Sponsored Post by Craig Harbour
In today’s interconnected world, it’s more important than ever that brands are able to build trust with their would-be customers. Those customers are now able to share their opinions on a given brand with a few keystrokes. Thus, it can take years of effort and commitment to build a reputation, and just a few ill-thought-out moments to lose it.
Trust and loyalty in a brand are critical in ensuring a reliable customer-base. When smaller businesses compete on price alone, they face a losing battle with larger businesses who are able to lean on economies of scale.
But how can a business build the trust that they need? Let’s take a look at a few important steps.
Talk to your Customers
One of the principle virtues of the modern internet is that it allows customers to voice their opinions to the businesses that rely on them. A business should seek out feedback from customers, even after they’ve made a purchase. This does several things. It demonstrates to the customer that their experience is important to the business. It provides useful information, which might shape the approach of the business to future customers. And, if done on a public forum, it signals to other customers that the business is one that’s worth investing in.
As well as responding to customers directly, you might also participate in public discussions related to your brand. Responding to people will help to get across that your business is active, and has a stake in the community.
Implement a Loyalty Program The right loyalty program can provide you with a means of incentivising certain positive behaviours. You might encourage customers to leave a review, or make their lives so pleasant that they’re likely to leave a positive review anyway. Loyalty programs allow rewards to be driven by the data you’re collecting, which can help to drive your broader decision-making when it comes to customer service.
Keep it Error-Free
If your social media communications are littered with grammatical errors, and asterisked-out placeholder content, then you’re going to come across as unprofessional. The same applies, to a lesser extent, to profanity. When you adopt a certain tone, you risk alienating a given portion of your potential audience. The fashion today is toward chatty, self-aware brands – which might work well for you. Just keep it consistent.
It’s inevitable that issues will arise at some point or other, and it’s critical that they’re dealt with in a straightforward and transparent manner. You might think of customer complaints as an opportunity to cement the business’s reputation for great customer service. In the case of smaller, niche services, those who’ve had a positive experience with the complaints process might even act as evangelists for your brand afterwards.
Craig Harbour is a Senior Digital Marketing Specialist