As consumers are inundated with more online marketing than ever, customer trust is—not surprisingly—at an all-time low. How is anyone supposed to tell the difference between a brand they can trust and a brand that is simply looking to grab a sale and go?
Of course, that’s not what your company strives for, but cutting through the mess can be tricky. That’s why we’re here to help. In fact, we’ve found the secret and that is to build and maintain meaningful relationships with your customers by engaging with them in ways that focus on building trust.
In this five-part series, we use our Customer Trust Circle™ approach to help you find new customers, build more interest in your products and services, and ultimately turn your customers into raving advocates for your brand.
Understanding the Problem
When you go online today, you expect your screen to be flooded with digital advertisements and other sneaky marketing methods. Social media has nearly lost its purpose because you can’t scroll for more than thirty seconds without hitting a sponsored advertisement. YouTube videos are constantly interrupted by campaigns for new products and services. What’s most frustrating is the marketing messages you receive are often completely unrelated to the content you are trying to consume, quickly disconnecting you from a fulfilling digital experience.
In the midst of all this noise, it’s no wonder your customers struggle to trust and form meaningful relationships with brands that are primarily concerned with getting onto their screens and into their wallets.
Because the majority of companies shifted to an online model amidst these changing times, there are more online stores saturating the digital space than ever before. This means the level of noise that your online customers are dealing with is even higher—and you still need to cut through it.
How Building a Customer Trust Circle Can Help
Building a Customer Trust Circle means connecting with your online customers through thoughtful marketing that builds trust every step of the way. In this model, we take strangers and turn them into advocates using a consistently engaging digital marketing strategy.
In the standard customer journey, we see heavy marketing to build customer awareness, a standardized sales process, a completed job, and then . . . radio silence. With advertising volume from competitors still cranked up to maximum throughout your customer’s journey, stopping there isn’t by any means a sustainable strategy. You need a plan for retaining these customers long after that initial contract has ended.
Not enough focus is placed on building meaningful relationships with your online customers and increasing their trust over the long term. Even after a transaction is complete, you need to hold onto customer relationships through engaging interaction and targeted marketing campaigns.
With a Customer Trust Circle approach, you will strategize on ways to provide high value and accessible content to strangers, have thoughtful interactions with prospects to build meaningful relationships, and become so invested in your customers that you tie their success to your own. Ultimately, your customers will transform into advocates who sing your praises whenever they get the chance.
The Importance of Word of Mouth
The primary focus of the Customer Trust Circle is achieving word-of-mouth marketing. By building on the relationship throughout the journey, having meaningful interactions, and providing excellent resources, your customers become more and more likely to refer you to a friend or colleague.
With the online world too noisy to hear much of anything, going back to the roots of word-of-mouth marketing has quickly become essential. This is where the importance of building those tight-knit relationships comes in. You need to get so good at online marketing to your customers that these customers actually become an asset to your company and provide offline marketing services for free via word of mouth.
You have unlimited access to technology, new advertising platforms, and professional input. It’s time to redirect some of that focus into more old school and organic methods. In effect, you are blending the new with the old for maximum impact.
Word-of-mouth capability is so powerful because of the meaning assigned to it. Receiving a recommendation in person from a friend is far more powerful than seeing an advertisement or even reading a really thoughtful piece of content online. It just doesn’t compare.
It’s also far easier to retain an existing customer than to attract a new one. In fact, it costs five times as much to attract a new customer than it does to keep the ones you already have. We’re confident we can heighten these savings further by encouraging your customers to refer their friends and clients to your business.
What to Do Next?
The first step to integrating this new strategy is to get acquainted with the Customer Trust Circle. Have a good look at your customer pipeline and determine where in the circle your customers fall. Who are your prospects that haven’t yet been converted? Who are the advocates you know would be eager to tell the world about your company?
Think about the ways you are building trust each step of the way. How are you guiding strangers to become prospects, and prospects to become customers? Think about the ways you are differentiating your company that will transform your customers into raving fans.
You should also assess what you are doing that might cause your customers to doubt your company. For example, is your customer service line readily available? Is your return policy fair? Do your products ship when they are scheduled to ship? If you are a service-based company, do your capabilities live up to what you advertise? All of these things have the ability to make or break your Customer Trust Circle.
Your marketing strategy should take into account every type of customer in the customer journey, from strangers to advocates. Strangers, prospects, converted customers, and advocates all require a different strategy and varying levels of support to stay focused on your brand. Make sure that you have the appropriate resources in place to offer this support every step of the way.
Start with a Flawless Online Marketing Strategy!
The first step to building a dedicated company advocate base using the Customer Trust Circle approach is an effective marketing strategy. With a trust-focused captive marketing strategy, you will increase your rate of conversion for strangers into prospects, nurture your prospects into real customers, and create avid fans out of your returning customers simply by engaging in meaningful interaction.
We’re here to help you cut through the noise and succeed at securing trust, ultimately creating a community of raving clientele that share the joy of working with your company both online and offline. Connect with a member of the Second Spring team here or click to access more details about services. Give us a call at 833-277-3444 and we’ll be happy to answer your questions in person.