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Winning Consumer Trust In A Skeptical Market

In a recent Global RepTrak 100 study by the Reputation Institute (which interviewed 55,000 consumers), only 25% said they could trust what companies say in their advertising.

Seriously… 25%

Obviously, developing trust is a major challenge…

But is also a real opportunity for businesses. When a company is trusted by customers, this opens the gates for premium pricing.

Developing a Win/Win Mentality

Why are so many businesses failing to win their customers’ trust?

The answer is often because they are focused solely on the sale…

A better goal is helping your customers achieve their ultimate outcome. When you are authentically focused on delivering the best possible result for your customer, a relationship of trust develops naturally.

You don’t need use deception or tricky marketing tactics – because you genuinely have your customer’s best interests at heart.

You win when they win.

The Real Cause Of Lost Sales

If you ask a prospect why they chose not to buy, they may provide a variety of different reasons – but underlying most of these will be a question of trust.

Assuming the sales copy promises sufficient value, the customer who chose not to buy didn’t trust that those promises would be delivered upon. This goes to show that it isn’t necessarily the product with the latest and greatest benefits that wins the most customers – it’s the one with benefits that the customer believes in.

Take, for example, buying shoes online. When selecting shoes, the sales copy might talk about how comfortable or attractive the shoes are, but customers know that when those shoes arrive at their door, they might be a far cry from what they saw online…

That’s a big reason why many people prefer to buy shoes in person,

Zappos, however, has overcome this problem by offering a 365-day, no questions asked return policy. When customers buy from Zappos, they can be confident that if the shoes don’t live up to their online description,they will be able to easily replace them with a pair that does.

Look, a Nike is a Nike no matter where you buy it, but thousands of people pay more money to do business with Zappos (even knowing their not the cheapest provider) because they trust them.

The Benefits Of Transparency

Transparency can be a great way of differentiating your business from your competition…

In many industries, transparency is, well… limited, to say the least.

When the “veil” is lifted, though, it can really help to win over customers.

Just look at the social media management company Buffer…

Hacking is a problem that has plagued technology companies as long as there have been companies to hack…

When faced with a massive security breach, most will cover up, obfuscate, and finger point… but Buffer chose a different route. When they were hacked, they decided instead to “default to transparency.”

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This involved using every method of communication they had available to apologize to their customers – and keep them up to date on how the company was dealing with the problem. Among these transparent measures was a blog post that was updated ten separate times with their response to the hack.

The end result?

Transforming what could have been a PR disaster into good will for the company…

Thanks to sites like Facebook and Twitter, customers will talk about the negatives of your company whether you like it or not. By being transparent, you’re at least able to share your side!

Developing trust in a skeptical market isn’t always easy. Consumers who have been burned in the past are naturally distrustful and difficult to win over, but if you can win that trust – you have a customer who will see you not just as a possible choice – but as their only choice.

More to explore

Create Fans – Part 2

Last time, we talked about the new landscape… How customers across all industries are expecting more.  If you want to create lasting

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