We live in an era of distrust. Economic and political upheavals, along with recent consumer, technology and third-sector scandals, have shaken our faith in the institutions that shape our societies, but businesses can, and should, play a key role in restoring consumer trust. Think about focusing on these areas to strengthen trust among your customer base.
Ethical business practices should be the norm, and companies are expected to take action when facing a crisis. Transparent and open business practices are paramount. These key steps can help to improve integrity:
- Know your brand
A brand image that’s in a constantly changing can quickly erode integrity. Take the time to nail down why your organisation exists beyond simply generating capital and make sure you embed your company’s values, vision and mission statement into all that you do.
- Be part of something bigger
Look to incorporating a corporate social responsibility strategy into your business. Read more about how your company can give something back by embedding corporate volunteering into the company ethos.
- Demonstrate it
Once you’ve established what you care about, show that you care. Take to social media channels and be vocal about the changes you are making to the world – big or small.
Establishing a positive connection with consumers and employees is key to any company’s success. Here’s how to improve your engagement:
- Listen to customer needs and feedback
‘Customer-centricity’ is a business buzzword and rightly so. Showing your customers you care about their experience gives consumers confidence in a business and its products or services.
- Treat employees well
Making sure you respond to your employees’ needs is crucial, especially as trust is shifting away from institutions and towards individuals.
- Humanise your brand
Customers want to be able to relate to a brand. Create a brand personality that resonates with their needs and feelings.
Product and services
How can you make sure your products and services stand out from the rest?
- Be innovative
Whether in products, services or simply ideas, show you are an invested business that means business. Being creative in thinking and original in ideas can be instrumental in helping you stand out.
- Make sure you deliver
Consistently offering high-quality products and services is a baseline requirement. This forms the foundations on which trust can be built.
- Share positive customer reviews
Make sure you shout about stellar reviews. Enable and monitor customer reviews on social media pages such as Facebook to generate a customer buzz and spark conversation.
Societal and environmental issues are now a business matter, too. Companies that acknowledge society’s needs, care about their impact and take steps to address issues are increasingly well regarded.
- Find your why
Read up on how to pinpoint your company’s purpose in Finding Your Why in the latest issue of homeWORK.
- Find purpose-driven staff
If you’re clear about your company being purpose-driven this can attract a different sort of employee and change the dynamic within your business with an authentic energy.
- Tell your why
Find out how you can then market this purpose to customers in Telling Your Why in the latest issue of homeWORK.
Want to discover more about the importance of trust in business and how to protect your business from a social media crisis? Read about our Business Insight Dinner, Silence is a Tax on Truth which took place at Kennington Park.