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Deeper Than Loyalty: How to Create a Culture of Consumer Trust

Coral Drake | November 27, 2023 |

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Deeper Than Loyalty: How to Create a Culture of Consumer Trust

Consumer trust is your ticket to consistent sales, strong engagement, and unlimited opportunities for growth. You may have a loyalty program and surely have some form of customer outreach and communication, but how can you build a culture of consumer trust at your company? 

How to Create a Culture of Consumer Trust

Enforce Strong Website Security Measures

Robust website security is a great way to build a strong foundation of consumer trust. Compromising a customer’s security is a trust breaker, and once you’ve crossed that line, it’s hard to recover. Here are some crucial steps for maintaining strong website security:

Strong Password Policy: For confidential content on your website, require strong passwords and ask your users to change them regularly. 

Protect Consumer Data: Even if you encrypt all customer data, there are still risks that failed website security will hurt customer relationships. Collect only what you need, and get rid of data when you don’t need it anymore. Think hard about whether you want to take on the responsibility of saving credit card information or collecting detailed personal information about customers. 

Choose a Trusted Web Host: Choose a reputable web hosting company that provides additional security features like malware detection, firewall protections, and distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) mitigation. This is not somewhere you want to cut costs. 

HTTPS Encryption: Secure your website with a secure sockets layer, or SSL, certificate to enable the HTTPS protocol in your web address. This ensures data transmitted between your site and visitors is kept confidential. 

Two-factor Authentication (2FA): Require users to verify their identity using two different methods, like a password along with a phone call, SMS, or email verification. While logging in twice can be annoying, it’s better than a compromise in company security.

Be Active in Physical and Digital Communities

The more customers see your company represented by real people in their community, the more trust they’ll have in it. 

Community discussions in town halls, community forums, and niche social media groups don’t just build trust with the people your company engages directly—it gives you the data you need to build a more trustworthy brand. Collaborate with local businesses or companies that complement but don’t directly compete with you so you can benefit from other brands’ trust-building efforts. 

Engagement on social media keeps your audience informed and interested. Regular posts and updates about your business and interesting industry-related content keep your company current in customers’ minds. 

It's crucial to respond quickly to comments and messages. Many customers make first contact with a company on social media. In the delay before your response, a customer may sign on with a company whose response was quicker. 

Hosting live product demonstrations on social media platforms allows for real-time interaction with your audience, similar to the experience customers would have in a brick-and-mortar store. 

Provide Top-notch Customer Support

Your customer support team is your frontline in maintaining customer relationships. This is your opportunity to save customer trust when something has gone wrong. 

Make help available in whatever way a customer may want to contact you, be it by phone, email, or live chat. Utilize 24-hour customer support and include a robust “frequently asked questions” section on your website.

If you get a large volume of customer feedback, it’s wise to set up a ticketing system to track and manage queries so you know each customer has been addressed.

Providing top-notch customer support means creating a system where customers feel valued and heard. Your customer support team should be trained to be empathetic, helpful, and unemotional.

Practice Proactive Communication

Quick responses show your company is capable and caring. Address issues promptly, communicate clearly about when and how the problem will be resolved, and ensure the customer is satisfied with the outcome. 

However, you shouldn’t just be communicating with customers when something has gone wrong. Engaging customers proactively keeps them interested and makes them feel valued. 

Whether it’s new offerings, changes in policies, or just what’s going on with the company, proactive communication plays a vital role in customer relationships. 

Enable proactive communication by collecting emails or cell phone numbers for updates and notifications. Encourage customers to download a company app with a loyalty program so you can notify them about special offers and updates or respond to queries.

Be Transparent

Be open with customers about the company’s practices, especially when it comes to privacy and data protection. Clearly communicate to customers how their data will be used and protected against potential threats. 

According to the Pew Research Center 79 percent of customers are highly concerned about how companies utilize their data. Make sure you’re setting your customers’ minds at ease.

Transparency also extends to being honest about the company’s offerings and capabilities. If there are limitations to a product or service, these should be communicated clearly before the purchase is made.

When issues arise, acknowledging them and addressing them head-on is vital. Train your team to be empathetic, kind, and direct. Customers are more likely to be forgiving and reach a compromise when they feel heard and validated.

Employ CRM Software

Customer relationship management (CRM) is your central hub for storing and managing customer data. Without it, personalized and timely interactions with clients get a lot harder. 

CRM systems meticulously record every interaction a customer has with the company. This data provides a comprehensive view of the customer's journey, enabling businesses to understand their needs and preferences better.

CRM software automates marketing, sales, and customer service processes. It enables targeted marketing campaigns, timely follow-ups, and efficient customer service. 

The analytics provided by CRM software help identify trends, manage leads, and assess campaign effectiveness to enable informed decision-making. 

By ensuring that every customer interaction is personalized and consistent, CRM software plays a vital role in consumer trust and loyalty.

Showcase Company Values

Core values are the bedrock of customer trust. Make sure they shine. There are so many ways you can showcase your company values. 

For instance, if you want to show your commitment to sustainability, use eco-friendly packaging and participate in environmental causes. 

Build marketing campaigns emphasizing reducing carbon footprint, and share behind-the-scenes glimpses of your environmental stewardship efforts on social media.

Use Reviews to Build Trust

Reviews are a powerful tool for building and maintaining customer relationships. They’re an opportunity for you to showcase your customer service skills. Responding well and thoughtfully to negative reviews is a brilliant way to not only take the punch out of the damage they may cause your reputation but also show you’re proud of your company and willing to engage with a dissatisfied customer. 

Create a Culture of Consumer Trust

Consumer trust is insulation against the changing tides of your industry. Customers who trust your brand often keep coming back, even if the competition is cheaper or more convenient. 

A great loyalty program is a superb way to engage customers, but don’t stop there. Engage your customers’ trust on every level, from the quality of your products or services, to the security of your website. You’ll be rewarded with a consistent consumer base who sings your praises.