With consumers trying to cope with information overload – you will increase sales with long-term customer loyalty – if you build trust by using best practices.
It may be an obvious approach, but it’s confirmed by a 2012 study that shows 84 percent of the respondents declared trust must be warranted before they buy.
The essential elements for trust and best practices are contained in the study, “The Trust Factor,” by About.com.
“By understanding how consumers view trust and what they value most, marketers can tailor their outreach to deliver meaningful information and tools to create authentic, long-lasting relationships,” wrote Laura Salant, director of research at About.com.
The study cites the key elements for trust-building:
“With the high volume of information at consumers’ fingertips, not only is trust a valuable filter, it is a prerequisite for consumers to even enter the purchase funnel,” said Ms. Salant. “By understanding how consumers view trust and what they value most, marketers can tailor their outreach to deliver meaningful information and tools to create authentic, long-lasting relationships.”
The study recommends these tools:
- Respondents reported that all 10 trust elements are even more important on mobile than online. Format was identified by 71 percent of respondents as being more important for mobile, with accuracy and expertise also ranking highly.
- In social media, consumers are ambivalent about the value of certain commonly-used social actions such as “likes.” Reviews were identified as inspiring trust twice as much as general “likes,” though seeing a “like” or recommendation from a friend increased the trust value of that action.
- Video works best to enhance trust when it is combined with other types of content. Fifty-six percent of respondents agreed that video builds trust when it adds illustration or explanation attached to other types of content.
The study reveals the importance of networking sources of trust: 82 percent “use information from brands, content, ads and social media to create custom solutions for what they need.”
It’s recommended that brands “treat consumers as partners, not customers.
About.com suggests these best practices:
- Acknowledge and respect consumers’ processes for evaluating and making decisions. Eighty-five percent trust brands that walk them through multiple paths to decisions, rather than just giving an answer.
- Support consumers after they purchase. The relationship shouldn’t end with a credit card. Sixty-two percent of consumers trust brands that provide information and tools to help them use products they have purchased.
- Demonstrate an understanding that consumers’ lives change. Eighty-three percent trust brands that offer resources every step of the way, as a consumer’s needs evolve.
- Build engagement by using every opportunity to solve consumers’ large and small challenges. Eighty-five percent trust brands that use ads or sponsored content to inform or help them with a need.
A subsidiary of The New York Times, you can see About.com findings here.
From the Coach’s Corner, suggested reading:
- Think 1930s for Business Success. Consumer Attitudes are Changing.
- Profits: Size Doesn’t Matter but Image, Professionalism Count
- The Key to Internet Dominance: Think Integration
- Sales, Networking Strategies to Build Strong Relationships
“Suppliers and especially manufacturers have market power because they have information about a product or a service that the customer does not and cannot have, and does not need if he can trust the brand. This explains the profitability of brands.”
Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.