How to Build Trust Among Skeptical Customers

The concept of the suspicious customer isn’t an anomaly for most businesses. It’s a constant reality. Consumers are more discerning than ever before. They have the power to research everything about your business before stepping in the door, and they’re empowered to share their experiences online and via social media.

For evidence of that, just look at the United Airlines scandal. A few decades ago, not many people would have probably heard a word about a passenger being dragged from a plane but now with camera phones and social media, it’s grown to be one of the biggest stories of the year, and it’s wreaking havoc on the brand of the airline.

It’s so important for businesses to be able to build and maintain a sense of trust if they’re going to grow and thrive, but how do you do that with the smarter, more skeptical public that you’re up against?

Focus on Online Reviews

No matter what you do, people are going to leave online reviews about your business. That’s just the nature of the world today. While you may not be able to control every single review, you can put your focus on shaping messages and encouraging your happy customers to share their thoughts.

A huge percentage of consumers put their trust in online reviews, so the more you can get your happy, loyal customers leaving reviews, the better off you’ll be.

Also, don’t try to get rid of negative feedback. It can be upsetting when someone leaves your business a bad review, but try to respond appropriately and understand why it was left. Publicly address the feedback and share ways you’re going to avoid a similar situation happening in the future.

If a customer looks for reviews of your business and sees nothing but glowing testimonials, they’re going to be suspicious, automatically eroding any trust they might have had.

Work on Content Marketing

What’s surprising is that while there is a general understanding that content is king, small businesses have been relatively slow to build on this concept. Content marketing is important from so many perspectives, including the creation of trust. The more relevant, informative, valuable content you can create, the more people are going to see your business as the real deal.

Don’t simply try to get the most clicks. Really focus on giving consumers what they want and need, and you’ll establish a reliable, trustworthy brand.

Privacy and Security

If there are two things today’s customer values above almost all else when they’re doing business with a company, it’s privacy and security. You absolutely have to take every possible step to protect the privacy of your customers and keep their data and information secure. It’s also not enough to just do it. You need to include your dedication to these practices as part of your marketing.

No matter what you’re doing, from using a network security scanner to encrypting emails, let your customers know in specific terms how you’re protecting them. They’ll appreciate it, and it’s a good marketing tool that will give you a competitive edge.

Today’s customers are tough, but by being informative, welcoming feedback of all types and investing in customer privacy and security you can still build an old-fashioned sense of trust.


Carmelo is a marketing writer and blogger helping small and medium size businesses craft winning content strategies. She's always scouting the web for new social media strategies and is slightly addicted to apps. When not tapping the keyboard, you are likely to find her in the park playing with her uncontrollably friendly Irish setter or trying out new vegan recipes.

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