Cheryl Johnson

Proven strategies for building trust with customers

With the existence of fraudulent activity online, it's extrememly important to focus on building customer trust; earning and keeping it can mean a long and healthy life for your business. Learn proven and actionable strategies to help you increase customer trust and keep it!

Invest in your business; invest in customer trust.

Why is it important to build trust with customers? Research shows that customers place a lot of weight on trust when they make buying decisions. According to a report by Edelman, roughly 80% of consumers surveyed said that trusting a brand to do what's right was a major factor in their decision to make a purchase.

Building trust with customers also drives brand loyalty according to the Edelman report. 75% of global survey respondents said that even if a new and trendy brand popped up, they would continue to buy from a brand they trusted. On top of that, 59% of people surveyed were happy to pay higher prices for a trusted brand. Customer loyalty drives brand longevity. Therefore, earning your customers' trust is vital to the continued success and health of your business.

Create a long-lasting brand built on customer trust.

It's a great feeling to have complete trust. People need trust in a lot of areas of their lives, especially when it comes to how they spend their money. Think about companies that you trust. Why do you trust them? How have they built trust over time, how do they keep trust, and how can you emulate these principles in your business?

There are so many things businesses can do today, right now, to start earning customer trust. Real trust isn't achieved through one change or action, it's something that grows over time, that you can begin to plant through even the smallest changes.

Start today. Learn actionable and proven tips for building trust with customers.

It can be tricky to establish authentic trust that lasts. The good news is that there are a lot of proven strategies and methods behind what builds trust with customers. By condensing a few of the basic and effective tips, we've created a guide for you to get started on your trust-building journey. First, we'll look at a few general principles. Then we will take a look at building trust online specifically, making sure that your customers trust the safety of your website.

Establish an emotional connection

According to cognitive scientist Paul Thaggard, "trust has an inextricable emotional dimension...to trust people, you need to feel good about them." This concept is the same when building trust with customers: to do business with your company, people need to feel good about it.

The Edleman report about customer trust tells us that of the customers surveyed, 81% globally said that trusting the brand to do what is right is a deciding factor in whether to make a purchase. Harvard Business Review reports that based on lifetime value an emotionally connected customer can be up to twice as valuable as a highly satisfied customer. However, this does not mean that you should sacrifice customer satisfaction. There is nothing wrong with an emotionally connected customer and a satisfied customer. These things can only help your brand grow and resonate with more consumers.

Customers trust authenticity

To show authenticity, a brand needs to stand for something. We know that corporate social responsibility is extremely important to consumers these days, but what's equally as important is the follow-through. Spokesperson for Blackmores, Australia's most trusted vitamin brand in 2018, says that brands "need to live by what they posit. Whatever is inherent in the brand is what the public will hold it to."

Generally, people don't want to be told what is authentic and what they should support or care about. They want something that moves them, and they want proof that it's real. Instead of going out and talking about what your company stands for, show people through real examples, and trust will form organically over time.

If your business believes in supporting tech in schools, donate a part of your proceeds to that cause to show customers you put your money where your mouth is. By showing people through real examples, trust will form organically over time.

Be active on social media

By having an active presence on social media, you can show your customers who you are and what you care about. In Entrepreneur's guide for building customer trust naturally, being active and visible on social media is at the top of the list. And this is for good reason.

Entrepreneur points out that by creating more exposure online, you can give customers a better feel for who you are and what to expect when engaging with your business. Give people a sense of familiarity and comfort before they become your customers. Building this foundation is key in establishing trust with customers long term.

Building trust online: How to protect your website

Whether you sell products or services online, or you collect customer information for remarketing or otherwise, it's essential that you have a website that customers feel they can trust. VeriSign says 85% of consumers state that trusting the (web) site is most important when interacting on a website and sharing confidential information, compared to 9% that cited price. It's important to know how you can protect your website and make sure that customers always feel comfortable making purchases and sharing personal information. Here are a few useful tips:

  • Website design and quality. First impressions can be everything. Make sure your website is in top shape. This includes making sure the content is up to date and proofread. Typos are an immediate turn-off and can negatively impact your credibility. Make sure your website has a clean, modern design and all of your information is easy to find.

  • Display privacy and security policies prominently. Make sure customers know that you are compliant with the latest privacy and security policies. The footer of your website is a good, common area to put links to these items.

  • Make it easy for site visitors to get in touch with you. Nothing frustrates customers more than searching for contact information. Make sure customers can quickly find the best ways to contact you. In today's highly competitive online marketplace, it's enough to make someone move on to the next online retailer. Be available through chat, phone, or email so that customers don't have any trouble reaching you for answers to their questions.

  • Use fraud protection software to provide a good customer experience. By installing fraud protection software on your website, you can guarantee that your customers' legitimate orders will be processed. You can approve more orders and make sure that your website is safer than ever. With a tool like NS8, you can monitor your website 24/7, so you will always be alerted to threats to your online business and your customers.

Building trust with customers is extremely valuable to the lifespan of your business. If you're looking for something to focus on in the growth of your brand, focus on building customer trust. Use proven methods like establishing an emotional connection, engaging in corporate social responsibility, and following through on what you stand for. Go even further as an online business by taking every step necessary to make sure that your customers have a safe, secure, and seamless shopping environment.

About the author
Cheryl Johnson

Cheryl is a Content Marketer at NS8. She helps to direct the company's content marketing strategy, and works with the team to provide valuable and informative content.

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