It doesn’t matter the industry, niche, size, or budget — all clients are ultimately looking to work with businesses they can trust. If you can find a way to cultivate trust with new clients consistently, you’ll be successful.
6 Ways to Cultivate Trust
Trust was once an expectation in the consumer-business relationship. But today, it sometimes seems like an optional bonus. Many businesses unwittingly adopt a posture that tells customers, “You’re lucky to have us.” While this approach has become normalized in the modern marketplace, it’s not a smart path for your brand to traverse.
Though it takes a bit of additional effort, it’s important to work on cultivating trust between your company and its audience. Here are some simple ways you can make that happen:
1. Clarify Your Brand Voice
You can’t cultivate trust with your audience until you understand who you are and what you want to say. If you haven’t already, gather your marketing team to clarify your brand voice.
Once you flesh out your brand voice, you can develop a set of editorial guidelines that keep your writers and editors on track. If a piece of content fails to meet these stipulations, it shouldn’t be published.
2. Integrate Print Media Into Your Content Strategy
With your brand voice established, you give yourself the ability to implement an effective content marketing strategy that solidifies your brand’s image in your audience’s eyes. While a company blog is a great place to start, it’s not the only medium through which you can reach your audience.
“Digital media obviously plays an important role in modern branding, but businesses shouldn’t underestimate the value in print,” Printing Center USA mentions. “Print media has a way of communicating facts and cultivating trust that simply can’t be replicated through online mediums. Finding ways to integrate it into your client communications will prove powerful in the pursuit of trust.”
A diverse content strategy that maintains a consistent voice will help you engage a variety of people without compromising your message. Try a combination of digital and print media to see what works best.
3. Directly Engage Your Consumer
The beauty of social media is that it allows brands to cut out the middlemen, who once served as go-betweens for the business and the consumer. You now have the ability to directly engage your customers and make your values and expectations clear. Try initiating more direct engagement through Facebook Live, Q&A sessions, etc.
4. Share Testimonials and Reviews
Sometimes, the best way to cultivate trust is to let others do the talking for you. In addition to controlling your message through purposeful interactions, consider highlighting and sharing customer testimonials and reviews. These are elements of social proof, and they go a long way toward illustrating that you practice what you preach.
5. Stop Trying to Be Right
Culturally, we have an acute sense of justice. We want to be right, and we’ll often go to great lengths to prove we’re right. But being right is vastly overrated — particularly for businesses that are supposed to be focused on the customer. Stop trying to be “right” about everything, and start tuning in to what your customers are going through. Remember that different doesn’t necessarily mean “wrong.”
As TrustedAdvisor explains, “An ounce of listening — paying attention, paraphrasing, conveying empathy, going where the client goes — is worth a pound of correct answers, references, and credentials.”
6. Do What You Say
At the end of the day, there’s a pretty basic formula for cultivating and maintaining trust. It looks like this: Do what you say, and say what you do. If you say you’re going to do something, do it. When you choose an action, make sure it aligns with the values you’ve professed. If you set deadlines, meet them. Your customers’ experiences will be your strongest selling points in terms of building trust.
Trust: The Ultimate Competitive Advantage
The good news is that it doesn’t take a seven-figure marketing budget to establish trust. It’s as simple as doing the right thing and looking out for customers. The question is who will prioritize it — and who will treat it as a nice-to-have.