Here are the 5 principles to winning customer trust:
- Acknowledging when it breaks and doing better.
The first thing to understand about building customer trust is what happens when it breaks. Some customers will be dissatisfied and never return. They may tell you in a survey, or they may not. But some customer reactions to broken trust can venture beyond dissatisfaction into the realm of disvalue.
Disvalue is a bigger threat than dissatisfaction. Disvalue can trigger protests, revenge behaviors, rule-bending, social media firestorms, lawsuits, and digital vigilantism. Conduct in business as you would in your personal life—be accountable, open to evolution, and invested in the well-being of those with whom you interact.
Consumers are driving the next great social change via their wallets, and no amount of advertising, PR, or marketing budget can overcome the power of consumers committed to purpose.
- Build trust by matching perceptions and intentions.
Your intention may be to create amazing experiences for your customers. But if customers disagree that you’re delivering “amazing,” then you’re not in sync.
For example, let’s say you intend to make it easier for your customers to do business with you. Behind the scenes, extra steps are being added to the customer’s account registration, verification, or check-out process. If that happens, your intention to create an amazing, easy shopping experience probably won’t match your customers’ perceptions of the experience. Extra steps add hassle to the experience, not ease, which erodes trust.
Consider your actions and their impact on both your process and customers, by evaluating both sides to avoid unforced errors and foster more meaningful relationships.
Improving the customer experience is mission critical for brands in 2021. Here’s a checklist to help you make your CX resolutions — and keep them.
- Keep your eye on the ball (also known as the CX data).
You need a mix of operational data and customer feedback data to really understand the story of your customers’ experiences with your company. If you’re addressing CX in your business as a regular practice, then you’re already reviewing that data set with your team at a regular rhythm and cadence.
This data set may include customer data collected with consent from your customer data platform (CDP).
However, during times of organizational transformation, it can be easy to take a break from triaging customer data with a team. And that’s exactly when you can miss the early warning signs of waning customer trust.
Make it a priority to review customer experience data. You could try a recurring calendar entry and establish ways of recognizing the individuals and processes that made the difference in CX.
A customer data platform is software designed to make sense of your customer data so you can engage with them on a more personal, effective (and valuable) level. But what does that mean for marketers? Executives? Customers? How do CDPs change their experiences?
- Measure customer trust.
Yes, you can measure customer trust!
Keep in mind that trust is not the same as customer satisfaction or customer effort—two standard things companies often ask about in customer feedback surveys.
But if you’re asking questions about satisfaction and ease, for example, then why not ask about trust, too? It doesn’t have to be complicated to start. There are many ways to ask the question. The point is to care enough to ask. Then, monitor and triage the scores. The act of following up on responses is a valuable touchpoint and can lead to more insight.
- Context is everything with customer trust.
Many people automatically divert to the idea that customer trust is about what is happening in your digital channels. Or that trust is about what’s happening behind the scenes to protect a customer’s data.
Trust can be built or broken from details like the language used on an application form that customers fill out before receiving services.
If the form is excessively long, contains jargon, or the flow doesn’t make sense, then the opposite–distrust–is happening.
The same is true if you hide or omit contact information on your website. How can customers trust your business if it seems you’re hiding something?