ease-of-mind.
8. Make sure your customers can get help when they need it
Your Contact Us info must be clear and easily visible. Nothing is more infuriating for customers to not be able to get hold of a business when they’re battling with a problem. Customer trust and loyalty fly out the window there and then!
More and more forward-looking businesses deal with this issue by ensuring 24/7 availability by providing contact centres and a live chat help facility. Being on hand when a customer needs you is a vital part of keeping their trust.
9. Don’t flood your customers’ inboxes
Pestering your customers is not a good marketing strategy, so make sure any follow-up emails and promotions you send them are appropriate and relevant. In truth, many customers’ tolerance for and patience with follow-up marketing is wearing pretty thin!
Make sure that any emails, text messages or promotions you send them are personalised. And always allow them the option to unsubscribe!
10. Give your customers the option to say ‘No’
Some customers are happy to hear about sales, new offers, products, and promotions, but many are just not interested. It’s crucial that you get their permission before you start sending them promotional info. Giving people a choice is a basic human courtesy that is essential to earning their trust and loyalty.
Trust is a powerful yet fragile thing. Trust and customer loyalty take a lot of time and effort to build, but can be destroyed surprisingly quickly. Successfully cultivate and nurture your customers’ trust and loyalty, and your business will thrive. Lose it and your business may pay a dear price for it.
Remember, if you have any questions or need advice on building stronger relationships with your customers, Digital Customer Care Company is happy to help! Reach out.