How important is trust in business? How to build it?

Importance of trust in business – how and why will customers rely on you?

Trust is important to building great relationships with your  customers. In business, the importance of customer relationships is now known to everyone. It is why customer relationship management has emerged as a new area of research and study as well. Businesses invest in CRM in order to retain their customers. However, retention would  be  difficult if your customers do not rely on you. Businesses must do everything that  inspires trust in their customers. From marketing to sales and customer service, in every area they must focus on building trust. In this era of heavy competition, it is important that businesses do things which help them stand out of the crowd.  Building trust is also one of them. However, there are several things to focus upon in order to build trust.  If Apple and Starbucks command better prices from their customers then it is because these brands are built on trust. The biggest benefit of building trust is that it will keep bringing the customers to you. Lost trust is difficult to regain and it is why brands must form customer oriented strategies.

Trust in business

STRATEGIES TO BUILD TRUST

There are several strategies to build trust. How you market your brand also affects the level of trust your business is able to build among your customers. It is why focusing on communication is important. Every form of communication including marketing communication and publications must be focused at building trust. Remember your focus is to build solid relationships and not just to seal a deal. Every customer is precious and you do not want to lose even a single one. If your customers cannot like you, they do not have a reason to come back. However, that does not mean having a likeable image will be enough to satisfy them. To engage them you need to move deeper. It is not just a give and take relationship and you would have to make your customers feel valued.  If you make efforts that you will deliver the promises you have made, it will show in your results and eventually you are going to love the output.

You will need to take a multi pronged approach and will have to do well in more than one areas. Trustful relationships mean peace of mind for both customers and businesses. When a customer goes shopping online, he checks for some seal of trust. If the brand is old, well known and the customer has had  great experience it with already, the brand name will be enough for trust and satisfaction. Amazon has worked  a lot on customer satisfaction. This is why it has been able to establish  itself as the best brand in the world of online retail. Guaranteed easy returns and other customer friendly policies are not just marketing gimmicks but made to satisfy customers and build trust.

IT STARTS FROM A GREAT PRODUCT/SERVICE

To build trust you must first have a great product or service. Products or services are made to satisfy people’s needs.  All people do not shop on impulse. They want quality for the money they are paying. Amazon’s strategy is to care for both – value and emotions. It is cautious about not only the quality of products being sold but also for its quality of customer service. This is also good for customer engagement. It allows customers to rate products and post their reviews on its website. E-Bay also does the same. This helps maintain transparency and build trust. It also helps build a reliable image. Another important things that it helps with is to understand the consumer’s interests. It helps brands know what customers like and get deeper into their buying behaviour. Websites are trying to design better shopping experiences using the best in class technology.

SHOPPERS’ CONVENIENCE IS IMPORTANT

  A. I. has helped brands take shopping convenience to the next level and several major brands sell their products both online and inside stores. The level of convenience that a website offers is also an important determinant of the level of trust it inspires in its customers. However, today the customers are well informed and would rather check all aspects including product quality, prices and brand image before they shop. Brands need to get all these aspects of the equation right to be loved and wanted by the customers. It also proves that  you are really committed to quality. If you are committed then you must not hesitate to show it. Selling low quality products or being poor in customer service will only attract negative reviews. These reviews are not very good for the health of a business or website and will affect its brand image. Whether in the short term or in the long term these things affect how much your  customers rely on your brand.

STRONG VALUE PROPOSITION AND CONSISTENT MARKETING

To build reliability you have to work on it and  not  grow exhausted by taking a few simple steps. If you are honest, your customers will know. Honesty is integral to building a great brand. All the world’s best brands have become so by putting customers first and not by tricking them into buying. From fast food to fashion and retail both online and in store, everywhere the level of honesty you maintain in your business affects the level of trust between you and your customers. The level of competition has gone up making the entry of new brands difficult.  It is why a strong value proposition is essential to making  a market entry. You must have an outstanding product or service to offer if you want to create trust in your customers’ hearts right from the entrance. You must also use your marketing communication to create trust. The quality of your promotions and marketing messages also helps create trust. Better quality promotional messages do not just catch attention of the customers but also help them relate with the brand. In this area the most important thing is consistency and your promotion must send a consistent message and help the customers  build a clear picture of your brand. This also helps your audience rely on you. If they get a clear picture of your brand, that will create higher customer satisfaction. Consistent messages reinforce value and also drive retention rates higher. They must be used to complement your sales and customer service and build a picture that is clear and precise. It is why the tone of your marketing messages also matters. You do not want to offer a distorted picture to your customers because that  will reduce their reliance on you. You should first determine what type of picture you are trying to create in your audience’s mind. Do you want to be seen as smart, mild, aggressive, hospitable or want to bring some other picture to the customers’ minds. Whatever picture you are trying to build should reflect consistently across the entire communicate  starting from the logo to the advertisements. This will extend to the other aspects of your business including customer service and sales.

In a highly connected world, the kind of picture you are trying to communicate to your audience affects their trust. The level of competition is very high and so trust will affect brand recall. Brands like Amazon, Google and Apple or Walmart, Starbucks and Costco do not have to work much on brand recall. Costco does not even spend much on promotions which indicates the level of trust between the brand and its customers. How these brands have built as much trust? They have done so by investing in it. It cannot be built in day but still efforts will have the results in the shorter or the longer term. Efforts will generate results both in the short and the long term. In the longer term, trust will translate into higher sales, revenues and customer loyalty. Trust is also a reflection of customer satisfaction and vice versa. All these things show how important it is to invest in trust. Building trust and reliance will build your brand and spoiling it can ruin the entire image and reputation. So, any business big or small must invest in building trust.

Sources:

https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/289167

https://www.forbes.com/sites/yec/2014/04/22/three-ways-to-build-customer-trust/#9d88b622b86f

Abhijeet Pratap

I am Abhijeet Pratap, editor of notesmatic. I am an MBA with marketing (major). Apart from writing on various topics in business management, marketing and English literature, I like to read and write about technology.