In part one of our two-part blog post series, we talked about some concrete ways to build trust in visitors to your website. Specifically, we discussed ways to engage with people who are new to your site and who may not be familiar with your brand. By meeting initial expectations and keeping your brand voice consistent, you build an online reputation that makes it easy for potential customers to trust you with that first purchase.
Building trust in current customers takes the trust that fueled the initial purchase and turns it into lifelong loyalty while building brand advocates that can help your business grow. In part two, we discuss two very important ways to cement the relationship with your customers and keep them faithful to your brand:
Customers rarely like being kept in the dark when it comes to the companies they support. While transparency is often equated with giving access to the inner workings of the company, it doesn’t mean that you need to disclose everything about the way you do business. Instead, aim for practical transparency:
- Keep people updated with current events that impact them – new products, new policies, cases won, etc.
- If you are a software provider, provide a features roadmap so customers know what to expect down the line.
- Disclose any potential negative impacts as quickly as possible, and with solution-focused communication – shipping delays, errors, privacy breaches, etc.
As you can see, there’s more to transparency than behind-the-scenes tours or having staff biographies on your website. Often, the transparency that matters most is the type that directly impacts a customer’s experiences with your business – positive and negative.
Have an official policy in place on how to communicate these types of updates, and make it simple for current and potential customers to receive updates. As they learn more about your company and how you do business, it helps to build trust and in turn increase the likelihood of a sale.
It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking “what’s won is done” when it comes to customers. After all, if they’ve bought from you in the past, the reasoning goes that they will be likely to buy from you again in the future.
While this may have been true in the past, today’s consumers typically have a dizzying array of options and buying choices. A new competitor may offer additional incentives to win the sale, or if your products and services are purchased infrequently, there is the chance that your customers may simply forget where they last purchased.
Regular follow-ups are an excellent way to stay top of mind with current clients and customers, while also building trust. On the most basic level, this includes automatic follow-ups like shipping updates, tracking confirmation and after-purchase surveys.
However, follow-ups can also be used to build trust in other ways. Take a look at this example:
A building inspection company might be expected to provide a follow-up survey on service, as well as the usual request for referrals if the customer is satisfied. However, because there are specific areas of the building that may require re-inspection to remain up to code, a successful follow-up campaign might include additional information such as:
- Regular maintenance tips about specific areas of the building systems
- Troubleshooting common problems in building systems
- Reminder emails close to the time when the re-inspections are required
When done this way, useful information after the sale helps to build trust and brand loyalty. The likelihood of a repeat sale is greater than if the inspection company simply waits for a callback from a former client.
Here’s another example:
An online retailer selling pet-grooming kits consistently gets rave reviews for a particular brand of dog shampoo. When this brand expands their offerings to include new varieties of shampoo, the online retailer emails customers on their opt-in list who purchased that brand in the past to let them know a new variety is available.
By specifically catering to the expressed preferences of a past customer, this online retailer can reinforce the trust customers already have, and encourage repeat business.
A successful brand loyalty strategy combines transparent business practices, a consistent business voice, and regular follow-ups, so customers know what to expect in every interaction.
IF YOU NEED GUIDANCE IN BUILDING LOYALTY IN YOUR CURRENT CUSTOMERS, WE’RE READY TO HELP.
Contact one of our helpful online marketing professionals and let us set up a consultation to discuss your needs.