Customer trust is an essential element in shaping a business strategy. With customers and prospects increasingly volatile, satisfaction alone is not always enough to retain them. We must go further: convince them, move them and, above all, keep their promises. The company must earn the trust of its customers and then keep it in order to finally benefit from it. The goal? Turn your customers into ambassadors.
Gaining the trust of your customers
What are the key factors?
According to a study conducted by Edelman in 2017, there are seven dimensions of the consumer-brand relationship. The 3 preferred ones for respondents are: embodying a unique identity, having a distinctive sign and, finally, telling a compelling and memorable story. Indeed, today the customer experience counts almost more than anything else. Sometimes even more than price or quality. So convey strong values, wear your company colours. In short, don’t be afraid to be authentic.
Customer knowledge, source of trust and business
Big data is a great asset for customer insight. It gives access to a multitude of data that can improve your understanding of customers and potential customers. Provided you can analyse it, of course. Let’s take a quick GDPR reminder (again!): You don’t need to collect all the data about your customers. Only ask for the ones that are really useful for you. You will save time, money and, most importantly, provide proof of trustworthiness to your customers.
There is no point in rushing, customer trust is earned gradually
To be solid and sustainable, the Customer Relationship must be based on mutual trust between the customer and the company. There is no point in trying to win back a customer who has lost trust in you or who does not believe in your authenticity. It is lost. In fact, trust is earned, earned, earned. It is a long process that takes place gradually … and can collapse in an instant.
Listening and omnichannel, pillars of a trusting Customer Relationship
By definition, the company must be there when its customers or prospects need it. If they have something to say, listen to them! It may sound basic, but, if you think about it, it is often easier said than done. So give them a smooth ride because customer trust depends, among other things, on your ability to handle omni-channel properly.
Customer culture, a vote of confidence.
Customer culture and customer trust are intimately linked. If your employees are convinced of your Customer Relationship strategy, they will be your best spokespeople. Take the time to train them to create a true customer culture that benefits both internally and externally. In addition, Eric Dadian, President of the AFRC (French Customer Relations Association) often repeats: “Customer engagement requires collaborative engagement”
Benefit from this trust
From a satisfied customer to an ambassador
You have acquired it, you keep it, so now take advantage of this famous customer trust. Indeed, a satisfied customer is a powerful ambassador for your brand. In general, keep in mind that a person has more trust in his or her peers than anyone else. And this is true in many sectors. Therefore, to transform your satisfied customers into ambassadors, you can, for example, rely on gamification actions, such as the “Spread the love” carried out with Efficy’s customers. Source : Efficy website
Enjoy and be wary of social networks and review sites
Social networks and review sites are, by their very nature, places of real-time expression. Consumers leave their impressions, and almost always in the heat of the moment. It is therefore a great source of information for the company. When a brand or product is recommended, its credibility increases dramatically. In return, you must manage the risks of damage to e-reputation to avoid bad buzz . This is the example of TripAdvisor, Amazon or Airbnb. Trust hangs in the balance!
Trust and Customer Relationship: the last word
Trust is a key element in the consumer journey because it is what makes the purchase a reality . If sharing common values or peer recommendations promotes customer trust, they are not the only ones. The strength of the relationship between a brand and its customers also varies by industry and generation. Thus, according to an Edelman study, Millennials (23-37 years old) have the highest rate (44%). They are then followed at 42% by Generation Z (18-22 years), then at 37% by Generation X (38-51 years), and finally at 30% by the +52 year olds. So, one thing is for sure: to gain the trust of your customers, adapt your messages to their expectations and needs. This is how you will attract their attention, satisfy them and build loyalty.
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