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IT’S YOUR BUSINESS: Earning and keeping your customer’s trust

By Joe Smith

Special to the Record

A survey conducted by Clear Channel and JCDecaux concluded that more than 80 per cent of consumers consider trust as a deciding factor in making buying decisions.

Another survey conducted by Edelman, a global communications company, reported that 70 per cent say trusting a brand is more important today than in the past, a belief shared among age groups, gender and income.

In a Canadian report, Edelman also revealed that trust in the various media has been in decline over the past three years. Traditional media received the highest percentage at 57 per cent down from 71 per cent, search engines dropped to 49 per cent from 62 per cent and social media lost 10 points from 31 per cent down to 21 per cent.

To a great degree, this has been attributed to the global pandemic, economic crisis and political instability. People are confused and have difficulty in a world filled with disinformation knowing where to turn for dependable information.

When applied to our businesses trust can very well be the difference in creating future success. So what can you do to build this trust?

First of all, building trust is dependent on your ability to understand the human experience and foster an emotional connection with your customers by displaying honesty, transparency, sensitivity and dependability.

This can be done by making customer service a priority setting high standards and exceeding them by focusing on personalized customer service. Anticipate their needs and be prepared to offer viable solutions to solve them. Anything you can do to make the customer experience pleasurable will help position you as a trusted advisor or partner in their minds.

A quick survey of an internet search to see what you can do to build trust highlights a number of key steps that can be taken. Ensure you have a great product; showcase your company values; be consistent; ask for and act on feedback; share positive testimonials and learn from the ones that are less favourable; be reachable; build on your good reputation.

These just touch the tip of the proverbial iceberg as there are many other things that you can do to ensure you earn and build on your customer’s trust. As motivational speaker Zig Ziglar once said, “If people like you they’ll listen to you but if they trust you they’ll do business with you.”

Joe Smith is a communications consultant and an accomplished fine artist. He can be reached via email at