We all like to believe we're a trustworthy source, especially when providing trust in our brand for current and potential customers. But are your practices actually meeting standards?
Where's the trust?
Trust is a hard thing to come by. You can't just pick it off the shelf and wear it, and there's no magic potion that'll grant you trust overnight. Trust is a thing to be earned.
The first thing your customers'll do is see if what you're offering matches their needs. It might come down to location or pricing for some, but the second factor your customers will keep in mind is your credibility and reliability, which overall creates trust surrounding your brand.
So, the big question is, are you establishing and solidifying trust, and can your customers actually trust in you? This is especially salient as now 2018 has hit, consumers are more cautious about spending, with a large percentage really monitoring what they spend and where.
There will be 5 blogs in total, each one focusing on one of the core questions which you should be asking yourself to determine trustworthiness. We will go over each question, offering advice for what you can do to meet those standards to strengthen trust encompassing your business.
The big 5
Here at Reviews.io we're always looking to better ourselves, that's why we make sure we're following best practice, and so should you. Five key questions will set you on track, which you as a business should be asking yourself to see if your customers can, and should, actually trust you.
1) Do you protect your customers economic interests? Part 1 2) Can customers easily post, and see other reviews, on your website? Part 2 3) Are employee incentives aligned to encourage customer trust? Part 3 4) Are you competent in delivering quality services? Part 4 5) And are you competent in providing good customer service? Part 5
If you blindly blurted yes, hesitated, answered maybe or no, then you realistically need to consider if you are exuding trust in your brand.
The aim is to try and fulfill as many of the key question qualifiers as possible, some may not be relevant to your business so would be irrational to achieve. As long as you're striving to better your services and company as a whole, that is the take-home.
All the questions can best be viewed from the customers' perspective. It'd be redundant to use it as an example for each, but considering your own past experience really helps you evaluate your own services and whether you'd be unhappy to receive them.
Subscriptions and upgrades
It may seem easy to keep schtum about a subscription renewal, but from that extra cash you make, you may have actually lost a returning customer. Noticing you're a day over your subscription and a huge sum has been taken out of your account again stokes the fires within, and makes consumers feel tricked.
A gentle reminder within a time-frame before renewal may lose you a customer. But more importantly you're still seen positively in their eyes, which creates potential to return. Positive brand image spreads word-of-mouth (WOM) referral, and from that one happy customer you lost, you might get 3 more sign ups because of your trustworthy nature.
That's much better than an unhappy customer you lost, who's now advised 3 others not to join. Protection of economic interest is very relevant to the change in climate, with 31% in 2018 saying they are cutting back and monitoring their spending. With more people feeling the pinch, don't give your customers an extra reason to leave and not trust you.
Also, notifying your customers of free upgrades or entitlements not only solidifies trust, but is a great image boost. You can showcase other fantastic services they can get from being with you, over a competitor.
Another sting which will leave your customers smarting is if they find out they're paying too much. Overcharging may not be deviance upon your part, it may be a genuine oversight. If that's the case you need to incorporate a strategy where price changes are visible, and when they do occur you notify your customers.
Some understand the increase, others may be less pleased, either way, you've been truthful and those who do leave will leave satisfied you provided a good service.
Another factor which could mean your customers are paying too much doesn't come down to price change, it simply means a competitor may be offering the same services, for a more attractive cost. It's a difficult balance between making a profit and losing custom to the opposition, where do you draw the line?
Evaluate your services against your competitor. Can you justify the price of your services against their quality? One way we generate trust at Reviews.co.uk is by offering fair and reasonable price plans which meet the needs of all business types. We don't believe review management should cost an arm and a leg, nor do we deal in lengthy contracts. If you join us, you're able to cancel, upgrade, or downgrade anytime that suits you.
Hopefully the first instalment of how to build trust surrounding your business has been informative and inspiring. Read the rest of the questions and their qualifiers to pique your interest, you might even pip me to the post for ideas! If nothing else, they should give you an inkling to get the building blocks for a trust strategy going, before part 2.
In sum, the first way to build trust - or further cement it - is to make sure your customers economic interests are on your list of priorities. If you can operate openly, considering your customers wallet as well as your own, you're well on your way to building and maintaining a loyal customer base.
I look forward to the next post in which we'll go over - drum roll please - reviews!
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