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Customer trust: What should brands provide to achieve it? Here are 4 best practices

by | May 28, 2024 | Public Relations

When you hear the word “trust”, what—or, better, who—comes to mind? It’s likely you’ve pictured the people who make you feel safe, secure, and respected. The kind of people that you can rely on because you know they truly care about you. Those are also the kind of people that you want in your life to feel happier and more fulfilled.

Now, imagine what happens when such positive, powerful feelings are transferred to the world of brands. With their strong focus on brand reputation, customer trust can be a potent tool to enhance it and protect it in the long run.

Want to know more about customer trust and how brands can achieve it? Look no further than this guide.

What do we mean by “customer trust”?

Customer trust for brands is really not that different from the trust we were talking about in the introduction. Essentially, it’s about succeeding at delivering on your promises and always putting your customers first by showing up for them and valuing them authentically.

In parallel, customer trust also means being able to showcase your company’s real self, its values, ethos, and culture, and crafting a customer experience that matches all of that in a coherent and consistent way. 

For example, there’s little point in putting together awesome Google ads for a product or service if said product or service is invariably disappointing and doesn’t deliver what it’s supposed to.

To gain the trust of your customers, you must be honest, transparent, and lead by example while, crucially, also being able to acknowledge your mistakes and commit to learning from them.

The benefits of securing customer trust

Just like crafting an exceptional customer experience, gaining the trust of your customers is fundamental. But why is that, exactly, and what can trust help you achieve? Let’s find out.

It boosts loyalty and advocacy

In a world where consumers are continually bombarded with “unmissable” content from a myriad of “cool” brands—whether it be on social media or anywhere else both on and offline—building trust helps you create a pool of loyal customers who are happy to choose your brand over your competitors, time and again.

customer trust

Talking about customer trust, in fact, almost always means talking about customer loyalty. It’s easy to understand why. Do you remember the example in our introduction? When you trust a person and know that they have your well-being at heart, you feel more loyal towards them. If they are in trouble, you step up to help them. If they do something great, you shout their praises from the rooftops.

This can happen between brands and consumers, too. When a customer believes that you truly walk the walk and do your best to deliver products and services that improve people’s lives, they will keep doing business with you and might even become fervent advocates of your brand.

It helps strengthen competitiveness

Competitiveness is at an all-time high, these days, and across pretty much all fields. Whether you provide platform as a service solutions or sell healthy pet treats, the chances are that you’re up against a lot of other companies who are striving to reach your target audience.

customer trust

What can you do, then, to overtake them? You can work on building trust. When you demonstrate to your customers that your brand is reliable, committed, and transparent, you’ll automatically be in a much better position than competitors who aren’t putting in that kind of work.

It builds more personalized relationships and experiences

In PR, you’re always looking to build more authentic media relationships to boost your clients’ profiles. Think about how you achieve this: we bet your mind went straight to the “magic” of personalization. By leveraging personalization, you are able to build bespoke journeys and experiences that speak to your clients’ hearts and lead them to connect with you.

What if we told you that customer trust is vital for personalization? Think about this for a moment. In order to provide a bespoke, customized experience, you need to be able to access customers’ data. And customers, generally, are happy to share their data only with brands they feel they can trust.

The end result? By fostering trust and accessing important customer data, you’ll succeed at building tailored customer experiences, which further strengthens your positioning and boosts your reputation.

Customer trust: Best practices for brands

Now that we have clarified not only what customer trust is but why it’s so crucial for brands, let’s explore four great methods that brands can follow to boost their customers’ trust.

1. Choose transparency

Earlier, we mentioned how customer trust and personal data go hand in hand. Once you achieve the former, it’s much easier to access the latter. But today, people are often reluctant to hand over their personal information, and justifiably so.

customer trust

What can you do, then, to ensure you have access to these precious insights while at the same time being respectful of your customers’ privacy? 

The key here is being honest and transparent. For example, don’t simply communicate your corporate policies, values, mission, and the fact that your employees have a good career path ratio, put a strong emphasis on data privacy and protection.

Then, follow up with tangible evidence that what you’re committed to is genuine. Tell your customers why you need certain information from them, how that information will be used, and what you are doing to make sure it’s always safeguarded. This way, even in the unfortunate event of a data breach or similar, your customers will understand that you really did everything in your power to protect their information.

2. Prioritize great customer service

Regardless of whether your team works on a permanent, freelance, or even co-employment (read this if you’re wondering: what is co-employment?) basis, one thing never changes: employees will always need to provide outstanding and positive experiences to their customers.

With access to your customers’ personal information, including interests, buying patterns, and demographic data, your sales, marketing, and customer service team will be able to craft personalized, relevant, and engaging experiences for them at every touch point. All this results in happy, fulfilled, and satisfied customers.

And, as you are aware, satisfied customers are crucial not only because they are much more likely to stick with your brand for longer, but also because they often turn into fans and advocates of your brand, introducing it to their network of family and friends. 

Therefore, stellar customer service is not just great for fostering trust in your existing customers and boosting customer retention. It’s also a fantastic way to reach potential customers and boost your profitability.

customer trust

3. Communicate clearly and regularly

Alongside personalization, one of the biggest customer expectations is clear and regular communication with the brands they love. 

Let’s go back to our earlier example: your trusted friend. In all likelihood, one of the things that make you trust them more than other people is the fact that you communicate with them often, in a back-and-forth way that makes you feel very connected to that person.

Now, apply this to your brand. If you want to maintain the trust that you’ve gained with your customers, you’ll need to make the effort to keep the communication lines open all (or most) of the time. This can mean different things to different brands, but generally, we’re talking about:

  • Regular email newsletters
  • Social media updates
  • Frequent blog posts
  • The use of live chat on corporate websites

4. Share social proofs

Lastly, another great way to enhance customer trust is by sharing social proofs. These are usually customer reviews, feedback, and testimonials, and you can share them in different ways, including:

  • On the homepage of your website
  • On a dedicated “Testimonials” page of your website
  • As snippets of text on your social media pages
  • At the end of your blog posts
  • Directly on product pages

By reading how other customers’ lives improved thanks to your products or services, people will be more inclined to believe that you are a trusted, credible, and reliable brand. To encourage customers to let you know how you’re doing, ask for feedback, suggestions, and other types of input that can help you continuously improve what you’re offering.

customer trust

Customer trust: Key takeaways

For today’s business leaders in the PR world, gaining trust with customers is paramount. High levels of trust, as we have seen in this article, can lead to better retention, satisfaction, and profitability. There are many ways in which you can establish a foundation of trust with your customers.

Building customer trust can be done by sharing positive news, communicating with customers regularly, delivering a stellar experience, and being as transparent as possible about your company and operations. Start working on your customers’ trust today using the tips and tools provided in this article.

Jesse Liszka
Jesse Liszka is the Senior Communications Specialist at Paylocity, leading providers of cloud-based payroll and human capital management software. She is a highly experienced communications, client marketing and content specialist, with more than 12 years of experience. Jesse has written for other domains such as Remote Tools and Plecto. You can find her on LinkedIn.

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