Think Customers Trust Your Brand? Authenticity Plays a Major Factor in Customer Trust

Think Customers Trust Your Brand? Authenticity Plays a Major Factor in Customer Trust

You think you have a strong brand that brings in the customers through the front doors and the virtual doors of your ecommerce site. Business is booming. Things can't get any better than this as people trust your brand.

Or do they?

A recent 2016 study conducted by Cohn & Wolfe, a global communications and PR firm, has found that 75% of people do not trust the brands they purchase products from as they believe companies are not transparent about business operations or credible when talking about products and services. This report means that only 25% of people trust your brand authenticity. Ouch.

Trust Issues Dictating Purchasing Power

While the above statistics are startling, they are understandable. In reality, would you spend money on a company that hasn't been truthful to you? Not many people would say yes. The reason for this brand mistrust is that many companies have not been transparent or honest with their business dealings. The business will say one thing to build trust, but their actions won't reflect the same sentiments. Consumers are getting tired of hearing such lip service.

Unfortunately, even if you have been truthful with your business brand, it doesn't mean your client trust is any stronger, as a result of your honesty. If a similar company to your business has misled customers, this circumstance damages all brands working in that industry segment. Remember how the age-old adage, ‘guilt by association’ works?

Closing the Authenticity Gap

Authenticity is playing a major factor on where people are spending their money. In the Cohn & Wolfe study, it is found that 55% of U.S. consumers will tell other people about a company if that company shows they are authentic. So gaining a person's trust can be done, yet you have a hard road ahead to change their feelings of mistrust.

To begin bridging the authenticity gap, you will need to focus on seven key attributes that people look for in the companies. All of these attributes basically focus on the single aspect of being honest and open with what you say to your customers, and following through with your words by performing the appropriate actions. The seven attributes your business can focus on are:

  1. Always deliver on all your promises. If you can't give what is promised, don't try to trick people through false pretenses.
  2. Ensure you are offering quality products and services that match your claims. Even if you offer bargain products, the product quality should match set prices.
  3. Always treat the customer with kindness and respect. Even when there is a dispute, show how professional you can be to rectify the situation.
  4. Protect the customer's personal data and privacy. In this age of data breaches and fraud, a company can instantly lose trust if a customer's information is lost or stolen. Take proactive security measures when gathering, storing, using and transmitting customer data.
  5. Be honest in all of your communications. If a customer asks something that simply cannot be provided or is out of the scope of your operations, don't string them along.
  6. Your business should act real and genuine. Avoid artificial statements and attitudes as customers are quick to pick up on such falsehoods.
  7. Always show integrity in all of your actions. People who see that a business has integrity are more inclined to become lifelong customers.

You can close the authenticity gap by adopting the best practices and standards to be transparent and open with your operations. In time, you may see an increase of repeat customers and new customers flocking your business for services and products.

For more information on finding and keeping excellent new customers and clients contact michelle@web301.com

 

by MICHELLE HART/CMO & CSO/web301

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