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4 Ways To Build Trust Between You and Your Costumers

May 20, 2016

6:00 pm

A successful startup requires trust: trust in your employees, in yourself and, most importantly, amongst your costumers. Winning the initial trust of your first 1,000 customers is one of the biggest challenges new businesses face. New brands come and go fast. And among those that stick around, trust is the one common factor.

According to the Edelman Trust Barometer, trust and transparency are just as important for customers as the quality of the product and their corporate reputation.  So, how do you make your new venture appear trustworthy from day one? Check out these strategies to kick things into a trustworthy gear.

Keep Promises

As Jim Rohn brilliantly noted: “One customer, well taken care of, could be more valuable than $10,000 worth of advertising.” Keeping your promises is the first step in instilling trust in your business. There should be no exceptions. Treat your regular customers as VIPs and you’ll quickly find yourself surrounded with an army of product evangelists spreading the good word for free.

The key to sticking to this practice is managing expectations. The last thing you want to do is promise them the world when you can only offer them a continent. Make sure to promise low and aim high. Costumers would much rather be impressed than disappointed.

Listen To Your Community

Ignoring or neglecting feedback from customers is a terrible idea. An online reputation is fragile and failing to interact with your community and address their requests can drastically reduce your revenue.

Today, the majority of customers rely on recommendations from their network when choosing one service provider over another. Negative online reviews, social media rants and unaddressed blunders can quickly turn into full-fledge disasters. The conversation with your customers should always come in two-ways. After all, the customer is always right.

Be Transparent

With the rise of cyber-crime and online fraud, customers are becoming more and more concerned about the type of personal and financial data collected by businesses. In fact, millennial consumers consider gift cards as the safest method of online payment and feel reluctant about giving away their credit card details.

The collection of user data is not new. But concealing your practices can lead to customer outrage and lost profits. But as long as you clearly outline how you plan to use, store and protect customer data in your Privacy Policy and Terms and Conditions, you’ll be fine. Be transparent about the types of emails and promos you offer and always provide ways to opt in or out easily.

Nurture Similarities

The easiest way to establish trust and nourish loyalty is to foster the perception of similarity. Rather than appearing as a blank, featureless corporation, work on the narrative behind your business.

Give your company a human face – share your values and the causes you care about. Tell customers about the people behind the product, your struggles, your successes and even your pet peeves. Be relatable to your customer and they will start to trust you more.

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Abdullahi Muhammed is a writer, difference maker and entrepreneur. He is the founder and CEO of Oxygenmat and he writes for Forbes, Entrepreneur, The Huffington Post and a few other sites.

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