The success of your business depends on the trust you are able to build for your brand. After all, consumers with confidence in specific brands will not only return and provide repeat business, but they will also spread word of mouth advertising to their friends, increasing the success of your business even more. Positive experiences drive them to return to the businesses that have been able to meet their needs and exceed their expectations. Most businesses and dealerships already know that building trust is a key component to creating lasting relationships and to sell more cars, however, the specifics that lead up to gaining this trust sometimes need to be addressed. How do businesses and dealerships gain consumer trust and leverage brand influence so that shoppers return time and again to their preferred brands?
Creating trust in your brand is not something that happens overnight. It takes time, diligence, and patience to achieve the level of brand confidence your consumers seek in the marketplace. There are several factors at play when dealing with the issue of consumer trust-building, and companies must focus on many things at once in order to continuously strengthen the bond they are building with customers.
The landscape of the marketplace is in constant flux, and many consumers see their trusted dealerships and businesses as the constants in a sea of change. It is important to strike the right balance between changing with the marketplace and providing consumer assurance, so that your business is able to sell more cars and continue to thrive and build consumer trust. By being transparent, communicative, and collaborative, you will be able to grow and innovate at the same time you reaffirm your commitment to your customers. Some of the following tips will be helpful as you work to build trust in your brand:
1. Protect consumer data. Demonstrate your commitment to maintain privacy when it comes to handling personal information. Especially now, in an age when information theft and fraud are abundant, it is essential that shoppers recognize your dedication to protecting their valuable personal and financial information; your concern will go far in gaining their trust.
2. Know your customers. Show shoppers you have taken the time to understand their shopping preferences. Without a firm grasp on your market and consumer behavior, you will find it difficult to sell more cars and meet the needs of shoppers who come to you to make a purchase. Getting to know your target consumers means getting to know not only what they are looking for in products and services, but also what they are looking for in a business relationship.
3. Offer quality options and service. By demonstrating your ability to provide what your customers need with regard to convenience, flexibility, and expertise, you will emerge as a leader and an expert in your field. Provide unparalleled service and offer guarantees on your work, and soon customers will recognize your business as a trusted provider that stands behind the services it offers.
4. Be honest and upfront with customers. Just as you should let people know when your business is doing something great, you should also own up to it if your business makes a mistake. Being forthright is always the best way to handle things, and consumers will view you as trustworthy when you simply apologize and move forward if mistakes are made.
5. Be a leader; don’t wait for others to lead the way, but instead forge a path and show people—both customers and other businesses—that you are a trailblazer in the marketplace. Your forward thinking and vision will place you in the category of trusted businesses among consumers.
6. Ensure you have knowledgeable employees. While not every employee you hire may be knowledgeable about the business from the start, be sure you have a good training program in place so that your employees become experts at what they do. Their confidence and knowledge will be noticed by consumers and will drive consumer trust in your dealership.
7. Build relationships, and the sales will follow. Whether personal or business, relationships are built on trust. So while it is necessary to make sales to keep your business running, focus on the relationship factor, and the sales will come. Let your customers (and potential customers) know their importance and offer value-added extras like workshops, car-care clinics, or even online tutorials in order to solidify relationships.
8. Be a great communicator. Ensure you have easy ways for customers to get in touch with you, whether they are asking questions, lodging complaints, or providing positive feedback. Everything your customers have to say is something you need to hear, so be sure to have a presence online, post your contact information on your website, and make it easy for people to get in touch with you.
9. Let your customers help you. Previous customers are a great resource when you are building your reputation and gaining trust for your dealership, so don’t be afraid to ask for feedback and testimonials from those who have had great experiences at your dealership. Share their positive experiences with potential new customers as a way of creating confidence in your brand.
10. Produce quality, compelling content. It’s one thing to call yourself the expert in your field, but if you are the one actually offering relevant and interesting content to your customers, you will give yourself and your dealership more credibility. Position yourself as a trusted source by providing information about your dealership, online articles, tutorials, infographics, and more to meet your customers’ needs and help inform them. Your content will keep you front of mind, which will, in turn, build trust in your brand.
While there are many ways you can go about building trust, the key can be found in a single underlying factor. You must be authentic. If you work hard and let your authentic self—both your brand personality and your own personality—shine through, you will position your dealership to gain the trust of your customers and sell more cars. With so many choices in the marketplace, it’s important to note that shoppers won’t stay with a dealership that doesn’t gain their trust, and for this reason it is absolutely imperative to make them feel valued from the very first point of contact.
When you do this, the results you see will be reflected in improved brand reputation, repeat customers, and ultimately, increased sales due to the trust and loyalty your brand has gained.