/ By Guy Parker

3 Steps to Building Trust and Advocacy with Customers

Trust can be hard to define. While there’s varying opinions on what trust is, there’s very little dissent on the fact that trust is the leading factor for building brand advocacy among customers. Customers are loyal to a brand and willing to share their experience because they trust the brand will deliver as expected — they value that relationship.

1. Be authentic

Authenticity is created by being open and honest and is the quickest way to earn the trust of both customers and employees. Trust with customers starts at the foundation of your company: your employees. When employees feel they can trust company leadership, they are empowered to share that feeling during their interactions with customers.

Take a hard look at who your company is and what it stands for. What are your company’s capabilities? Why does your company do what it does and how do you benefit your customer?

Identifying those core values and how they impact employees becomes the first step in clarifying what your brand stands for and why customers should care. Brands evolve over time, driven by leadership changes, market conditions and the need to be competitive. These can all have a dramatic influence on how a company does business, how it’s perceived in the marketplace, and how employees interact with your customers.

Authenticity is rooted more in action than words.

2. Deliver what you promise

A part of being authentic is knowing your capabilities and not making promises you can’t fulfill. If you’ve clearly identified your capabilities and examined your processes, then you have the ingredients to define what you can promise your customers.

Having an understanding of your customers’ expectations is a crucial piece. If you struggle to or can’t deliver what they expect, then something needs to change. When possible, strive to overdeliver. By trying to give customers more than they expected you continue to build more trust.

3. Follow-up

Following up with your customers after the sale is showing that you care about them and their experience. Each customer will either be an advocate for your product or service or a critic. If they had a good experience, they’re on the road to advocacy. Making the time to follow up with them can solidify the relationship and provide valuable testimonials and referrals.

If your customer had an unpleasant experience, following up with them becomes even more important. Showing that you’re willing to fix the issue and hopefully overdeliver can be a critical turning point for their perception of the brand. A fast solution for their problem might just put them on the fast track to advocacy.

Keeping these three steps in mind will boost your trust among customers and employees, spurring on an authentic image for your brand. Below is a formula that breaks down how the steps toward building customer advocacy work:

The trust+advocacy formula

(be) considerate + honest + competent + dependable = trust + caring = advocacy

To learn more ways to build trust and advocacy for your brand, contact Workhorse Marketing for a free consultation. We’re here to help you do more.

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