It seems that the days of mom-and-pop stores, of recognizing your customers, and sharing local gossip over the counter, are becoming a thing of the past. This isn't Cheers, and everyone doesn't know your name.
So how can you still gain the same level of trust in business?
Now that you've built a trustworthy website
, focus on building a trustworthy brand. As buying becomes more digital, it can be more difficult for brands to gain the trust of their audience.
Here are 5 ways you can build trust in your brand.
1. Be transparent and share your story.
The Internet has changed the world in numerous ways, and one way is the level of connectedness between people and brands. It has also caused an evolution in how we perceive brands, and how we expect brands to interact with us as consumers.
Many consumers want to know the story behind the brand. Knowing the story of a business makes people care, makes us feel connected. While mom-and-pop stores are sadly becoming more a thing of the past, knowing the story of a business gives us the illusion of community and preserves the “mom-and-pop” feel of doing business.
So share your story. WHY are you in business? Who are the people behind the brand? Do you have a special cause that your business gets involved with? How did you get started? What makes you stand out? Sharing your story and how your business operates will make people care, and will build their trust in your brand.
2. Build your personal brand alongside your business brand.
In the same way people want to know the story behind a business, consumers also like to put a face with a brand. Google has Matt Cutts. Amazon has Jeff Bezos. Microsoft has Bill Gates. Apple had Steve Jobs. Facebook has… well, you know.
As a company owner or leader, it is important to build your own brand, which will in turn build trust in your business. If people can connect with you on a more personal level, they will be much more likely to want to connect with your business.
3. Use social media to connect on a more personal level.
Social media gives voice to everyone. Sometimes more of a voice than we want to hear. But it gives brands the opportunity to connect on a personal level with their audience. Social media allows you to build the personality of your brand and gives your audience an easy way to interact with you. This will in turn build their trust.
Another huge benefit of social media in building trust? Social media likes / follows are essentially referrals. If a potential customer sees that several of their friends ‘like’ your brand, they are much more likely to buy from you. Gaining social media connections is like gaining referrals for your business, which is huge in building trust.
4. Always respond to your audience.
You can build trust by being responsive to your audience. When they post on your blog, thank them for their comment and respond to it. You can turn negative comments around with polite feedback, and this will greatly increase people’s trust in your business. For example, if an unhappy customer posts on a rating site like Yelp, if you respond with an attempt to rectify the situation in the same public forum, you will be showing that you genuinely care about your customers.
By responding to blog comments or social media comments, you are also building a relationship with your audience, which in turn will increase trust in your company.
5. Know your audience.
This might not be Cheers, and you might not know your customers by name, but you can get to know your audience. To get your audience to trust you, first you need to understand them. To build a relationship and broadcast a message they will care about, learn what is important to them.