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A consumer’s trust in your brand can be a deciding factor in them choosing to buy a product or service from you.

Global communications firm, Edelman, conducted a survey that showed that only 34% of people trust the brands they use. It also revealed that 81% of people agree brand trust is a deciding factor when they are considering a purchase of a product or a service.

Trust can be built or lost by everything your brand represents and delivers; including customer experience, reputation, level of expertise and its environmental and social impact.

Consumers who trust a brand are more than twice as likely to return, and more than twice as likely to stay loyal to a brand which can lead to advocacy and even remaining loyal when a brand may make an odd minor blunder. 

Trust also benefits from the willingness of a consumer to share their data with you. The more you know about them, the more you can tailor messages and experiences to suit that customer. Through greater understanding, trust can be built.

Be clear on your purpose

Trust doesn’t happen overnight and therefore it requires your brand to be consistent. What do you believe your customers are buying into when choosing you? What do you promise to deliver?  Can you live up to your promises? Be clear on what you stand for and what your purpose is. This helps inform the decisions you make as a business and can help justify your actions and keep you on track.

Also, look beyond your business and consider your supply chain and whether it aligns to your values and purpose. The company you keep can affect your own brand trust.

Show them you care

Engage with your customers, don’t just sell to them. Customer engagement demonstrates that you’re serious about doing the right thing and putting your customers first, that you value customer insight and know it is the key to being successful as well as achieving brand trust. Ask for feedback and take it on board.

In turn, through showing your customers that their input is important to you, you’re able to build loyalty and retain custom. Reward this loyalty.

Be transparent

Transparency is so important. If you educate your customers and are transparent from the beginning about performance, internal processes, sourcing, pricing, and business values they are more likely to have trust in you and your brand.

Learn from a mistake

A mistake can be forgiven if handled well. Multiple mistakes are damaging and likely to lead to a customer losing trust in your brand and ultimately looking elsewhere. Share leanings across the business to avoid similar mistakes. Are there further training needs, process improvements, product changes or service enhancements to address?

Be honest and communicate

Honesty and communication is key. When things go right and when they don’t. We all know that things can’t run 100% smoothly 100% of the time, but when they don’t – be honest with your customers and manage expectations. Trust will more likely be earned if the consumer believes that a business is being honest with them, rather than withholding information.

The same goes for individual customer issues, deal with problems effectively and efficiently but communicate with the customer throughout so that they feel in the loop.

The energy sector struggles to detach itself from mistrust and ranks lowest across all sectors in Edelman’s 2020 UK trust barometer survey. BEIS Attitude Tracker revealed that more than half of consumers surveyed had little to no trust in their energy supplier. Reasons for mistrust include a lack of transparency in contractual terms and advertising and billing issues, according to the Quality of Life Consumers Association.

At CNG, ‘open’ and ‘honest’ are two of our values that drive behaviours within our organisation. CNG was founded in 1994 with the aim to provide customers with an energy supplier they could rely on and trust, and that still remains today. We don’t always get it right and this is where transparency and honesty can really make a difference to retaining trust or losing it.

We measure ourselves using third party organisations such as Customer First and Investor in Customers to track and identify how we continually improve and deliver for our customers. Ultimately customer feedback is the acid test for how CNG is performing. This year we are proud to have received Feefo’s Trusted Service Award, which is only given to businesses where customer experiences have been highly rated.

If you are thinking about switching energy providers, and are looking for a supplier you can trust, get in touch on 01423 502554.