How to Improve Customer Relationships Through Trust
Your customer relationships are built on a foundation of trust. In one study, 62% of customers who highly trust a brand buy almost exclusively from them.
Consumers have more brands to choose from and base their purchasing decisions on reputations and relationships. Holding these brands to higher standards means they get more for their money. And they will quickly change their minds if they no longer trust them.
Trust & Distrust
Are trust and distrust two sides of the same coin? Indeed, they are opposites, but it seems that distrust is a major obstacle to overcome. Whether it’s rational or not, consumer distrust is a fear of loss or disappointment when purchasing from a particular brand or service. Some consumers even distrust brands they’ve never used or had any personal contact with primarily because of an implicit bias or internet rumor.
Building trust deserves more attention, especially for smaller brands that may not have big-box stores’ physical presence and mindshare. When a brand establishes trust, it seeks to align with its customers’ expectations. What drives these expectations can be found in three distinct areas of your business:
- Data Protection (Privacy)
- Ethical Practices
Each one has a significant impact on operations and customer service. It’s also part of the overall strategic plan for any retail operation.
3 Areas to Build trust
Data Protection and Privacy – Safeguarding customer information begins with compliance. Building trust goes beyond compliance. You need to exceed data protection standards and make your customers understand their rights and what you do with their data. Transparency and security are the pillars of building trust. Upgrading systems and technology will improve your cybersecurity and help you stay ahead of the curve.
These expectations should also extend to your vendors. Each one should comply and be open and honest about your data.
Employees – One of the fastest ways to build trust in your brand is to train your employees on best practices for customer service continually. Training decreases the chances of a customer having a negative experience and empowers your employees to build trust when it’s lost. Employees are also the gatekeepers of customer data.
Research also shows that your customers are aware of your treatment of employees. During the pandemic, employee treatment has entered customer purchasing decisions in recent years. This focuses on a company’s ability to ensure the safety and well-being of its employees.
Ethical Practices – Consumers trust that businesses will do the right thing. The right thing varies from industry to industry, but it’s one of the significant elements of maintaining consumer trust. Many consumers want eco-friendly and sustainably sourced products. When you support the causes they believe in, you’re validating their beliefs and share a deeper connection with them. This also extends into community giving and charity.
Build Trust in Customer Relationships
The bond between employees and customers is at the center of building trust. This bond can overcome product availability and other obstacles that often lead to a negative experience. When you provide your employees with the resources and expertise they need, you increase customer satisfaction. In turn, you’ll improve data protections and employee morale—a win-win situation that your customers want to see.