Trust is the cornerstone of every successful business, regardless of your industry. Every interaction, every transaction, hinges on the confidence customers have in your company. When you give them control over their data and clarity into how and how long it's used, trust follows.
That's where the five principles of trust can help you. They enable you to build confidence in your brand through the entire customer journey, from the first interaction to the millionth purchase. When you integrate these principles into your marketing process, you’ll gain a better understanding of your customers and will develop stronger, longer lasting relationships with them.
The first principle of trust is granular control. Let customers choose what info they want to share, and make it easy to do so. Think of it like giving them a remote control for their data. They decide what to share and what to keep private, and they know who’s using their information at any given moment. They can also use that remote to “turn off” their consent, which adds an extra level of trust.
Trust precedes every purchase your customers make. That’s why granular control is such an important factor. It’s also why practices like progressive consent are important to include on your website and within every customer interaction. According to a study by Akamai, 66% of consumers feel comfortable sharing personal information with brands they trust. Meanwhile, 85% say that concerns around data access and security stop them from sharing information with brands.
Remember, the customer journey is unique for each consumer. Your approach to giving them control and earning their trust should be too.
Transparency around data usage
The second pillar of trust is transparency. Be honest with consumers about how you use their data, and don’t hide what you’re doing behind a wall of text. Explain it in simple words, so customers know what's happening. And if you collect different types of data, be transparent about how you’re collecting it, who has access, and how long you’ll use that data to make decisions.
When your motivations are clear, customers respond. The principle of transparency ensures that customers willingly engage with data they understand. This builds trust and strengthens loyalty at every moment of your customer journey.
Timed data usage
The next pillar is timed data usage. Don't keep customer info forever. Instead, treat the data collection process like borrowing a book from a friend. Use it for a bit, then give it back.
Establishing a time limit on data you collect, then following through on that limit, will go a long way toward setting you apart from competitors. It will also give customers the confidence they need to continue purchasing from you and become loyal ambassadors.
Level of data privacy, security, and encryption
Any data you collect needs to be kept safe from prying eyes. That’s a minimum requirement that some companies fail to prioritize. For those businesses that do invest in robust data privacy and encryption, customers experience a sense of security that solidifies their loyalty and fosters deeply held trust. For those that don’t, customers are less likely to offer personal information, let alone make a purchase.
Furthermore, this pillar of trust is more important than ever due to a never ending supply of hackers looking to exploit unprotected and underprotected data. The frequency of data breaches has reached the point where many consumers expect them to occur and trust in as few brands as possible to minimize the risk of their data being stolen. In fact, a study from McKinsey found that 87% of consumers won’t do business with a company if they have concerns about its security practices. 71% will stop doing business with a company if it gives away their sensitive information without permission.
Simply put, if you make a point to prioritize security at every level, it sends a message to consumers that their comfort and privacy matter, and that you’ll take any steps necessary to protect them.
Customer involvement in company data usage
The final pillar of trust is customer involvement. Include customers in decisions about their data at every step. This ensures you receive their explicit consent and engagement in the data process, building a foundation of trust that’s crucial for customer retention and loyalty.
Earn customer loyalty and skyrocket customer retention (conclusion)
Like Rome, trust isn’t built in a day. It’s the linchpin in every successful growth trajectory, and it requires regular monitoring to ensure you’re addressing customer needs. Be sure to regularly review and update the way you employ these principles in response to customer feedback, industry changes, and emerging technologies. Doing so will establish credibility and demonstrate your commitment to your customers’ needs, fostering trust with every interaction. Your business will thrive more than you can imagine.