How Customer Trust Impacts Brand Loyalty
When developing brand loyalty there are few things more important than building customer trust. Without a foundation of trust even the most amazing marketing campaign will fall on deaf ears. Trust enables consumers to buy with without worry, without reflection and with confidence in a product. Without this your sell will be harder and your bottom line more difficult to achieve.
Today, more than ever before, the consumer holds the power. The Internet has gifted this power by placing social and mobile technology at our fingertips meaning that we can research purchases and voice opinions more readily and publicly, and brands have to sit up and take notice.
Brands which offer sophisticated personalised marketing will increase engagement, maximise sales performance, drive customer satisfaction, build loyalty and ultimately generate revenue growth. It is vital that brands constantly seek new and innovative ways to make their products stand out in the marketplace; to ensure that their content is sticky and their communications creative. The objective should be to make the customer experience more intuitive and personal.
Build customer trust through being a company that values loyalty, not just a company with a loyalty programme. It’s no longer good enough to just implement a reward programme for transactions. To really drive customer behaviour, build customer trust, increase engagement and thereby improve brand loyalty, brands need to create a loyalty culture where customers are rewarded not just for purchases but also for interacting and engaging with the brand. The most effective loyalty solutions share the same core element: trust.
Your objectives might be to enhance engagement, retain or attract customers, improve brand loyalty, drive brand stretch, boost productivity or increase sales. The best way of addressing any of these everyday objectives and challenges is to secure your customers’ trust.
But how do you go about winning this trust? It’s not as easy as it sounds but employing a few simple measures should get you on the right road.
Personalised communications – don’t underestimate the importance of data-driven, personalised marketing campaigns. Customers are human beings; forget about B2C - try looking at your customer relationships as Human to Human (H2H). Use your big data to your advantage (you are collecting it aren’t you?!) and target your communications so that they have meaning and personal impact to your audience. Make customers feel understood, valued and respected.
Maximise credibility – it’s really fairly obvious, but reputation matters. When social allows peer-to-peer recommendations like never before it is vital that your brand generates respect and credibility. A reputation can now be destroyed in minutes; ensure yours isn’t by creating an environment where your customers are respected and valued.
Turn customers into fans – customers will be your best brand advocates. Maximise this potential by building relationships with them. Today's consumer (and yes, we’re generally talking Millennials) has the opportunity to be more disloyal than previous generations. They use the Internet to their advantage and seek out the best deal, rather than sticking with a brand ‘just because’. Build a relationship and allow your fans to promote your business themselves via online reviews and – as long as their experience with you is good – they will begin to advocate on your behalf to influence others. Statistics show that 61% of customers read reviews before making a purchase. Ensure that your potential customers have all the resources they need to help them make a buying decision and leverage your positive reviews to build customer trust.
If your trust building strategies are successful, you will reap commercial rewards. Existing customers are more likely to repeat purchase if their customer experience is good. Statistics show that it is 10 times easier to generate business from an existing customer than from a new one. Brands need to develop a suite of solutions focused on building loyalty, retaining customers and increasing spend, whilst adding customer value in the process.
Customer trust is all in the detail. The tiny, almost imperceptible detail. Understand that detail and you can create true brand loyalty.
About the Author
Mark is a thought leader and shaper, and regularly speaks at seminars in different industry sectors on loyalty strategy, customer engagement, channel relationships and overall performance improvement.
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