Establish Trust by Knowing Consumer Behaviors
The good news is that we are almost out of the economic rut. Hopefully, this slow climb out of the pit will bring back trust and confidence in our institutions – government, businesses, financial markets, etc. Although it was not an easy climb – some businesses lost a significant amount of dollars, some even losing their jobs, the worst, according to experts, is over.
Among the most interesting findings during this most trying times is that seventy-seven percent of consumers said they refused to buy products or services from a company they do not trust. Most of these consumers also said that they criticized a distrusted company to a friend or a colleague.
Taking this study and applying it to your marketing plan, it could be gleaned that trust is a key element in ensuring that your business stays afloat both during a boom and a bear situation. To build trust requires a lot of hard work; responsible, strategic planning; honest, effective communications; and carefully thought-out actions that safeguard the future while acknowledging the past.
We have to recognize that today’s consumer has changed dramatically. It used to be that consumers are easily swayed by marketing collaterals like brochures, door hangers, flyers, direct mail. But nowadays, consumers are more discriminating. No amount of door hanger printing can easily sway a consumer who has an informed mind, a critical eye and a cautiously guarded wallet. Keeping a close watch on developing consumer attitudes and responding to the likes and dislikes of your customers will enable you to build this trusting environment.
Companies have to realize that it is as much about who is behind the product or service or brand as the product, service or brand itself. Again we go about to the research that shows that consumers decide based on a trusting relationship. First, your customers should trust the brand but you also have to realize that who is behind the product or service or brand is equally important to them.
More often than not, consumers will buy a product or service at a higher price only because it came from that particular company. Actually, what consumers are buying is not the product or the service itself but the trust that emanates from the company.
As a strategy, companies should aspire to communicate directly with their customers. Customers are not nameless, faceless individuals; they are in fact unique and are different from one another. Today, a standard line that goes “Dear customer/ neighbor” is not only insulting, it is also a good way to get your letter or email in the junk pile or folder. The trick is to personalize communication. Remember that what you want to establish is a trusting environment. And you simply cannot do that if you do not even have a clue on the name of your loyal customer.