When consumers spend time online (too many cat fail videos, anyone?), it’s unavoidable they’ll run into ads. They’re shown thousands of ads every day, all trying to get them to make a purchase. I don’t know about you, but I easily get overwhelmed when information is shoved down my throat in an overgeneralized attempt to get into my wallet. It’s only natural other consumers feel the same way. This practice has resulted in consumers losing trust in marketing and advertising.
Case in point: An Edelman study in 2018 showed that 60% of people no longer have any trust in marketing, and that number has likely grown since. One way you can earn customer trust is by shifting your marketing focus from promotional to education-based marketing, giving value to the customer before ever even attempting a sales pitch. But in addition to this, what else can you do? Here are some ways you can gain (or regain) the trust of your audience.
Encourage Product Reviews
When trying to decide whether or not to fork out the money on a product, one of the first things potential customers will do is look at reviews. When looking at a dress online, buyers want to see reviews that show how the product looks on real people, not the flawless model in the highly edited picture. If reviewers say that it makes them look like a potato in a neon green dress, they will most likely decide to keep their money right where it is – in their own bank account.
The same goes for other products (like fitness equipment) or services (like massage companies). Seeing truthful reviews that shed light on what the product or services are actually like in the hands of real people, or what the experience truly feels like, go a long way. These reviews alone can take someone from a potential, skeptical customer to a buyer to a dedicated consumer of the brand.
If you have trouble encouraging people to give you reviews, think about how to incentivize them. Could you send an email to your email database and offer a $50 Amazon gift card to the first 20 people to review you? Or, offer a free product or discount code to the first 10 people to write a review? There usually has to be something in it for someone if they’re going to take the time to write a review, so make the invitation worthwhile.
Transparent Employee Feedback
People are (rightfully) more mindful of the ways that companies treat their employees. As a result of that mindfulness, businesses need to be aware of the reputation they create for themselves on sites such as Glassdoor. These sites allow past and current team members to write honest truths about the day to day reality of working at a given company.
When all is said and done, people want to buy from other people who are ethical and kind. So when a customer takes a look at a site like Glassdoor, the employee insights can either knock the company down in their eyes or earn goodwill and instill trust. What do your employees say about your business?
The best way to garner positive feedback in this way is by first and foremost striving to treat your team members well. This should be table stakes, but it’s worth some consideration and honest evaluation. Ask for employees’ insights privately first, and troubleshoot solutions for any problems that come to light. Then, incentivize them to give their feedback in a more public fashion.
Admit Mistakes Openly
One of the worst things a company can do in the eyes of the consumer is pretend that issues do not exist. When mistakes arise – and they will arise – companies can recover more quickly by admitting their faults right away. Then, you should take the time to explain the steps you will take to remedy the issue.
Take any major grocery store and say they sell a hot dog brand that is later revealed to have less than savory ingredients (what a stretch, right?). If the company ignores that issue, customers may start immediately thinking their other foods also contain nasty ingredients and avoiding buying any of them. But, if they acknowledge this problem right from the get-go and are transparent about how they’ll fix it, they’ll have more success in maintaining the trust of their customers – and their revenue.
What about you? Do you have a strategy in place to establish trust with your customers, or would you like some help? Give us a call any time.