The Intersection of Customer Experience and Trust
Earning customer trust is a marathon, not a sprint — requiring long-term commitments to value and consistency.
Trust. It’s an attribute that’s hard to gain, but also one that’s easy to lose.
As consumers, there are big red flags that obstruct the relationships we form with brands. In the early phases of a customer journey – awareness and interest – there’s very little incentive to think twice about a brand. It takes many points of interaction for people to believe a brand has value, let alone making an actual purchase.
That’s why genuine and engaging customer experiences are so important. To borrow a quote from HubSpot:
“The best way to define customer experience is as the impression you leave with your customer, resulting in how they think of your brand, across every stage of the customer journey.”
Consistent experiences improve customer lifetime value
When you focus on the experience, and you take a very customer-first approach to your business strategy, you enable people to form relationships with your brand. Encouraging those relationships should be your goal in the awareness phase of the customer journey.
How you make people aware of who you are shapes how their opinions of your brand develop. That’s why every channel and every touchpoint people use to interact with your brand should provide a consistent experience. Consistency builds credibility, and credibility gives way to trust.
Once you establish trust, people are willing to engage and learn more about the products or services you have to offer. If the experience remains consistent through this stage of the journey, you’re more likely to earn a share of their wallet. And if the post-sale experience is just as fulfilling, they’ll come back for more and treat your brand as a reliable provider of value.
Positive experiences encourage customer advocacy
People love to tell and to hear great stories.
It’s that same humanistic instinct that makes positive customer experiences so important for brands to develop. When a positive experience with your brand motivates someone to become one of your customers, isn’t that a great story to tell? Those new customers will eagerly share their experience with friends, colleagues, and social media followers.
In some instances, that kind of customer advocacy is enough ROI to motivate a hefty investment into building powerful customer experiences. After all, it’s free publicity. You’ve earned the trust and credibility of those customers. They’re now more than willing to advocate on behalf of your brand and motivate others into following their lead.
Great customer experiences will drive repeat business
Above all else, your goal as a brand is to maximize revenue potential for your business. Achieving that goal at the lowest possible cost will also help drive up the ROI for all of your efforts.
There’s an old adage that says, “it’s far less expensive to retain existing customers than to earn new ones.” There’s plenty of data that supports this position:
- It costs 5 to 25 times more to attract new customers then to retain existing ones
- A 5% increase in customer retention can improve revenue by 25-95%
- Lack of post-sale connections keep 60-80% of current customers from returning
All of these data points should serve as a reminder that customer experiences must be positive, consistent, and continue beyond the point of conversion. Even though you may have earned a sale with a particular customer, you need to give them added incentive to return and give you their business again.
Make sure you follow-up with them post-sale with a humble and grateful email notification. If you acquired their phone number, you might want to send a push notification thanking them for their business, or to let them know about an offer they shouldn’t miss out on. You can also give a nice shoutout on social media. There may even be a testimonial they provided you could add onto your website with a special note thanking them for the kind words.
A positive customer experience can make all the difference in both growing and retaining your community of loyal consumers. Don’t miss out on opportunities to make the journey with your brand as fulfilling and rewarding as possible. The long-term return for those efforts can be more worthwhile than you even know.