In today’s market-place, trust is everything. As a nation though, according to the Express, almost one in five people don’t trust anyone at all! Yet the key to selling is trust. We all know and love the old cliche “people buy from people” and that’s all well and good when you’re at a sales meeting but there haven’t been many of those happening over the last few weeks. So how can you build trust in a digital world? First, we need to understand why we need trust.
Why do we need trust?
Trust is the most important business and brand asset that you can manage. Some argue that the sole purpose of marketing and communications is to earn and nurture trust.
In my opinion, trust builds everything. The relationship between your customers, employees and stakeholders is dependant on it. But what makes up trust? According to the experts there are eight pillars of trust that make up a trusting relationship. They are: Clarity, Compassion, Character, Competency, Commitment, Connection, Contribution, and Consistency.
The challenge with trust is that you can’t force your customers to trust you or pay them to believe your organisation is trustworthy. Your brand must work hard to earn their trust. This means that every interaction is an opportunity to build relationships and nurture trust.
How can your brand work harder for you?
It’s pretty self explanatory but brand consistency is the delivery of your brand message in-line with company values and strategy. Consistency means that your target audience is exposed to the same key messages, visual identity and other brand elements continually. It is the key to developing a successful brand.
Brand guidelines are a great way to ensure all internal and external suppliers use your brand in the correct way. Basic brand guidelines should include: logo usage, safe web and print fonts, graphics and photography, tone of voice and key messaging.
You might want to consider investing in a doc like this and sharing it with your internal team. In particular, the latter two. This is probably a whole new topic but ensuring your team delivers the same customer experience that you do stems from all being on the same page and truly understanding the brand values.
So you’ve consistently delivered your marketing campaigns and your prospective client has just visited your website. Does your website clearly define why they should work with you?
If your website copy focusses on all the wonderful features that your product or service can deliver then they probably won’t convert. Customers aren’t really interested in how the product or service works it’s more about whether it will help solve their problem. That means your web copy should clearly define the benefits. Benefit Sell, Features Tell.
If you’re a service business, case studies are a brilliant way to help demonstrate the type of clients you have previously worked with and the results of the project. This gives the reader a much broader understanding of what they might expect if they choose to work with you.
I can already feel the eye-roll. Being genuine and authentic is one of those marketing buzz words that we’re all probably fed up of hearing. But it is still very important. Gone are the days where you can add a lovely looking lady with a head-set to represent ‘contact us’ we all know it’s a stock image and we all hate them. We want to know who we are dealing with, we want to see team pages, with real photographs and we want to read a web page that’s got a bit of personality. For example a heading that reads “Welcome to our website” is rarely ever welcoming, in fact it’s quite dull. Unfortunately, that’s your first opportunity to impress out the window!
Great web-copy is one way to instill some personality, great reviews is another. As a business owner do you regularly ask for reviews? Because it’s one thing to write “We are a caring company” on your website but it’s quite another to have a customer write “We loved working with XYZ because they really cared about delivering a great service”. Which one are you likely to believe.
The best way to do this is through Google My business. If you haven’t claimed your business page, do it now. You can collect reviews easily and then share them on your website.
“Research shows that 91 percent of people regularly or occasionally read online reviews, and 84 percent trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation.”