It’s time to face the facts, if you haven’t already, in business and life your reputation matters.
It doesn’t matter what type of business you run, what industry you’re in or if you come face to face with customers on a regular basis. The most important factor with your business’ brand is its reputation.
Customers no longer rely on your word or a handshake and hope you’ll deliver on your promises. They look for things like social proof, a consistent track-record and expertise that will make them comfortable to do business with you.
The structure that you build a solid brand around is its reputation and the first ‘brick’ in that reputation is trust.
“The toughest thing about the power of trust is that it’s very difficult to build and very easy to destroy. The essence of trust building is to emphasize the similarities between you and the customer.”- Thomas J. Watson
Lucky for you, you have the opportunity to create the kind of trust that builds your reputation.
If you’re not mindful of this fact it can be detrimental to your business. Every day there is going to be moments that through all of your interactions and marketing efforts you’ll be bridging the trust gap or destroying it.
But, there’s is more to it than what you might think.
The Brain and Trust
On the outside trust is pretty straight forward in business. It revolves around the fact that customers expect your business to be honest and reliable. They don’t want to be taken advantage of and they want you to keep the promise you made to them.
Having that trust between business and customer leads to consistent repurchase, referrals and, most importantly, brand loyalty.
But, if we dig a little deeper and understand how trust works in our brains we’ll know how to build brand trust.
Neuroscientists who have researched the role of trust from the point-of-view of the brain function and how it influences behaviour found that trust can be turned on in the brain like a light-switch.
Through the use of Functional MRIs and blood samples, they found that the neurochemical oxytocin is synthesized in the brain when trust is prevalent. The Oxytocin signals that the person you’re dealing with is “safe” and can even motivate reciprocation when given the opportunity. It even inspires 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.
One of the best ways you use the body’s natural happy chemical and put your prospects in a trusting, empathetic mood is through compelling storytelling. Speak to their struggles and you’ll position your business as the one that can help resolve them.
What’s even better there are certain techniques that can you can purposely use to build brand trust and a solid reputation at the same time.
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 the communication is a human being. Customers buy from those companies that closely resemble the buyer as much as possible. If they like you, they’ll probably buy from you – it’s that simple.
When you’re writing for your content keep it as conversational as humanly possible. This is a great place to bring some personality to the table and give the feeling that there’s an actual person behind the brand.
Industry jargon has its place between you and your colleagues but when you’re trying to build trust in your brand you should keep it to a minimum.
Keep your written communications friendly & straight forward and you’ll make it come across as a real-life interaction as possible.
2) Make a Friend
Think of any first interactions you’ve had with your close friends. Were you over-anxious spouting off all the great things that would make you an amazing friend?
At the beginning of any relationship as human’s most of us are thinking about the other’s feelings and focusing on what’s important to them. Nobody wants to hang out with a selfish person.
When it comes to the brand/customer relationship it works exactly 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. Once you know, you can get to figuring out ways that your business can provide value for them and to solve their pain-point, like a true friend would.
Treating your customers the same way you treat your friends will make you and your business stand out from your competition and build the type of trust that will keep them coming back to you for the answer.
3) Seek Feedback
Everyone of your customers has a different perspective.
What does it mean for you?
Simply, there isn’t just one way to approach your marketing communications. It’s important to understand the audience you’re speaking to at any particular time.
Some easy ways to get you started are:
- Making use of surveys, both online and off, will help give you the knowledge of what your customer thinks about your business.
- Using social media not only to find out what the conversation is about your business but your industry as a whole.
- Scour the online review sites that apply to your business to find out what’s being said and why.
- Finally, gold fashion taking the time to actually have a conversation with customers in person.
Seeking feedback is an invaluable resource for your business’ brand. Making use of it will help you tweak or even pivot your brand’s story, communications and interactions with your customers.
4) It’s About The Experience
Brand experience is nothing new. Think about a “Ma and Pa” Store that brings the experience of being neighborly and family like.
In most cases is doesn’t matter what your marketing message is but experience always matters.
Think about it, have you ever been at a store and received bad service? Did you dwell on it more than you should have?
Customers today are choosing experience over pretty much everything everything else.
You’re job is to always look for ways to inject those positive emotions that give your customers something to look forward to when they choose deal with your business.
Because the truth is, no one really wants to spend money. But, in life we have to eat, pay bills and wear clothes, etc.
We worked hard for it and consciously we don’t want it to go to waist. This is why we choose brands that give us a positive emotional feeling and experience when you interact with them.
If you can provide a guide that will present an experience and value for your customers, you’ll have them for life. And, when you do this effectively they’ll be telling anyone who listens about your company.
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 the tone for the future.
This is your chance to build rapport and a relationship. Treat each customer with with the respect and kindness you want to be treated with. Show them exactly why you’re the business that will do whatever it takes to customer satisfy there needs and solve their pain-point.
There is no better way to build trust than by offering reliable, thoughtful customer service that always ceases to amaze.
When focus on a customer-focused mentality over aa bottom-line on you’ll be creating a platform for referrals.
Building brand trust doesn’t happen overnight but is well worth your effort to cultivate it. Not only will you be the expert in the mind’s of your target market but they will never hesitate to refer company to friend that’s in need.
Because, in reality they are the ones building your brand.