Customer Trust is defined as “a confident relationship with the unknown” by Rachel Botsman. Unless your customers can predict the future and be 100% sure of the outcome of their investment in your company, there will always be some level of uncertainty. As Botsman says, “the greater the uncertainty, the greater the unknown, the more trust that is required.”
Why is Customer Trust important?
Trust is the key element in every relationship. Without it, relationships are extremely difficult. By creating trust you create a bond between your customers and your brand. This increases customer loyalty.
Customers can sometimes feel vulnerable. As they go through unpredictable processes, they must depend on companies they have never worked with before. Therefore trust is essential. Every time a new customer approaches your company they are taking a huge leap of faith when they decide to purchase or use your service.
Through customer recommendations you can decrease the level of uncertainty.
What affects trust?
Although there are many different factors that affect trust, the ones below are some of the most important ones. When building your CX Strategy always keep in mind that falling short on one could potentially mean losing the entire trust of your customer.
Good communication is key to building strong and trusting relationships with your customers. There has to be a channel through which your customers can raise concerns, issues and problems, as they arise. As a company you must listen carefully to what your customers say and you need to be able to communicate your customer promise. Also, customers need to know what is expected of them. A channel like this provides a sense of reliability and confidence in your customers as they know that they are being listened to.
Brand reputation sets customer expectations. The higher the company reputation is the higher expectations your customers will have. Customers will be less forgiving to brands with a positive reputation than those who have a neutral or negative one. This does not seem fair, but it is a fact. Customer reviews, social media activity and company values all affect your brand reputation.
Good brand reputation happens as a result of providing CX Excellence for your customers. As they become loyal brand advocates and spread the word about your company, they give confidence to existing and new customers.
All digital touch points in your customer journey need to be secure. Customers’ trust in digital services has decreased. Providing options like two factor authentication, password recovery and using known payment methods reassures customers.
If at any point throughout the customer journey you are collecting their data, inform them why you are doing so, for how long will it be stored and how can they remove it or extract it. Privacy is a right and your customers should be given the option to refuse the collection of their data at any time. This directly affects the amount of trust a customer will have for your service or product.
Information should be as transparent as possible.Steer clear from jargon and acronyms that customers may not understand. As mentioned above, always provide a valid reason for collecting data and explain how it will be used.
Being up-front about your customer promise and clarifying limitations of your service or product will improve the trust, while promising the whole world without the ability to deliver, will only create disappointment and bad Customer Experience.
Trust is created from within the company. If your employees do not trust your company and it’s values they will not build trust with your customers. Employees need to be advocates of your company values and brand.
Employees must have the ability to be responsible and to deal with issues and consequences when things go wrong. We call this empowerment. It is a fundamental opportunity that can strengthen the bond with your customer. Apologising, taking ownership of the problem and putting a plan in place to fix the source of the issue will rebuild lost trust.
If you want to find out more about how to nurture and create trust between your customers and your brand, sign up for one of our courses today at: https://thecxacademy.org/courses/.