What is the most valuable characteristic of a business? Competitive pricing? An amazing website? Nice employees? While all of these factors contribute to the strength of an organization, none of them are the primary reason that customers engage a business and continue to come back for its products or services. That magic factor is actually trust.
It seems simplistic, but it actually takes a lot of work to deliver a consistent experience and maintain your customers trust day in and day out. Here are five ways to become a more trustworthy organization.
Practice what you preach internally and externally.
Your company mission should not only be embodied when dealing with customers, but also when managers are interacting with employees. A company that makes trustworthiness a central part of their culture, from the top down, will make the employees strong brand advocates. This will translate to their interactions with customers and their peers.
Engage your customers where they are.
You may have a glossy magazine spread and a full-page newspaper ad, but if your customers have traded their subscriptions for social media accounts, you should rethink how you allocate your marketing resources. Unlike traditional ads, social media provides a two-way conversation between businesses and customers. Because of this, businesses have an opportunity to communicate with their customers and address their concerns that they may share on these forums. By meeting customers where they want to engage with brands, companies can become more open, transparent and trustworthy.
Accept your shortcomings.
A company that can take some heat and accept mistakes that have been made, will be better off than those companies that point the finger back at customers. If a business can then improve on their faults quickly and communicate the changes, they will stay ahead of their competition and become an organization that customers will trust to have honest interactions with in the future.
Before any of these suggestions can be acted upon, first, organizations need to recognize trust as the most important factor when it comes to getting customers in the first place, and for keeping them in the long-term.