Build a Trusted Brand

Building brand trust: The ultimate checklist for businesses

Wednesday 24 April 2024
Office photo - Brand Trust Checklist article

What happens when your customers trust you? It usually leads to customer loyalty, glowing referrals, brand recognition and a guaranteed way to grow your company.

Trust is a powerful motivator; a poll of 1,000 customers from The Institute of Customer Service found that 81% hold trust as a very important factor in deciding whether or not to use an organisation, and 95% are likely or very likely to remain customers of a brand they trust.

Harvard Business Review examined data from the 360 assessments of 87,000 leaders. From this information emerged three key elements of trust: positive relationships, good judgement/expertise, and consistency. We can use these elements to build a checklist that keeps your business in a constant state of trust building. 

Create positive relationships

Building trust with customers hinges on understanding what fosters positive relationships. The HBR study highlighted two key actions: staying attuned to customer concerns and effectively resolving conflicts. For customers, these could translate to staying aware of the micro-moments, listening through social portals, and acting on negative feedback. Here’s some more. 

☑️ Pay attention to the micro-moments: Google defines micro-moments as intent-rich moments when a person turns to a device to act on a need—to know, go, do, or buy. Active listening is key in helping any relationship flourish, but it is especially effective with customer micro-moments. Research finds that 60% of business problems are due to poor communication, which is why CRMs are helpful. They keep track of questions, pain points, feedback, opportunities, and any other micro-moments of note. 

☑️ Act on customer sentiment: Stay attuned to customer needs by analyzing customer sentiment gathered from customer reviews and discussions surrounding your business to identify recurring themes and emotional tones.  Nearly 60% of customer service agents say a lack of consumer data often causes negative experiences. By truly understanding how different customer segments feel about your product or service, you can address their concerns and desires, fostering trust and loyalty.

☑️ Don’t hide negative reviews: Most customers rely on both positive and negative reviews to make a well-rounded purchase decision. 96% of customers look for negative reviews specifically. Ensuring an open space where all reviews can be considered shows you have nothing to hide and can be trusted. A survey conducted in 2022 found that among global consumers who made online purchases in the previous six months, 60% emphasized the significance of trustworthiness and transparency as the foremost qualities of a brand.

☑️ Gather feedback regularly: Regularly asking customers for their input makes a huge difference when forming trusting relationships. Involving them in the product improvement process makes them feel valued. 

☑️ Maintain transparency with clear customer SLAs: A Twilio report found that 85% of businesses believe they offer good personalized customer service, but only 60% of consumers agree. Creating transparency starts with setting expectations like sharing clear customer SLAs or service-level agreements. These customer service agreements create mutual understanding and remove unwanted surprises.  

☑️ Get into a social listening cadence: Social listening is essential for understanding customer segments' feelings. By going beyond surface-level metrics and diving into social media conversations, you can uncover your customers' real needs, desires, and pain points.

☑️ Be clear about your purpose: A global study analyzing the business value of brands having a clear purpose found that consumers are four to six times more likely to buy from, trust, champion, and defend companies with a strong purpose.

☑️ Invest in membership programs: Membership and loyalty programs help earn brand trust in several ways. Special pricing, discounts, and savings help to create these opportunities and encourage customers to keep doing business with a company. 

☑️ Respond to negative feedback regularly: Almost 26% of consumers consider responding to reviews an important part of business activity. Develop a regular and consistent cadence for responding to negative reviews. We recommend not waiting more than 24 hours. It was found that 53% of consumers want a fast response to negative reviews

Good judgement/expertise

The most trusted brands demonstrate good judgment and can translate that judgment into actions that build customer trust. Trusted brands prioritize the customer's perspective when making decisions. They consider how their actions will impact customer experience, satisfaction, and long-term loyalty.

☑️ Don’t be a marketing pest: An Adobe study found that 39% of consumers distrust a brand that sends them too many communications. Brands that overdo it on marketing outreach can jeopardize potential long-term customer relationships. Consider personalization and using data to send relevant communication to the right audiences. 

☑️ Creating informative content: Customers trust brands that share the right information to help them succeed with your product or service. Tailor content for customer segments: 87% of consumers surveyed say personally relevant branded content positively influences their feelings about a brand.

☑️ Show the impact of your product or service: Really drive home the impact of your product or service in case studies, email marketing and product reviews.  

☑️ Invest more in employee training. Companies that offer training to engaged employees are 17% more productive and 21% more profitable. A study found that only 13% of customers believe a salesperson can understand their business-specific needs. Once employee training is prioritized, customer interactions are more informed and well-rounded, leading to happier customers. 

Maintain consistency 

Customer experience expert Esteban Kolsky's research revealed that 55% of consumers are willing to pay a premium for a consistently positive experience. This highlights the power of consistency - it builds trust and reduces customer hesitation. Brands that fail to deliver a steady, reliable experience risk creating a more reluctant customer base.

☑️ Create a consistent customer journey: McKinsey found that removing inconsistencies across a customer’s journey and maximising satisfaction could help boost revenue by up to 15%. For customers, a smooth customer journey with predictable touch points, consistent branding, and after-sales support is a recipe for 

☑️ Stay on top of branding elements: For a recognizable brand image, consistently use logos, colors, typography, and messaging across all touchpoints. Coca-Cola has maintained its iconic red and white logo and distinctive bottle shape over the last 132 years, consistently associating itself with special moments shared with a glass of Coke.

Key takeaways

  • Master micro-moments and social listening: Be present in the "micro-moments" when customers seek information or assistance. Leverage social listening to understand customer sentiment and proactively address their needs.

  • Foster trusting relationships: Actively gather customer feedback and involve them in product development. Set clear expectations with Service Level Agreements (SLAs) to ensure transparency and keep them happy with bountiful membership programs. 

  • Build brand trust and expertise to grow your company: Clearly define your company's purpose. Utilize Marketing PEST analysis (Political, Economic, Social, Technological) to stay informed about external factors impacting your business.

  • Create more relevant content and invest in employee training: Create informative and relevant content tailored to customer segments.  Invest in employee training to equip them with the knowledge to deliver exceptional customer service.

  • Consistency is key: Maintain a consistent customer journey across all touchpoints. Use consistent branding elements like logos and colors to create a recognizable brand image.  Develop a system for responding to negative feedback promptly.

Building brand trust is what we do. We wouldn’t put it in our name if we didn’t believe in it. Try Trustpilot today. 


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