One of the most important things for a business to be is trustworthy. If people don’t trust your company, they’ll be less willing to pay for your products or services and will likely look for alternatives. By contrast, building a reputation for trustworthiness will encourage loyalty and bring in new customers.
Studies show that 49% of U.S. consumers have purchased from a company because they trust it, and 44% have stopped buying because of a lack of trust. So, how can you build credibility to fall into the first half of that figure instead of the latter? Here are five crucial steps.
1. Excel in Customer Service
Customer service is your chance to talk face-to-face with clients, so it’s one of the most important factors for building trust. Keep the customer’s needs at the forefront of all conversations, and answer questions as thoroughly and quickly as possible. If you respond to inquiries and give guidance speedily and effectively, it shows you care about your clients’ business.
Remember to be personable, too. Nearly half of all Americans say they feel more lonely than usual after the pandemic, so a little humanity can go a long way. Demonstrations of kindness, empathy and care will make a lasting impression.
2. Be Transparent
It’s also important to be transparent about all your goals, operations, products and impact. If a company keeps all of its details behind closed doors, consumers will wonder if they’re trying to hide something. By contrast, transparency generates trust because it shows you’re committed to honesty.
Be honest about your mistakes, too. Nearly nine in ten people are more likely to give a brand a second chance if they’re transparent. Take responsibility, get ahead of any potential controversy and be open about your company’s shortcomings.
Transparency also applies to your strengths. If you have processes, customer testimonials or values that set your company apart, tell people about them.
3. Improve Your Curb Appeal
Some steps to improving credibility are easier to overlook. While it may not seem as important at first, your property’s physical appearance plays a big role in communicating trustworthiness. Curb appeal demonstrates attention to detail and care for the customer experience.
It’s hard not to judge a book by its cover. While your actual products and services should be top-notch, too, your property should reflect that. Keep everything clean and in good repair, provide clear, safe walkways, use greenery and paint to your advantage and invite people in.
4. Ask for Feedback
Customer feedback is one of the best tools a business has. Questions, ratings and suggestions can show what’s important to customers and where companies need to improve. Asking for feedback also communicates that you care about helping your customers.
Instead of waiting for customers to post reviews, ask them if there’s any way you can improve after they make a purchase. Remember to act on this feedback, too. Ineffectiveness is the number one cause of frustration in customer service. By contrast, if a company actually changes in response to feedback, it shows it prioritizes customers, building trust.
5. Capitalize on Referral Marketing
Similarly, you can maximize credibility among your client base by publicizing positive feedback. Few things are as convincing of a company’s trustworthiness as other customers attesting to it. Only 38% of global consumers trust advertisements, but 93% trust friends and family members.
You can capitalize on this by using referral marketing. Offer rewards in return for customers referring others to your company. This will encourage word-of-mouth marketing, growing your reputation as a trustworthy, quality business. The incentives will also help satisfy existing customers even more.
Trust Is Crucial for Customer Loyalty and Growth
If you want to succeed as a business, you need to generate trust. Consumers are growing increasingly skeptical about whether companies have their best interests at heart. Going the extra mile to prove you care about them and their needs will help you stand out from the crowd.
Trustworthy companies will foster more customer loyalty and encourage peer-to-peer marketing. As a result, your client base will grow and stick with you in the future.
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