The Coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) has brought about radical changes in the way businesses work and maintain relationships with their customers. This pandemic changed things overnight, and companies felt an immediate impact daily. At times like these, brands need to maintain customer trust.
The pandemic has forced businesses to maintain relationships with consumers as their processes have severely been affected. Even many of the largest corporates have been affected, and most smaller companies have been forced into making decisions that aren’t progressive. Customers are the biggest asset of any business. No business can drive without them or succeed in their endeavors, and it wouldn’t be business at all. It is essential to understand that merely acquiring customers is not enough. Brands cannot choose to acquire or drop customers as and when they please, irrespective of whether the customer is irritating or not.
In terms of customers, the best policy for brands is to retain them and make use of the relationship that is developed for the satisfaction of both parties. By building trust in customers, brands establish better work ethics in their employees, improve brand reputation, and provide value to customers. Let’s talk about why businesses need to build trust and some of the best ways to do so.
Why do Do Brands need to Build Trust? (Before, During, or After the Pandemic)
- Without customers, businesses would not exist. Regardless of the product or service provided, a business will not flourish and will cease to exist.
- Customers control company success. If a business is not credible, maybe due to past mistakes or the lack of an online presence, customers will leave and seek your competitors’ help.
- Customers must be seen as they are and not as plane numbers on a sheet. They must be seen as actual humans that form your very business. Businesses need to establish trust because
- Customer loyalty and trust are essential for building a successful brand. This, by now, is pretty obvious; however, it is hard to overstate the value and benefits of maintaining long-term customers.
- Also, customer retention is much more cost-effective as compared to acquiring new customers. According to numerous studies, acquiring a new customer costs 5 to 10 times more than retaining one.
- Satisfied and happy customers can be a brand’s best marketing strategy. When customers trust a business, they will most likely recommend it to others. Therefore, customer trust helps retain customers and provides businesses with new leads and sales through word of mouth.
- Why pay for SEO, when recommendations and online reviews award people consider before taking up a company’s services? Happy customers make your brand more credible and trustworthy to others and increase brand visibility.
The points mentioned above make it amply clear that building customer trust and loyalty is a worthwhile goal for any brand, especially when needed most.
What Makes Businesses Trustworthy?
Building loyalty and trust amid a crisis can make or break brands. The confidence of consumers in brands, during such times, depends on three major factors; the wellbeing of customers, the wellbeing of employees, and not maximizing profits by taking advantage of the crisis.
One of the top reasons that consumers trust a brand is the concern they show for their employees. During periods of uncertainty, employees look up to their employees and managers to lead them. At such times, employees are much more focused on these leaders than governments and other organizations.
Frequent and clear communication from the organization is said to increase brand loyalty among employees; however, not all brands are doing it—an integral part of the present image in the market, clearly visible to the public. Having satisfied employees results in positive chatter regarding the brand among people.
As most people are still adjusting to these new circumstances, it is evident that a brand’s actions significantly impact consumer trust. Organizations must figure out what steps they can take to help consumers while maintaining consistency with the values and abilities. Many brands have taken on this pandemic as an opportunity to strengthen customer trust by making use of data to determine the actions that will significantly impact employees, customers, and communities.
Not Taking Undue Advantage
Some brands would think of this pandemic as a quick shortcut to success. They probably deal with essential products or services during these times and have hiked up their prices to benefit from it. Although these brands may do well during this period, the long-term plan seems shaky. These companies will severely lack the kind of trust consumers have in other brands. If things get out of hand and a company’s particular action is strikingly unethical, they could receive an immediate backlash.
To steer clear of such outcomes, companies should price their products accordingly and help consumers in their time of need to gain more than a quick buck. Long-term consumers can also be asked to become brand ambassadors. Nothing works better for brands who want to convince and convert other prospects than existing consumers doing their marketing for them.
How to Get Started?
While there are numerous ways in which brands can build and improve upon trust between them and their customers, the most useful and recognizable ways to quickly establish relationships with customers are as follows.
Secure Your Business
Despite the challenges in these testing times, ensure that your business is as secure as possible. If your business has an online store or any payment gateway, make sure to secure customer payments. If customers distrust the company of the website, they will be reluctant to part with their money. If for some reason, a payment fails, they were most likely to blame it on the security measures of your website.
During this period of global lockdown, make sure to be present on every social media network. All your customers, and even more prospects, are already on these platforms. The most popular platforms are Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. Lockdowns have increased the time people spend on social media, and having an active online profile makes businesses seem more credible. People trust companies based on their online activities and sure that your page is meaningful and relevant, which is conscientious of the customers.
Although this has always been an essential factor, website experience is crucial now more than ever. Acquiring new customers during this time has been a challenging task for almost every company. The least that companies can do at this time is to retain their customers by improving their website. Websites with slow load times receive lesser traffic (47% of website visitors expect a load time of 2 seconds.) Provide visitors with easily navigable websites failed with relevant content, clear descriptions, and modes of contact.
Running a business should not only be about generating profits. A business’s success is based on its customers and how they see it. These very customers are the reason you went into business. Build trust and increase business accomplishments by listening to these customers, considering what they need from you, asking for feedback, and implementing process improvements.