Building Trust in the COVID-19 Era

To say that your business has taken a hit in 2020 would probably be an understatement. Heck, it’s entirely possible that your business is on life support. You’re operating. You’re making sales. You’re even gaining new customers. But since March, it feels as though every customer is a little bit harder won, and that every sale has to be earned a little more. It’s not hard to see why. After all, the COVID-19 pandemic, the lockdown and the musical-chairs game of local lockdowns has been extremely distressing and disorienting for businesses. Many formerly ubiquitous brands have either scaled back their presence on the highstreet or closed their doors for an indeterminate period of time while they wait for external factors affecting their industry and consumer confidence realign. The impending closure of over a hundred Cineworld cinemas is a prime example of this. 

 

Image by Quinn The Islander via Pixabay

 

Your own business has likely had to perform its fair share of operational gymnastics just to keep its head above water. And while you have survived while others have sunk, you know that you’re not out of the woods yet. You know that, at a time when consumer confidence is low and that many have much less propensity to spend, asking customers (both new and old) to place their trust in you is a big ask. Here are some tips to help you to build lasting trust in the COVID-era… 

 

Invest in PR and marketing

You know that the key to prospering even in these adverse circumstances is engaging new customers while keeping the old ones coming back. And if you’re to win this war on two fronts, you need to leverage PR and marketing to create a narrative around your brand that inspires trust.

People love and respond to stories. So tell yours.  Tell them what you’re doing to make them feel cared for, looked after and reassured in this difficult time. Otherwise your marketing efforts will amount to “Now, more than ever… buy my product!”.

 

Deliver operational excellence 

Of course, all the slick marketing and PR chicanery in the world amount to nothing if you can’t back them up with operational excellence. And that means investing in training, motivating and incentivising your team. Not always an easy task when your cash flow is more precarious than ever team may be dealing with fatigue, loss of motivation and a sense of uncertainty. Show them that you are committed to them. They’ll pay that commitment forward to your customers.

 

Make assurances backed by hard work and attention to detail

Your engagement strategy should focus on your customers’ worries and anxieties. It should make them feel reassured and safe. But of course, this can’t just be marketing bluster. It needs to be backed by attention to detail and a rigorous safety infrastructure. Your premises should be subject to Coronavirus cleaning with rigorous checks and maintenance to make sure that it is safe and sanitised both for your customers and your workforce. Your efforts will pay off in the form of long term trust and loyalty.

 

Incentivise referrals and build your growth on the words of happy customers

Finally, no matter how eloquently your marketing speaks, consumers will always take it with a pinch of salt. However, they may take much more stock in what your customers are saying about you. Especially if those customers are within their social circles. So be sure to incentivise social proof and customer referrals. You may find that they’re the mortar that holds your growth strategy together!

 

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