They say that every successful relationship is built on a solid foundation of trust. But what is trust? How can you engender trust in your audience and, more importantly, maintain customer goodwill and faith in your brand? It’s actually easier than you think.
According to Merriam-Webster’s dictionary, trust is the “firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something.” The cornerstone of the foundation of trust is communication. When you communicate with your customers and prospects, you are establishing trust. Your customers know that there’s no “man behind the curtain,” and your prospects have your history of communication to make informed decisions about your business.
It’s a given that we want our customers to believe that we are reliably able to deliver on our promise of a quality product or service. Think about any time you have ordered a product online. How did you feel about companies that sent you prompt notifications about receiving your order, shipping details, and tracking numbers? How did you feel about companies that failed to send you updates about your order? When a company consistently and reliably communicates with their customers, trust is built and maintained.
But businesses are subject to the vagaries of the human condition; in other words, life happens and will impact your ability to meet your customers’ expectations. So when that happens, it is imperative to stay ahead and in front of your customers. Sending timely notifications across communication channels will keep your customers informed and happy — maintaining your head-earned trust.
In the digital age, everything can be fact-checked so you want to make sure that your customers know that your word is your bond. Never make a claim that can’t be backed up — whether it’s about a topic, your product, or your promise.
When your customers know that they can trust you to tell them the truth — even if it’s an unpleasant one — they will know that they can depend on you. That goodwill will carry through in reviews, repeat business, and organic brand ambassadors.
While your existing customers may know that you faithfully deliver on your commitments, prospects may be more dubious — especially if you’re trying to gain a foothold in an action-packed market. So demonstrating your product or service ability is paramount to gaining the trust of new customers.
One really effective way to demonstrate your ability is to showcase examples of your expertise and ability through regular communication with your target audience. While not all of your audience may have opted in to receive newsletters or emails from you, staying on top of your social media game will give you an advantage. As an added bonus, your loyal customers can leave you reviews which will only help underscore your point.
What image comes to mind when you think about strength? If you are like many folks, you probably had an image of a heavily muscled superhero in mind. But strength isn’t just about muscles and physical strength. It’s also about honesty and vulnerability (yes, even businesses are vulnerable). So how do you demonstrate the strength of your brand to customers and prospects alike? It all comes down to communicating — your failures as well as your successes. Make transparency your superpower and it will pay dividends in growing your business.
Every relationship needs a solid foundation of trust in order to flourish and thrive. Using a multichannel communication strategy will help you stay in touch with your audience and build trust. By staying in frequent communication with your customers and prospects, you will not only establish trust in your brand, but maintain it and grow your business exponentially.