Your reputation matters
It doesn’t matter what type of business you run, what industry you’re in or if you even come face to face with customers on a regular basis the most major factor in your business is its reputation.
When you’re building a brand you’re building your reputation. In fact, business branding revolves mostly on reputation management. Customers no longer rely on your word or a handshake when hoping you’ll deliver on your promises.
To build a solid, unbreakable brand, it starts with trust.
“Trust takes years to build, seconds to break, and forever to repair.”
Every moment of every day and every task you do for your business should involve building trust between you and your target market. From all of your communications to marketing efforts you should be bridging the trust gap.
But, there’s is more to it than what you might think.
The Brain and Trust
On the outside trust is pretty straight forward revolving around the customers expectations in your business to be honest and reliable. In other words they don’t want to be taken advantage of and want you to keep your promise.
Having trust between your business and your customers can lead to brand loyalty, consistent repurchase and referrals. Drivers of this trust can be things like quality communications, how credible you are based on your expertise. All of these factors apply to people, firms or brands when it comes to establishing trust.
Digging a little deeper Neuroscientists have researched the role of trust from the point-of-view of the brain function and how it influences behaviour. The results of the studies have found that trust can be turned on in the brain like a light-switch.
Through the use of Functional MRIs and blood samples, the study found that the neurochemical oxytocin is synthesized in the brain when trust is prevalent. Oxytocin signals the other party is “safe” and even motivates reciprocation. It make (motivates) the buyer to treat you (and your business) like family.
Oxytocin is commonly known as the “happy” chemical that enhances empathy and connects us to others.
If you can use compelling stories that speak to people’s struggles and position your business as the one that can help resolve them then you’ll be on your way to building trust with your customers.
With that in mind here are 6 tips to start building brand trust between you and your customers.
1) Write Like You’re Human
Sometimes in our attempt to sound professional and authoritative we forget the person on the other side of this communication is a human being. Customers buy from the companies that closely resemble them as possible. If they like you, they’ll more often than not buy from you.
When you’re writing copy for you website or content for blogs keep it as conversational as possible. Don’t be afraid to bring out your personality to make your customers feel like there’s a person behind the brand.
Industry-speak has its place but not when you’re trying to build trust in your brand. Keep your written communications friendly making it come across as a real-life interaction as possible.
2) You’re Making a Friend
Think of the first interactions you’ve had with your friends. You probably weren’t sitting back and explaining to them why you’d make a great friend. In the beginning you were, more likely than not, thinking about their feeling and focusing on what’s important to them.
The brand/customer relationship works the same way. The underlying principle in every interaction with a customer or prospect should be working toward finding out what’s important to them. Finding out how your brand can provide value for them when it comes to solving their pain-point.
Treating your customers as a friend will go a long way in building the trust you need for success.
3) Seek Feedback
Everyone of your customers has a different perspective. It’s important for you to find out theirs when it comes to your business.
Make use of surveys, both online and offline, to better understand your customers thoughts on your business. Use social media to reach out to customers individually to get feedback on your company. And, make it a point to take a look at any online review sites that apply to your business to find out what’s being said about it.
Use all of this feedback to tweak or even pivot your brand’s story, communications and interactions until you get the desired feedback you want.
4) It’s About The Experience
Brand experience is nothing new. Think about a “Ma and Pa” Store that brings an experience of being neighbourly and family like.
Customers today are choosing experience over pretty much everything. Gone are the days of traditional branding tactics as people are looking for more out of the brands they choose to buy from. This is because in reality they are the ones building your brand.
You’re job is to provide a template that will best present an experience for your customers to follow. When you do this effectively they’ll be telling anyone who listens about your company.
5) Every Customer is Special
It doesn’t matter if it’s your first client or your 1000th, every interaction you have with a customer gives you an opportunity to set high standards.
This is your chance to go above and beyond with each customer and in turn shows them you’re the type of business that will do whatever it takes for customer satisfaction. There is no better way to build trust than by offering reliable customer service that always ceases to amaze.
This will show your customers that you care about more than a bottom-line and create a platform for referrals.
Building brand trust doesn’t happen overnight but is well worth the effort. Not only will you be the expert in the mind’s of your customers but they will never hesitate to refer company to friend that’s in need.