I heard a story a while back about someone who was interested in buying a new television. For the sake of the story let’s call this someone ‘Fred.’
Fred spent six months comparing different brands of televisions, going into stores and asking salespeople which models they thought were the best and reading different articles about the specifications of all the different options. After six months of research Fred decided he was going to buy a Sony.
Excited to finally buy his new TV, Fred goes over to his friend’s house that always has the newest gadgets. He tells his friend “I’ve made up my mind, I’ve done all the research and I’m going to get the new Sony television” and his friend says “why would you get the Sony, the LG is better?”
Long story short, Fred ends up going and buying the LG. Why, you might ask? People take advice from people they trust over random sources of information.
The moral of the story is that trust is hard to build.
Who Do Consumers Trust the Most?
The 2011 Edelman Trust Barometer asks the questions “If you heard information about a company from one of these people, how credible would that information be?”
– An academic or expert = 70%
– Technical Expert within the community= 64%
– A financial or industry analyst= 53%
– CEO= 50%
3 Ways to Build Trust with your Consumer:
- Become an expert resource– Based on the findings above, a great way to gain the trust of your consumer is by being an expert resource. Now you might be thinking, how can I become an expert resource? Well it starts by providing valuable content about a topic that you know very well. For example: if you’re a realtor, create content about the questions you receive from buyers or your knowledge of the housing market, short sales, etc. If you’re a bank, you could build content around how to open a line of credit, the different types of merchant services options or small business banking options. Chances are if your customer gets free information that is valuable to them, they’ll likely come back to you when they need a paid service.
- Be Transparent– Be open and honest to your customers. If you don’t know how to do something, admit it! A big mistake I see with a lot of companies is that they feel like they have to be the expert in all aspects of their industry. If you don’t know the answer either refer the customer to someone who would be able to help them (even if it means sending them to a competitor) or just flat out tell them ‘you don’t know,’ the customer will be thankful in the long-run and most likely come back to you for more advice.
- Be Upfront– Many companies are afraid to put information such as cost online. Being upfront can go a long way. If someone is interested in your product or service, chances are the first thing they are wondering is how much it costs. By being upfront with your customer, you will gain more trust and more qualified leads!
Trust is easy to lose and hard to gain. It’s important to always be upfront and honest with your customers, share your knowledge and be transparent; in the end your effort will go a long way. What are some ways that you build trust with your customers? I’d love to hear your stories below.