Consumer trust is all about building relationships. Just like in their everyday lives, consumers treat brands much like they treat people. They want a reason to like you and believe in what you stand for. Buyers are looking to invest their time and money in brands that won’t let them down and must establish trust before they buy your products or services.
Trust isn’t given. It’s earned, and it’s never been more important than it is today. When a brand makes a genuine, emotional connection with its audience, the foundation for brand loyalty is laid.
Here are seven key steps to building consumer trust:
1. Be Available
When consumers need to reach you, be there for them. Nothing builds trust faster than top-notch customer service. Many brands have upped their customer service game since the pandemic began, but plenty are still not giving their buyers the attention they expect. According to the 2021 Netomi Pulse Report, over 50% of consumers believe customer service has not improved.
When a customer makes a phone call, sends an email or reaches out with a problem, be there to answer quickly. Not only will it earn your brand some goodwill and brand loyalty, but word of mouth is still a valuable tool in your marketing arsenal. Keep your customers happy, and they’ll keep coming back. Better yet, they’ll recommend you to others.
2. Consumers are reading reviews before making a purchase
The retail landscape has changed. Millennials and Gen-Zers don’t react the same way to marketing and ad campaigns. Millennials came of age with technology, and Gen-Zers have had it literally their entire lives. They aren’t nearly as interested in ad campaigns and marketing as previous generations. Instead, they are starting their purchasing process with research and product reviews.
It goes without saying that positive reviews will drive buying decisions, but consumers are becoming more educated distinguishing real, authentic reviews from fake. In fact, Wired has compiled list of ways to spot fake online reviews on Amazon.
If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.
3. Put Your Followers to Work
We live in a social media world, and social media is all about engagement. It’s not a one-way conversation. Users are looking to make a connection with people, but they want to make that same connection with brands. Social media is the perfect environment to engage in meaningful conversations and convert that engagement into followers and consumers.
When a follower posts about your brand on social media, engage with them. Give them a shout-out or re-share their post, tag them in your own posts or share user generated content (UGC) on your social platforms.
User generated content does brand marketing for you, allowing your followers to see how real consumers use your products in everyday life. It’s one of the many advantages of the Parent Tested Parent Approved Seal of Approval. When your product is awarded the PTPA Seal of Approval, you know it’s authentic and trusted by parents, for parents. It’s an ideal way to build your brand and gain a competitive edge.
4. Stay real and be relevant
As we mentioned above, customers are looking for a connection with your brand, but they also want it to be authentic and genuine.
Tell your story and create that connection with emotion. Consumers want to believe in you before they buy from you, so give them a reason. Keep your blog and social media channels updated and create relevant, meaningful content that keeps them engaged and entertained.
Not only will you keep your audience informed, but you will establish yourself as a trusted and authoritative voice in your industry. Your audience will keep coming back to hear the next chapter in your story.
5. Protect Consumer Info
Emerging from a global pandemic that saw Ecommerce reach record levels, the world was reminded of the paramount importance of protecting personal information. Any data breaches can not only cost your brand financially, but can cause irreparable damage to any trust and goodwill you have established with your consumers. In fact, it is very likely a deal breaker. Keeping their information safe is imperative.
You should never sell, share or disclose personal information to anyone outside of your business. Your consumers need to know that you take their data privacy seriously and have measures in place to ensure their safety in the complex digital economy.
6. Stand Out with An Award or Certification
The retail landscape is as competitive as it’s ever been. You need every edge you can get to elevate your product and stand out from your competition. An established product award or certification can boost both credibility and brand awareness for startups and give more established brands a competitive edge in a crowded market. A recognized award sets your business apart and promotes trust and brand loyalty.
A study from EU-based Best Business Awards says award-winning startups can see a staggering 63% increase in income, and a 39% lift in sales. Larger, more established companies can also reap the rewards with up to a 48% income bump and 37% sales growth.
For more than 15 years, retailers, manufacturers and consumers have looked to the prestigious PTPA Seal of Approval as a symbol of trust and authenticity. It means your product is trusted by parents, for parents. Certify your product today and set your product apart from the rest.
7. Always listen
Building trust isn’t just about conversions. Trust is permanent. As we outlined above, maintain five-star customer service and always listen to what your consumers have to say.
Trust only happens when you let your consumers know you hear them, have listened to their concerns and will take action. By doing that, you’ll gain their respect, trust and loyalty.
Everything your brand does online is essentially a promise to the consumer.
Now it’s up to you to deliver on those promises. Do that, and you will strengthen relationships. Be genuine and true, and your customers will respond with loyalty. Try to take shortcuts, and you’ll lose business. It’s that simple.
We are giving you what we see as the foundational elements for building trust with your consumers. But trust isn’t a seven-step process. It should be an end game.
Be available for your consumers. Listen to them, support them and always keep their data safe.
Do that, and trust will follow.
And trust can turn a brand into a legacy.