What’s your company doing to better understand the customer as a means to gain his trust? How do customers perceive your marketing? It is increasingly important for businesses to build a bond and a relationship with a focus on TRUST with their stake holders like customers, employees, partners, etc. At the same time, the brand should maintain the trust which customers have showered upon it; should not indulge in any doings, which compromises the trust factor.
Have you ever heard about Trust based marketing? It is not a new concept. It simply means that the customer trusts a particular brand, feels safe & happy with the brand and can talk about this brand proudly. Studies show that trust-based companies have higher customer retention and more stable revenue streams. The prediction is that eventually, trust-based businesses will have higher sales volumes and lower marketing costs than companies that survive on push-based marketing strategies.
Some of the invaluable features of this novel approach are:
- Value – A brand must ensure that it is really adding value to a customer’s life. The more value you provide, the more trust you build. Most marketing and sales efforts focus on pushing your services and capabilities. This doesn’t build trust; in fact, it turns the prospect off.
- Permission based & Non-intrusive – Are you really reaching out to new people or just annoying them? Brand should not be disturbing or intrusive to customer life. It may reach out to its audience based on personal attributes but should not get into personal life.
- Transparency – There should be open and frank communication. Customer should not get unpleasant surprises.
- Cost – Customer generally feel cheated if they find they paid a lot for it. Brand should ensure that they make them understand why they are paying this extra and make them comfortable about it.
- Communication – Recently, a study was done asking customers if they preferred a reply by email, phone, or fax. A significant portion selected phone, despite their obvious access to the Internet. This shows that quick and complete communication is key. It should be easy for the customer to communicate with the brand.
- Environment friendly – It is an additional responsibility on brands. Brands should go extra miles and share how they would care for the environment using the power which customers are giving them.
- Accountable – Every employee in the organization should be ready to accept his mistake in case a customer has a bad experience with the brand. There should be immediate steps taken to set it right.
- Easily Accessible – A brand should be very easily accessible through any mode of communication which the customer prefers.
- Long term vision – Brand must have long-term vision & should not get into P& L or growth hacking mode for investors.
- Customers’ Loss – Warn your customers of the cost of inaction. If you provide something of genuine value to customers then you have a moral duty to summarize exactly what they lose out on through inaction.
- Content – Build your marketing approach on valuable content powered by the principles of trustworthiness and you will be well on your way to a strong brand,
Building trust is like taking a series of baby steps. It happens with time, but once there is trust the next steps become very smooth. At the same time, trust is fragile. Customers are understandably wary so pushing too much can turn out to be risky!
Thus, the simple truth behind trust-based marketing is obvious – being trustworthy! Like it is said, “Play nice and you will make friends”.