Customer relationships are on the brink of a trust emergency

tiny pieces of broken glass in grayscale photography

Our customer relationships are on the brink of a trust emergency and according to the 2021 Edleman Trust Barometer, “people don’t know where or who to get reliable information.” Even subject matter experts are losing their clout. They also report that 68% of respondents across the globe agree that consumers have the power to force corporations to change and that could mean a seismic shift in the way consumers make purchasing decisions. Putting the power firmly in the hands of the consumer.

So, what are organisations in the B2B and B2C world going to do to bring themselves back from the brink?

Strengthen customer relationships now

Organisations need to focus on how we can strengthen and solidify customer relationships. Working with them to create a better experience and coming together to tell their stories.

This is where customer advocacy comes into it’s own.

Advocitude customer advocacy model founded on two core principles community and advocacy
Advocitude Customer Advocacy Model 2021

Our simple advocacy model is based on putting customer relationships first. We have to start with investing and building communities. As individuals benefit from being part of a supportive, transparent and communicative group they then want to contribute towards it, and this generates advocacy.

How can customer advocacy build trust in your brand?

The 2021 Edleman Trust Barometer, talks about how we need to emerge from this state of information bankruptcy by providing trustworthy content, “all institutions must provide truthful, unbiased, reliable information.” What better way to do that by sharing accurate accounts of your customers experiences with you?

By running an effective customer advocacy programme, using our model, you can work with customers to share their stories through various mediums and content or as we like to call it customer-led content.

In order for customer-led content to help build trust, you need to consider the following:

  1. Allow customers to tell their story in their own words. If you can do this through video or audio that’s the best way!
  2. Don’t over edit what they have to say. Even if you are recording video or audio, the more editing, the more your audience will feel its not authentic.
  3. Highlight the genuine connection between your customers and your community. Your customers don’t need to wax lyrical about your products if they are talking about how awesome your support is.
  4. Ask customers what content you can co-create together. Case studies are for you, so forget that, what do they get out of creating content with you?

The vital thing here is that if you want to build real trust you need to build real advocacy. That’s the only way for your organisation to pull itself back from the brink.

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