Every relationship needs to be built on trust, and the brand-customer relationship is not an exception. Ignoring this fact can be detrimental to a business’s reputation and, in the long-term, the survival of the company. Whether designing a new product or communicating with its audience, a business must remember that there’s a human being on the other side — someone who wants to be respected and appreciated.
According to Edelman’s Trust Barometer Special Report (2019), in order to make a buying decision, 81% of consumers must trust the brand to do what is right. If they lose trust in a brand after purchase, they will look for alternatives. At the same time, three in four consumers are very skeptical of advertising and avoid it wherever possible. When we are promised the world, the decision of whom and what to trust becomes tedious for the consumer.
As social beings, we value the opinion of our peers. This is why 63% of people trust the opinion of an influencer, and why 89% of consumers worldwide take the time to read reviews before making purchases. Reading or listening to other people’s experiences gives a glimpse of what it means to own or use a specific product or service.
But reading reviews is not enough. Treating the feedback right is equally important. For example, consumers do not trust a brand that hides negative feedback. And only one in five consumers will completely trust reviews if they are available only on the company’s website.
The 5 Brand Trust Sins: When brands betray their customers' trust
1. Overpromising and under-delivering
No one wants to be fooled. Exaggerated advertising and corporate social responsibility programs that do not deliver real value to the consumer or the society betray the customer’s trust.
2. Too technical, too vague
To connect with customers, a company must speak their language. The use of overly technical, complicated, or vague language can make the consumer think that the company is hiding its processes and motives.
3. Tampering with online reviews
Consumers are looking for criticism to make informed decisions. Deleting negative feedback deprives the public of the opportunity to learn about the advantages and disadvantages of your products. Companies that censor the negative reviews are disliked by the majority of consumers and 62% of consumers would not purchase anything from these brands.
4. Ignoring bad reviews
Companies cannot avoid occasional negative feedback. A bad review can come from an internet troll or person who had a bad experience with the product. Companies without a strategy on how to respond to these reviews miss the opportunity to build trust by showing they take feedback seriously and use it to improve their business.
5. Radio silence
Brands with outdated websites or little social media interaction exude an air of abandonment. In a world where we are requested to trust a company with their credit card details, companies have to keep an active online profile to show that they have kept up with the latest changes and trends, and are open to communication and connection.
The 5 Brand Trust Virtues: What brands can do to earn their customer’s trust
1. Be authentic and transparent
A brand should be clear about its objectives and products and help customers to understand its core mission and goals. If the product or service targets users who are not familiar with tech, the brand should ensure that the product description and user experience reflect the ease of use and convenience of the product.
2. Encourage your audience to review your product
Online reviews give companies the opportunity to actively listen to consumers. Companies should create communication channels that make the review process easy for customers and allow them to express their opinion both publicly and privately. Not everyone sees the same things as positive, and not everyone sees the same things as negative. Feedback and criticism allow people to decide if the positive aspects outweigh the negatives for them.
3. Learn from customers’ opinions
There is no better way to understand the desires of your target audience than listening to their feedback? It can help companies prioritize correctly and even get insight into their competitors.
4. React to criticism with grace
Responding to a critic opens up a dialogue. The way a company reacts to its criticism is as important as the critique itself. A response may not be able to change the opinion of the critic, but potential customers will respect an effort to reply with empathy and respect. The goal is not to convince the critic about the brand — it is about showing that the company listens to its audience and values their opinions.
5. Diversify the available review points
As many as 40% of consumers will read evaluations posted on a company’s own website, but only one in five consumers say that they fully trust those reviews. Consumers turn most often to Google and, depending on the product or service they select, leave, or read a review on websites like Facebook, Yelp, or TripAdvisor. By allowing reviews on an independent, secure, and impartial review platform, a company can attract interest in its brand and improve its online reputation.
How Revain helps to build trust
The companies on Revain have the opportunity to play an active role in the reviewing process. By creating a company profile on the platform, companies can present their products or services and interact with the users by responding to their reviews.
As mentioned above, consumers want to see reviews on independent platforms besides the company’s website; however, it’s in a company’s interest for visitors to stay on their website. The Revain Widget allows customers to see reviews directly from the company’s website while also knowing the reviews are from an external source. The registration and writing process is easily integrated without the need to leave the website. The Revain widget is customizable and easy to incorporate into an email.