Do Customers Trust your Brand?

“When your brand is strong and consistent, every image, piece of content, and advertisement reinforces your unique value.” – visage.co

Do customers trust your brand? This is a question that every company, irrespective of size and industry must have a positive answer to – continually. Gone are the days when companies could rest on their laurels, and expect customers to trust their brand simply because the ‘founding fathers’ were trusted and respected. Today, for your company to survive, you must strive daily to ensure that customers have reason to trust and depend on your brand. Customers today expect from companies – small ones or the behemoths – to have the exact items they want, give them the attention and importance they deserve, and provide top class service at all times. All these factors if present would allow a company to answer affirmatively whether customers trust its brand. However, a word of caution – brand trust and loyalty are ephemeral and extremely fragile now – even a single negative instance could destroy them for a brand.

The underlying reason for the success of several large companies is the fact that they facilitate convenient and consistently good experiences for their customers. These factors alone can enable customers to trust your brand, and do so long-term. Customers trust your brand when they know that the company understands them, and is willing to do whatever it takes to keep them happy. When customers trust your brand – this in itself is a massive ‘earning’ and an unconquerable feat for the company’s competitors. This does not mean that these companies do not have flaws – they do, but their attempts at service recovery are flawless, allowing them to emerge victorious from the worst and most glaring mistakes. They have gained the ‘elusive’ customer trust. Customers trust your brand when the experiences they receive are consistently good, there are on-going efforts from the company to build and maintain the relationship and ensure that customers can rely on them for anything.

The successful companies of today are the ones whose customers are confident that their needs will be met, their problems solved, and that the company they associate with will give them the best.  This in turn naturally leads to a sense of confidence and dependability, which in turn encourages customers to buy more often and turn to the company for their needs. Customers trust your brand when they feel at ease when doing business with your company. They do not feel stressed or challenged in any way, but always have a heightened sense of security and affability with your company – these ‘feelings’ would trounce any kind of promotion and or offerings from any other company. When companies go about branding, some mistakenly believe successful branding exercises to be about logos, flashy advertising, bright colours, and all the ‘paraphernalia’ associated with making one’s brand stand out. However, customers would trust a brand that believes in creating and forging relationships with them – relationships that would enable them to like and trust the company for several reasons. This ‘relationship’ is what would make customers stick with the brand.

Any business would know that the ‘honeymoon period’ or the hype associated with a new customer would wear off quickly and the only way to sustain the interest of the customers is to build a relationship that becomes a bond. A rapport that prevents customers from deflecting and switching to a competitor, and one that gives them the assurance that the company would care for them and their needs at all times. A company may be able to ‘buy’ an association through incentives, programs, freebies, and other such ‘attractions’, but these are not sustainable enough to form a relationship that would translate to customers trusting your brand. Many companies make the mistake of spending huge amounts on advertising in the belief that this would form a ‘bond’ with their customers. However, the truth is that relationships are not built this way – they happen over time and through a series of positive experiences. The more customers interact with your company and have positive experiences, the more likely it is that customers trust your brand and continue to for the long-term. In the current time of extreme competitiveness, umbrella ‘relationship building’ through marketing and advertising strategies may get your company customers, but will not build or sustain trust long-term. Companies must get down to personalization and building a brand that customers like, trust, and want to be associated with for the longest possible time.

We all know that forging new associations and attracting new customers is something that every company wants to do – and this is required too. However, in doing so, it is imperative to remember that the larger chunk of the company’s resources must be directed towards building and sustaining the relationship with the existing customers. It is all about ensuring that customers trust your brand over time, since from this trust will arise more business, and would make willing brand ambassadors who would encourage others too, to start a business relationship with your company. It is important to start the process of building trust from the word ‘go’ – the earlier a company can show customers that they can trust it, the higher would the possibility of them staying with the company and becoming loyal over time. A ‘sticky brand’ is all about ensuring that customers stay – irrespective of the host of other brands and the ‘loudest noises’ in the market place, customers would be unlikely to leave the brand that they trust.

Customers trust your brand when your company makes them feel extremely important and gives them reason to believe that they can depend on the company and ‘fall back’ on it for any need. Companies can share ideas through great content pieces, host networking-events, contribute to socially relevant causes (especially those that customers may also be involved in), and provide top class service at all times – in order to build trust and confidence in the minds of their existing customers and target audience. A company that can consistently help the customer to achieve business goals and satisfy emotional needs would have a better chance of getting customers to trust it and stay with it for a long time. However, as mentioned, this is not a one-time or one-off activity – trust takes years to build but only a few seconds to shatter, and it is therefore necessary for companies to preserve customer trust through every means possible.

As a company, you should have a grasp on the answers to some key questions in order to know whether customers trust your brand or whether they would in the near future. A company should know exactly what they can offer customers and what customers would get when they associate with the brand. If customers do trust your brand, they would be amenable to listen to new ideas and solutions your company offers, be willing to forgive minor lapses, and would be less price sensitive. Investing resources into identifying areas that can help your company enhance its credibility and foster feelings of trust and dependability with not just existing customers, but prospective ones as well. We know that customers are much more easily convinced by their friends, peers, and associates and are increasingly prone to checking customer reviews to form opinions about and decide on doing business with, a company. The more, existing customers trust your brand, the more the number of positive comments they would publish – thereby serving to influence positively other prospects and a larger audience. More customers means higher sales and revenue, and therefore more profits and long-term success for any company. Do customers trust your brand?

 

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