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How The Customer Trust Crisis Might Be Affecting Your Business
Trust is a key building block to any relationship, including the one between a customer and a business. Unfortunately, most customers have been burned by a business in the past. Sometimes it may be fairly harmless, such as receiving a product that didn’t quite match up to the expectations. Other times, it can lead to a massive loss of an investment that may result in a lengthy and expensive legal battle.
Instances of business negligence, as well as the rise of “fake news” and “alternative facts,” has become a part of everyday life. As you can imagine, this phenomenon has led to a trust implosion that is hurting businesses in a major way.
Salesforce recently published a report on Trends in Customer Trust found that when customers trust a company, they are far more likely to buy more, spend more money, and recommend the brand to others. On the opposite side of the spectrum, consumers that distrust a business would be far less likely to do so.
Obviously, the lack of trust can clearly have a negative impact on the success of your business by making it more difficult to generate and convert leads. However, in order to build trust with your customers, you need to first understand why they are skeptical and how to address their concerns.
Let’s discuss this in more detail, shall we?
According to the Trends in Customer Trust report from Salesforce, one of the leading reasons why people distrust businesses is that they feel that businesses do not have the best intentions when it comes to storing and sharing their private data.
Most companies rely on databases of consumer information to optimize their marketing and sales strategies. Today’s customers understand this, however, they often feel that their data is vulnerable to leaks and breaches, considering the fact that 4.5 billion data records were compromised just last year alone.
The answer here is transparency regarding the use, storage, and protection of consumer data. Salesforce’s report found that 86% of consumers wished that businesses would tell them how their data is being used, and 91% reported that they would be more likely to trust a business that was transparent about their data collection processes.
Be sure that you are completely open and honest about your data security measures, as nowadays all data is considered sensitive. Taking this matter lightly can result in losing business.
For instance, if a customer is worried that their credit card information is not kept safe, they will most likely abandon their cart. Use an SSL certified checkout process and make sure that all of your security features are clearly displayed.
Positive Company Image
The modern consumer understands the power of voting with their wallet, and customers want to know what you stand for, what your company’s mission is, and if your values align with theirs.
A recent report published by Mintel found that 48% of shoppers want to purchase from businesses that treat their employees fairly. 56% stated that they would not buy from a business that they perceived as unethical, and 36% stated that they often do not trust large businesses due to their reputation for corruption and immoral ethics.
Ultimately, it doesn’t matter if you’re selling jewelry online, offering digital solutions, selling books, or anything else you can imagine, your customers need to understand what your company stands for. Your potential customers care very much about the way that your business is run internally, and they want to support brands that have a positive company culture.
The best way to build trust in this manner is to showcase your company culture through your marketing strategies. Social media is the perfect platform for this, as it makes it easy to share behind-the-scenes content and show your audience the great team behind your brand.
Companies like Zendesk, Southwest, and Zappos do an excellent job of this by building an employee brand on social media and leveraging the power of employee advocacy. They often share employee testimonials or fun content of their office environment.
This helps them build an emotional connection with their audience and make them feel good about supporting a company that really takes care of their employees.
Customer Service That Goes Above and Beyond
Providing good customer service is not enough anymore. People are seeking customer service that goes above and beyond.
People are quick to change brands if they have a single negative experience. Gladly’s report found that an alarming 92% of consumers would abandon a company after two or three negative interactions, and 67% would actively dissuade others from turning to that company.
Clearly, there is little to no room for error here. If a customer has a bad experience, their trust in your company’s competency and assistance will start to wane. It is important to understand what makes your customers feel cared about.
The same Gladly study found that customers want to speak to a real person rather than a chatbot, and receive service that is quick and personalized. Excellent customer experience is not that hard at all to achieve: remembering details of a meeting, tailoring your follow-up messages to that certain customer and small things like these can make a huge difference.
Under-promising and over-delivering is the name of the game in today’s business world. Customers are quick to be skeptical when a business makes incredible promises. Actions speak louder than words, so show your actions.
Start off by making it easy for them to get in touch with a real person. Display contact options on your website and be sure that your customer service team is vigilant about checking messages and social media mentions to quickly resolve any questions or issues. Customers hate repeating themselves – so make sure that each representative takes care to assess the conversational data before communicating. For this purpose, you should be utilizing an integrated CRM program that will keep track of all customer interactions so that no important information is missed.
Finally, take the time to follow up with each customer to ensure that they are satisfied with their experience.
This is a great way to incorporate personalized details like their name and a brief overview of their experience. If there are still unresolved issues, this gives you the chance to remedy them before the customer becomes more frustrated.
The trust crisis in consumerism is real.
Moreover, it is showing no signs of improvement as businesses continue to get caught up in scandals and disappoint their customers. In order to ensure that people trust your business, you need to understand their biggest pain points that lead to skepticism and address them head-on.
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