In a world of fake news, data breaches and near-daily apologies from the likes of Facebook and Uber; it can be incredibly hard to build and maintain a reputable brand.
After all, what can take years to build, can be gone in seconds – and while large corporations may be forgiven following a public apology, smaller brands can be hit harder.
Here, we’ll discuss what is brand trust, and how you can continue to build it, in order to increase your base of loyal customers.
Define how to measure brand trust
The first thing to do is ask what brand trust means to you, so you can effectively measure the correct KPIs.
For example, you may want to see your number of Google reviews rise, increase your brand mentions on social media, or have customers making repeat purchases.
By setting up Google Alerts, you can monitor how your brand is being talked about online, so you have a benchmark to measure the growth in brand trust. Mention and Hootsuite are great alternatives too – especially if you want to measure social media mentions.
One good way to get immediate feedback on your brand perceptions is to send out a questionnaire to your customers; asking what they like and dislike about your brand. Survey Monkey enables you to send out surveys for free.
To start successfully building brand trust, it’s important to choose a “lead” on the project. That way, they can help to get the rest of the company on-board to achieving the overall vision, and making sure steps are continually being made in the right direction.
Create a seamless user experience
Your user experience (UX) can go miles in making or breaking brand trust. Consistency in terms of look and feel are a key place to start (as we’ll discuss later), but there are so many other UX elements to consider too.
If you’re an e-commerce site, then add a secure seal from the likes of McAfee or Symantec – scanning your website for malware, it’ll help to build trust from customers who are entering their credit card details.
Your website should be easy to navigate – there should be a clear journey flow from page to page, with concise call-to-actions, and forms that are easy to fill out.
Providing a positive experience on your site that’s safe and secure, helps with building brand trust; as customers will be happy to return to your website and purchase from you again.
Respond to reviews and complaints
73% of consumers said reading positive reviews made them trust a brand more. With 50% of Brits turning to reviews before making a purchase (rising to 80% amongst millennials), it’s crucial that for building brand trust, you must increase your number of positive reviews.
From Google to Yelp, Facebook to TrustPilot, there are several channels where customers can leave reviews, but you may choose to focus on one to drive your efforts – in which case, we’d recommend Google.
However, with positive reviews, comes negative ones too. If they’re not dealt with correctly, then they can detrimentally impact your brand.
Negative reviews won’t go away if you ignore them. The best thing to do is reply. Acknowledge the issue, and either say sorry if you were in the wrong, or kindly clarify the situation if the review is inaccurate. You can find out more about how to successfully handle negative reviews here.
Social media is also a hotspot for complaints – especially Twitter. This is largely down to the fact that people know brands will respond back quickly; making it a key area to monitor if you want to strengthen your brand trust.
A recent survey by Sprout Social showed that 24.7% respondents found the most annoying thing a brand could do on Twitter was ignore their messages. An earlier survey showed that for 34.5% of respondents, social media was their preferred channel for customer care – beating the likes of LiveChat and email.
Customers expect a response on Twitter within four hours, yet the average brand takes 10 hours to reply. Responding to these complaints politely, asking to move the conversation to DMs shows to potential customers you’re dealing with the situation, helping to build brand trust.
Whereas comments and complaints on social media can’t be controlled, you can actively ask customers to review you. In fact, 70% of people said they would review a business if asked – so drop your happiest clients an email and ask away.
Keep your content and tone of voice consistent
When you initially created your brand strategy, you no doubt had a set of brand guidelines that defined colours, fonts and tone of voice (TOV) to be used.
24.7% respondents found the most annoying thing a brand could do on Twitter was ignore their messages.
In order to build brand trust, you need to ensure your brand is consistently communicated across every single touchpoint. From social media posts, to blog articles and email responses; every employee must be aware and on-board of your brand, so they can interact with customers in the correct way, so that they trust your brand.
Final thoughts: focus on relationships, not conversions
As a business, it can be all-too-tempting to fixate solely on sales, revenues and conversions.
However, don’t forget that those financials are driven by relationships forged with customers. For building brand trust, you need to show consumers that you are interested in their needs and interests, rather than just taking their money.
Essentially, this ties into all of the points above: you need to offer a seamless user experience, and the content you create must resonate with consumers, to essentially show that you “get” them.
There’s no denying that building those relationships – defined as “dedicated relationships” by Crazy Egg – takes time. However, to build brand trust in the long-term, turning customers into advocates who will not only repeat purchase from you, but recommend you to family and friends, is key.
Your brand is your reputation, which is why it’s so important you nurture and protect it. From brand creation, to activation and strategy, we’re passionate about branding and would love to help you. Alternatively, for the latest industry news, head on over to our blog.