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Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Consumer Trust (Part 2)

Customers’ Preference for Innovation 

In this world of ever-increasing change, companies have the chance to improve customer trust through innovative technological advances. Research has shown that customers have a preference for companies that have implemented innovative strategies of operation. Historically this innovation has taken the shape of improved efficiencies in business but today the provision of digital services is a key preference. 

Brands that use intelligent software like AI have a sharper impact on customers due to the user experience they have when engaging with these companies. Innovation in technology also offers brands a chance to engage customers in different ways while also providing customers with a variety of tools they can utilize to improve customer self-service

Customer expectations are being surpassed due to the multiple possibilities that have been brought about by the implementation of technological innovation. When customers realize that they can get digitized customer service and engaging artificial technology, they develop trust in the brand owing to the ease of engagement with brand services. Technological innovation has so far been a major driver in building customer loyalty and improving customer experience.


Data and Improving Customer Trust

Customers are sensitive about their personal data. Research findings have proven that more than 75 % of customers will not purchase services or products from a company that is not assured to protect their personal data. The pool of customer data collected is like an oil field-rich in possibilities. Aside from brand owners, customers have also come to understand this fact and since then have been protective of their personal data. 

With this in mind, companies have to maintain ethical and responsible data practices that will see them become more effective in handling customer data. Data practices within the organization can only be successful if the employees are correctly trained. From the management level down, employees should be able to maintain a high level of data integrity in a bid to protect customer data

Ethical practices in handling customer data will ensure that customers are satisfied with services which eventually improve customer trust. This commitment maintained in handling customer data with care goes a long way in drilling employees towards a positive culture of data integrity. Through a systemic operational framework in data management, a company can establish strong data principles that will ensure customer satisfaction and improved CX.

Engaging Customers

Most of the time, customers do not have a way of ascertaining whether the company they rely on preserves or misuses their private data. This can make them skeptical as to whether the brand is, in fact, protecting their personal data. 

A recent trend in customer service has been formulated to engage customers in data management practices. Here, customers are able to participate in data protection practices like authorizing the use or manipulation of their data by the company. In this way, brands can directly address customers in matters related to their personal data. As customers’ preference for ethical data practices increases, businesses need to take the initiative and provide ways through which they can provide customers with a chance to protect their private data from ill use.

Having a Competitive Edge

Every business is in a competition with others in their sector and they are all competing for a chance to show the customer who can best provide the service to their liking. 

True to the fact, customers are more receptive to companies that they think offer a differentiator when compared to the other companies. This matter of maintaining the top spot among your competition impacts heavily on the customer perception and eventually customer trust. 

Customers will be automatically driven to your brand since they deduce that being the best, your brand offers most of the needed services in customer support and service provision. If a brand can maintain a high appeal from customers and relative brands as well, then they are in a better position to improve customer loyalty and customer trust in the brand. 

Customer Convenience 

As customers engage with business services whether online or offline, they have to enjoy an ease of operation. If the customer finds interaction with your brand representatives tedious or too long, they won't take long before they switch off and move to more promising brands. 

We live in a digital world where almost everything revolves around mobile phones and computers. Most people are usually stuck on their phones and computers for a large part of the day making it a concrete pathway for brands to engage with customers. 

Developing mobile-friendly websites and automated assistants can go a long way in improving customer experience. If a customer can receive brand assistance quickly as he navigates through social media and other similar sites, they are likely to enjoy the brand service and observe brand trust in the long run. Making operations customer friendly and easy to access for customers is very vital in maintaining your customer base while also providing good customer experience. 

Conclusion

Probably one of the most relevant points to make here is a simple recitation of a quote from Warren Buffett. Buffett stated that

 “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it.” 

For many of the companies that have been impacted by data breaches, hacks and security scandals the impact to the business is still only just being realized. Companies need to realize that their customers' matter and they need to put the necessary effort and systems into place to protect their most valuable commodity – you and I!