How to build trust and deliver a good customer experience digitally
In recent times, we have seen a rise in digital usage for everything from socialising to schoolwork to selling even sending condolences as a result of COVID-19. Many people including businesses have had to take the digital leap and adapt to using technology to communicate, buy and sell. Social media apps like Facebook messenger has seen a 50% increase in usage since the social distancing restrictions were put in place.
All types of customers are now online. Businesses are rushing to create an online presence but is that enough?
Do businesses still face the same challenges online as they did offline? If everyone is online including your competitors, why would customer remain loyal to you?
One vital component needed to create good customer loyalty with a brand, in-store or online, is trust.
According to Professor David Maister, trust is compiled of a couple of factors including credibility, reliability, intimacy and self-orientation.
Common drivers of trust offline are
- Oxytocin, commonly known as the love hormone, is generally enhanced in-store by good in-store customer experience.
- Touch – Research shows people who receive a quick and unobtrusive touch were more likely to cooperate and trust. In-store communication and interaction with staff will help build trust.
- Homophily – Which is the theory that people are more likely to trust people who are similar to us. We can see this through strong branding people remain loyal to a brand because of what they represent.
How do we create the same trust online?
According to Morgan Housel, 2018 on millennials, “They want to establish an emotional connection with their favourite companies and consume their content”. As a result of the digital leap, this will be replicated across other generations.
Research shows privacy and security are rising concerns amongst online consumers. Brands need to invest in ‘Data trust’. Ethics, Branding and Community are all important for brands to build trust online.
Strategies to build trust online are,
Online reviews – 2/3 say they trust consumer opinions posted online. (Nielsen, 2017)
Influencers and User-generated content in the form of blogs or social media content.
Secure integrated loyalty software – clean, secure data capture and gives brands a platform to build a community.
Referrals – 80% of respondents say they completely or somewhat trust the recommendations of friends and family (Nielsen, 2017)
In conclusion, brands must think strategically about their content, data and branding online and place the consumers at the centre of their strategy and deliver a good customer experience across all their digital touchpoints to build trust and ultimately drive loyalty.