As a consumer, do you feel as if you are able to trust the brands you interact with? The 2018 Edelman Trust Barometer revealed that 52% of the U.S. population does not trust businesses as an institution. Meanwhile, consumer trust has become a controversial topic that is leading brands to further discuss how they interact with their consumers. Contrary to popular belief that brands are not to be easily trusted, many brands are now working actively to establish trust with their consumers. Below are four ways your brand can enhance consumer trust and, in the process, improve the overall consumer experience:
- Stay consistent: Every aspect of your brand should be consistent including your overall message, logo and design, and brand personality. If any of these are inconsistent, consumers may not recognize it, and you risk “losing them”. Using a brand management software like Frontify can be very helpful in staying consistent and organized across all channels. Consistency is a proven strategy that will secure a local brand following while solidifying your reputation as a trustworthy brand.
- Above and beyond customer service: The foundation of any positive personal relationship requires reliability, honesty, and care. The same values should apply for businesses as they relate to their consumers. Showing consumers that your brand cares can come in many different tactical forms, including surveys or questionnaires. Surveys allow your consumers to feel heard and empowered while also showing that you not only value, but require, their opinion. But no matter how you choose to execute your excellent customer service, always remember that a successful and trustworthy brand relationship must be two-way. Your customer needs to see that you give, and not just see you as the only recipient “taking” something in your transactional relationship.
- Be personal: Making your brand feel authentically personal is a great way to gain and keep consumer trust. It must start from the inside: Encouraging employees to be less scripted and “robotic” is the first step to relating in a more personal way with your consumers. To put it simply, always view your consumers as the real people they are – and less like someone you are trying to win over or sell something to. Being more personal is an easy principle to nurture and can quickly change the overall impression of your brand.
- Always be accessible: Making your brand available across all platforms and through different forms of communication is vital. A huge miss for businesses is forcing customers to search exhaustively for contact information. A phone number, email, direct message option, or even an instant chat box should be noticeable and easy to access on any website or social media account. It is also important to remember that not everyone prefers the same line of communication. Therefore, having a phone number ready for the consumer that wants instant answers is just as important as regularly checking your direct messages on social media for the consumer that prefers to online chat. Accessibility will allow your consumers to not only trust your overall brand, but also trust you to give them the highest levels of clarity and communication.