When news headlines are filled with one corporate scandal after another, it’s easy to understand why individuals may begin to lose trust in the notable people and companies they admire. Wouldn’t you doubt some of their intentions? Not only does consumer weariness shake the projection of growth for the future, but it also taints the achievements of the past.
In a time of doubt and betrayal, how can your company protect and foster a trusting relationship with its consumers?
Know and Show Your Values
Each company has core values, but most employees and patrons couldn’t name the first two. Emphasizing values in every part of your business, will 1) attract the right employees who will uphold them and 2) let consumers associate your brand with those same values. It’s essential to have a workforce that aligns with them and lives them through your company culture and the customer experience.
Having hiring procedures and HR policies that create accountability for your core values can strengthen its importance in your workforce and let employees exhibit them through their interactions with one another and in customer service. Your customers will then bridge their experiences with the identity of the company as a whole, not just with that single employee.
We happen to live in an age that dramatically benefits the power of the individual consumer, resulting in growing standards of service and ultra-fast responsiveness. With social media as an amplification tool for both negative and positive reviews, each user has some potential to praise or hurt your business. What is quickly forgotten in this race to please the consumer is the inevitable – businesses, especially small business, will make mistakes. In the midst of trying to correct these lapses in delivery, fight the urge to fix them as if you’re a robot reading off a script.
Let your employees be empathetic and authentic. Being able to connect with buyers on a familiar and interpersonal level can strengthen loyalty and can produce a more positive work environment for your employees. Permitting authenticity can create personal and emotional connections [PECs] to uncover more opportunities for WOW experiences on both sides.
"On the most fundamental level, people do business with people they like. If you're trying to shield certain aspects of you are, people will feel like there's some invisible veil." – David McKnight, author of “The Zen of Executive Presence”
Encourage a Degree of Transparency
Being transparent as part of your business’ culture can create more honest communications and relationships - with the employee and the consumer. Management can be more open through honest feedback and delivery of internal changes in the company. When employees see discrepancies in your communications, a cloud of distrust in management develops.
As this cloud continues to sustain itself in an organization, your personnel normalize this behavior in their interactions with customers. If a person feels that a company is withholding information or disguising it as something else, they may become defensive and apt on uncovering the truth or exposing this lapse in communication.
According to a survey by Label Insight, nearly 40% of customers say they would switch from their current preferred brand to one that offers more transparency. Being open shows a degree of authenticity and a commitment to core values, something that today's consumers notice.
When your company can gain the confidence of its market, it can stand out in flood of similar businesses and have a sustainable edge over the competition. Start looking inwardly to win over consumers with a relationship built on trust.
Want to transform your company culture to be more trusting and consumer-centric? Learn more about our DH Masterclass, a class where executives can roadmap business goals alongside their culture and values.