As an entrepreneur, I often reflect on what our business needs to accomplish to serve our customers. There are many things that are important. I found that it’s most important to establish trust from our customers. I like what David pointed out in his Business Module Hub article, "The Edelman Trust Barometer states 75% of people globally trust their employer. And according to one source, 37% of employees view their bosses as mentors. You can’t expect success if you can’t lead your team. Your team should be able to trust you and look to you as a leader."
We started Ascend as a personal finance company to help people get out and stay out of debt. We are often faced with many decisions whether to do what’s right for the customer or try to put our needs before their needs, but to establish trust, we need to put their needs first every time. I like how Ashik Ahmed put it in his Forbes article that there is a , "The Trust Crisis In The Business World". I couldn't agree more.
Here are the 3 things that businesses must do to establish trust from their users:
1) Know Your Customer to Establish Trust
Knowing your customer and understanding their needs is the most important thing that you can do for your customer. I solely believe that this is what sets apart great companies to bad ones.
You chief goal should be to serve your customer. If your sole goal is to make money, you will make bad decisions because your chief motivation will only be to understand their needs with the goal of monetizing them.
If your chief goal is to care for your customer, you will dig deep into the weeds of that customers’ life and understand what pain points they have, what motivates them, and what goals that they have to serve their needs.
Putting the customer first will reap massive benefits in the long run because you will establish a trust and a relationship with your customer that will allow you to solve their pain points.
2) Create Relevant, Rich Content
Once you understand your customer, creating great content that is unbiased is extremely important. Creating great content is the first step to building trust to your users. You can do this by adding a blog to your site.
You want what’s best for the customer, so give them everything they need to solve the situation on their own. For example, we offer debt settlement, but folks can do debt settlement on their own albeit a lot of work. We wrote two articles, “Working with Midland Funding” and Working with Portfolio Recovery” because it was important that we give them all of the tools to solve the debt on their own.
Many folks come to Ascend who are considering bankruptcy. We created the blogs titled, “Chapter 13 Calculator” because it was essential that our customers know the pros and cons when deciding upon bankruptcy. We may lose customers, but it’s better to lose customers that weren't right for you then gain customers that weren’t right for you and lose their trust and confidence in your product.
Relevant content is also a must when you are developing your content. If you truly know your user, then you will know what content they need and how they will need it. You will establish trust with your users when you provide relevant content because your users will know that you know their pain points, so you will be come a voice of the one that will be able to help fix them. If you do not know their pain points, then you are certainly in no position to help fix them.
3) Transparency, Transparency, Transparency
Transparency is key. We had someone recently who switched to our product recently because the company stated the fee was 23%. She found out later the fee was 25% and was livid. She decided to switch over to our firm because she had lost trust.
Another way that model transparency is to compare our service to another service in an unbiased way. This will allow them to realize that we are offering unbiased advice to help them solve their challenges instead of forcing a product on them.
Transparency is good for customer relationships, but it is also imperative for internal relationships. You need to be completely transparent with your employees about where the business stands. If you try to keep things from them, you will also be losing your employees' trust in the long run.
Trust is extremely important in any relationship, and it is also a cornerstone in the relationship of the business to the customer. You can establish this trust by getting to know your customer, providing rich and relevant content, and providing transparency across the board. People know when something is fishy about your product or service, and will take their business elsewhere to a company that actually cares for them and serves their needs.