Build your own consumer "trust economy"
Your aim is to build a strategic model that will help your offering win over the empowered, smarter, more informed and spoilt-for- choice consumer. Consumers' expectations of brands are rising. Your brand must not only resonate with your customers, but it also needs to earn their trust, satisfaction and commitment. Brand trust is critical to brand loyalty.
Your "trust economy" should be able to weather the rise and fall of the market forces around you.
Start by setting the business' reliability goals from top to bottom and measure them constantly against a predetermined set of KPIs. Ensure this reliability flows through every aspect of the business, including your own manufacturers and suppliers, and instil it into your company DNA. This is the most fundamental aspect of business fitness.
When this is in place, monitor your own trustworthiness by looking at how you're travelling in the areas of customer loyalty, advocacy and profitability.
Look at every element that feeds into your trust economy. 'Fit' retailers have a higher Trust economy because they've executed a total omnichannel brand experience, and have learnt how to tactically offer across all these channels. They've done this in context, and also in a personalised way that speaks to the consumers in each of the channels.
Whether you have a physical or online presence or both, aim to always deliver the most consistently amazing customer service.
Consumer trust surveys are important for business improvement, so provide channels for customers to give feedback and advocate your offering. And continually think about relevant reasons to drive customers back.
Win over the 'smarter' consumers
Customers bring attitudes and expectations to every interaction they have with retailers. Connectivity and collaboration enables them to know a lot about products and brands, and these 'smarter' consumers ultimately decide which retailers have earned their trust.
Here are 10 tips for building trust in your brand with savvy consumers:
- Fulfil all customers' expectations absolutely and without exception.
- Communicate and make relevant offers to your consumers based on a profound understanding of them and their preferred channels.
- Genuinely care about your consumers.
- Build a unique, consistent and distinctive brand that your consumers love.
- Give your customers some trust credit too. Create two-way trust such as a 'no questions asked' returns policy or the promise of money back if not satisfied.
- Empower and value your employees.
- Show your mission and passion internally and externally.
- Innovate and lead – keep abreast of consumer trends, explore different target markets and pursue new opportunities.
- Create a culture of trust in your multi-channel/e-commerce offering.
- Have a genuine concern with ethics, environment and societal issues.
Finally, earn consumer trust by listening, learning, anticipating, adapting, executing and excelling, while interacting with growing consumer communities.
*Global Trust Research conducted by the Retail Doctor Group and the Ebeltoft Group of global retail experts.