Top industry leaders know that trust is the cornerstone of business development. As society grows increasingly dependent on digital communication, however, establishing trust with prospective customers seems harder to earn. How exactly can a company gain trust in an online world where breaches in cybersecurity and online scams make headlines? Despite the challenges for businesses, establishing credibility online is more crucial now than ever before.
So how can your brand gain the confidence of potential customers?
The first step in developing transparency is by providing ample amounts of accurate, honest information about your products or services. A study conducted by Label Insight, a product data company, found that 94 percent of consumers surveyed claimed they would be loyal to a brand that offered complete transparency. In addition, 73 percent of consumers said they would pay more for a product that promises total transparency. With today’s informed consumer, it is no longer enough to create a catchy logo or jingle and expect the masses to buy into the message you are selling. Potential customers want to easily navigate your website and know exactly what your brand has to offer and prices for your services. To drive that point home, a recent study by SME Website Statistics revealed that 48 percent of survey respondents said website layout and design is the No. 1 factor in determining the credibility of a business. If you cannot easily convey on the website how much your company’s products or services cost, then you should make sure that contact information is obvious and noticeable. Customers don’t like hidden surprises, or the impression that they are not being given all the facts. Make sure that everything potential clients need to know is easy to find, thorough and truthful.
Keep Customer Service in Style
While the world may be getting increasingly more digital, top-notch, meaningful customer is still important. For starters, always answer consumer inquiries about your product through your website within 24 hours if possible. The same theory applies for consumer interactions on social media. Create a connection with existing and prospective customers on social media by answering questions or just thanking them for any feedback (both positive and negative). When developing an email marketing campaign, make sure to leave time to thank customers after purchasing a product and ask them if there are any other ways your business could help them along their journey with your brand. While customer service many not look like it did 20 years ago, new technology has provided updated ways to show your appreciation.
Have Values and Stand Behind Them
Transparency in your products and services is not the only form of transparency that potential customers crave in the current digital age; they also want to see transparency and authenticity in brand values as well. When it’s used properly, social media provides the opportunity for brands to connect directly with their audience, which can go far in developing brand loyalty and gaining new customers. Because consumers can now research and learn about a company’s personality, values and ethics, it is important that brands remain genuine and consistent with the image and values they are conveying to the public. The public is very suspicious and can discern when they are not being told the truth or given the full story. Keep this in mind: According to technology website VentureBeat, each day, there are about 2.1 million negative social media mentions about brands in the United States. Consumers are not afraid to make their voices heard to millions, so be clear about your brand values and stick to them! Develop social media content and marketing emails that develop a narrative that is accurate and lends credibility to your unique brand persona.
Go Beyond the Digital Landscape with Prospects
While this blog may focus on creating trust online, remember that it’s easier to establish trust in digital interactions if your brand has already created a trustworthy reputation in the real world. Think about how you can build credibility with prospects — memberships in industry organizations and speaking opportunities, such as panels, webinars and networking functions. The digital world has made finding these opportunities — and nurturing the connections you make at each — easier than ever. Such events are excellent opportunities to familiarize potential customers with your brand. Encourage individuals you meet to visit your website and follow your brand on social media. When communicating with others at business events, it’s important to remain authentic and transparent to build relationships with others. Relationship-building is key to creating trust.
Create an Emotional Appeal to Your Brand
Review your website. Does it include items such as client testimonials and success stories — as well as your company’s portfolio? This type of content can create an emotional appeal to your brand and help clearly convey your overall brand message. According to the Journal of Marketing Research, brands that inspire a higher emotional intensity receive three times as much word-of-mouth promotion as less emotionally-connected brands. Remember: A satisfied customer is the best advertisement.
Building trust with customers and prospects takes time, and it’s no easy feat. Luckily, you don’t have to go about it alone. Contact GREENCREST today to build a brand people can trust.