How to boost customer confidence in an online world
Putting your customer at the centre of your business builds trust in a precarious online world. Peter Holten Mühlmann presents three ways in which you can boost confidence and ensure your brand shines in the eyes of your customers.
As a result of the pandemic, more consumers than ever are turning to the internet, with online sales in Australia seeing a 55 percent rise in December 2020. With customers becoming more conscious of who and what to spend their money on online, trust has never been more important in boosting customer confidence. But what makes a brand trustworthy and how can marketers maintain this in an online world?
The short story is with transparency. It is the backbone of any successful business and impacts how customers perceive a brand because strong trust remains long after the excitement of an ad campaign dies down.
In saying this, brand trust and transparency should not be seen as a marketing strategy but adopted as a crucial part of any business’s DNA.
Here are some ways you can establish and maintain brand trust in your own business.
Walk the talk
Marketers must show that a brand is authentic and cares for its customers. To achieve this, they need to do two things — be transparent and clear with intentions, and follow through with action.
Take GlamCorner for example. This company set out to reduce fast fashion textile waste that ends up in landfills by extending the life of clothes through rental. It held itself to this for 10 years now, upholding the promises outlined in its Ethical and Sustainable Supply Chain Policy and becoming a Certified B Corporation.
Similarly at Trustpilot, we have made public commitments and provided an open agreement to show that we will do more to ensure that our users can trust the integrity of the content they see on our platform. We launched our first ‘Transparency Report’ as a result of this promise, sharing data that has never been released publicly before to outline the actions we are taking to protect and promote trust online.
Open a two-way dialogue
To thrive in an online world a brand must be able to see itself from a customer’s point-of-view, focusing less on what they want to tell the world and more on what their customers are saying about them.
The best and most successful companies use customer feedback at the centre of their business and marketing strategies, and believe it or not, the best way to get insightful feedback is by having a direct conversation with customers.
Therefore, establishing an environment that fosters two-way public communication such as an online review portal, is paramount for business success. Not only that, showing a willingness to hear customers out and take on board their feedback will build long-lasting customer confidence and trust in the business.
Make truth accessible
Opening a dialog for public feedback can at times lead to fake information being published about your business. This is why two-way communication is so important. Your platforms — whether it’s social media or your website — are not just a place for customers to leave comments and feedback, but to provide them with an accessible source of truth directly.
A fantastic example of this is McDonald’s food transparency campaign ‘Our Food. Your Questions’, which launched in 2014. To address the growing number of rumours and misinformation circling about McDonald’s products, the chain decided to open up a two-way Q&A style channel on their website, sparking an online dialogue with their customers that is still active to this day.
To maintain customer confidence and trust in a brand, it’s crucial that the information shared is open and accurate. At Trustpilot one of the actions we’re taking to maintain user trust is removing over two million fake reviews from the platform in the last year. We have also put public consumer warnings on 522 company profiles to ensure users can always trust the information they read.
Ultimately staying honest and transparent is the best way to boost customer confidence — especially in an online world where they have access to many competitors at their fingertips.
Peter Holten Mühlmann is founder and CEO of Trustpilot.