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The short answer is that you cannot MAKE a customer trust you. The best you can do is create an environment that encourages audiences to trust you.

Trust is central to building a brand. Given the lack of trust consumers have for business, there is real potential for trust to be a competitive advantage.

My thoughts on creating an environment in which trust is more likely to occur follow:

  1. Make your customer feel important

Every human being wants to feel significant. We all tend to like people who make us feel significant. We also tend to trust people who are wise enough to realise we are significant. Remember your customer’s name and, better still, remember everything you can about your customer

  1. Demonstrate your values

Research suggests that consumers want to do business with people and brands that share their values. It is not enough, however, to articulate your values. Indeed, this can be counterproductive. It is far better to live your values.

  1. Be consistent

Whatever your values are, it is important to live them consistently and without exception. Consistency goes hand in hand with another important human need – certainty. Humans need to have the confidence that the behaviour of a brand or its people will be predictable.

  1. Demonstrate transparency

The more you hide, the less you and your brand will be trusted. Conversely, the more open you are and the fewer secrets you have, the more you will be trusted. Australian businesses are obsessed with confidentiality.  This obsession helps no one and reduces trust.

  1. Communicate with your audiences

Connection is another human and, therefore, consumer need. Connection requires communication. Communication is a two-way process, and smart marketers spend more time listening and demonstrating listening than they do telling customers how good they are.

  1. Behave ethically

Many businesses think that corporate social responsibility is all about donating to worthy causes.  While this is important, it is less important than conducting business in an ethical manner and displaying business practices that the target audience views as ethical.

  1. Get endorsed

Third party endorsements are becoming increasingly important. They can have a significant impact on the trust consumers have for a business, particularly if the endorser is relevant and respected. Personal endorsements from peers are often more impactful than celebrity endorsements.

  1. Always deliver

This point goes back to consistency and is most certainly a measure of integrity. Always do what you say you will and never say you will do anything that you will not do. It is very important that every product is delivered in the manner promised.

  1. Be authentic

In 2019, no one believes hyperbole. In 2019, no one engages with platitudes. In 2019, no one thinks you are smart for using jargon. In 2019, businesses and business people garner the most trust when they talk in everyday language and make undertakings that are credible.

John Carlson Changed status to publish February 3, 2019
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