Customer Trust: The Backbone of Your Business

It’s a small world, after all.

Though global population continues to expand, our connectivity is growing even faster. In 2019, the number of internet users worldwide stood at 4.13 billion, which means more than half of the global population is connected to the world wide web. The percentage of US adults who use social media increased from 5% in 2005 to 79% in 2019. And experts estimate most Americans are exposed to around 4,000 to 10,000 ads each day.

While the internet is a lifeline, it has also exposed the misbehavior and greed of many of the pillars we count on, leading to a unique paradox: today, more people are connected and fewer are trusted.

The Benefits of Trust

In this vacuum of mistrust, marketers find themselves on one of three paths:

1 — Ignored

2 — Sneaking around

3 — Trusted

If you’re ignored, you can’t get far because you won’t earn much attention OR trust.

If you’re sneaky, you may gain followers, but not for long.

The third path – trust – is the only one that brings long-term benefits.

A trusted marketer earns loyalty by making promises, keeping them, and earning more loyalty. When the circumstances are right, that loyalty can become word-of-mouth recommendations or even tribal affiliation to your product or brand.

In a world that scans instead of reads, the best way to earn trust is through action. People remember what you did long after they forget what you said. When asked for a refund on a defective product, what do you do? When it comes to marketing, do your products hold up to the claims you make about them? When overloaded with new clients, do you put loyal customers on the back burner?

In a world of impersonal connections, you need to spend less time talking and more time doing: serving one customer at a time, day by day. Want to grow the currency of trust in your business? Consider options like these:

Improve Your Security

Make sure your customers feel safe when they shop with you.

Even if you aren’t selling your products online, customers will still visit your website, and the amount of safety they feel can play a significant role in how much they trust your brand.

Have a Strong Social Presence

People live online, and today many consumers equate a strong social media presence with relational authority.

The more active your brand’s social media pages are, the more likely it is that new customers will trust you. Equip your pages with striking images, company bio and contact info, and interactive content that meets customer needs. The higher your engagement, the deeper your relational roots will grow.

Under-promise and Over-deliver

Any time a customer feels deceived or manipulated, they’re likely to abandon your brand.

Don’t overestimate your capabilities! If it takes you a week to ship a product, tell your customers it takes two. If a product will last for 10 years, claim it will last eight. Happy customers are loyal customers; surprise them by going above and beyond what you’ve promised.

Make Your Brand More Personal

 

Treat your brand like it’s your business’s personality, giving it character and life.

Don’t use scripts and formulaic responses; instead, encourage employees to speak from the heart, engaging customers like real people. This small change makes your brand seem more human than corporate, and can drastically influence positive impressions.

Always Be Available

Make sure your customers have multiple lines of contact for you at all times — and if you have a dedicated account representative, give your clients that person’s cell phone number in case of an emergency.

Finally, be consistent. The more consistent you are with your service and your brand, the more loyal your customers will be – and the stronger your reputation will grow.

Build Enthusiasm With Gorgeous Print Catalogs

Do you have a favorite catalog?

In days past, the Sears Christmas edition or the Lana Lobell fashion catalogs were the birthplace of many shopping addictions.

But though these nostalgic beauties hold a special place in many hearts, catalogs certainly haven’t disappeared from today’s marketing landscape. Companies like L.L. Bean, Ikea, J. Crew, and Athleta continue to dominate sales through the distribution of printed catalogs.

And people enjoy reading them. According to USPS, 47% of people set aside catalogs to read later, and 84% of consumers said they genuinely enjoyed receiving unexpected catalogs from places they had previously shopped. Enthusiasm has soared – response rates from catalogs has increased 170% from 2004 to 2018!

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Expand Your Influence by Growing in Self-Awareness

Have you exited a bathroom without realizing there was toilet paper on your shoe?

Or awkwardly tried to make conversation with someone who had food on their face? Whether someone is clumsy in conversation or they have really bad breath, a lack of self-awareness can profoundly hinder their reputation or influence.

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Envelopes: The Humble Hero of Direct Mail

Who doesn’t love a good party?

As we move toward year-end holiday gatherings, many of us look forward to gathering with friends and family. However, a party is only successful if people actually COME, and most people attend for one primary reason – they were invited!

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Why Direct Mail Postcards are Worth Every Penny

Although postcards are one of today’s beloved print pieces, they had a humble beginning.

The earliest postcard dates back to 1840 when an English man named Theodore Hook sent one to himself. By 1861, the US Congress allowed privately printed cards, weighing one ounce or under, to be sent through the mail. That year, John P. Charlton copyrighted the first postcard, and by 1901 postcards were a regular part of mailed communication.

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Why Carbonless Forms Make a Great Tech-Free Solution

Packing Slip List, Pen, Pad Isolated White Background

When you “cc” someone on an email, do you ever think about what this abbreviation actually means?

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Generate Innovative Solutions With Strategic Design Thinking

Several years ago, a truck driver tried to pass under a low bridge.

Underestimating the truck height, the driver became firmly lodged under the bridge, unable to move his vehicle forward or backward. Emergency workers and city engineers gathered onsite, debating whether they should dismantle the truck or chip away parts of the bridge. Each proposed a solution most aligned with their area of expertise.

Just then, a boy walked by, observed the intense debate, and made a casual comment. “Why not just let the air out of the tires?”

When the solution was tested, the truck squeezed forward with ease, suffering only slight damage to his cab. The specialists were amazed at the solution and also by the fact that they were initially blind to an answer a child could easily recognize.

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