When it comes to trust, the statistics paint a pretty clear picture: trust is critical for customer retention. Customers who have faith in your brand will spend more money and remain loyal to your products or services.
According to Adobe, 44% of consumers say they’ll spend at least $500 per year with a brand they trust. And that number goes up with younger audiences: millennials and Gen Z say they’ll spend $1000 or more with brands they trust.
But trust shouldn’t be taken for granted because 55% of consumers say they’ll never shop with a brand again if it’s broken.
With these numbers in mind, making a positive impression and building rapport with prospective customers is essential for the success of your pet brand.
Here’s how to do it.
Strategies for building trust with your ideal customers
1. Provide excellent customer service
Offering a stellar customer experience, whether in person or digitally, is imperative for building customer trust. Striving to make your customers feel supported and acknowledged throughout and beyond the purchase process makes them feel valued and appreciated.
Ask yourself, what can my business do to make shopping with us easy and enjoyable? Simple things like clearly stating your return policy or shipping fees, designing a website that is logical to navigate, or writing detailed product descriptions can go a long way in helping your customers understand what to expect when purchasing from you.
Sending prompt shipping confirmation emails or receipts will make them confident about purchasing from your brand. Furthermore, responding swiftly and writing personalized responses to their questions, complaints, or inquiries is a powerful way to make them feel acknowledged and inspire trust.
2. Prioritize brand transparency
Brand transparency is another way to build and maintain trust with your prospective customers, and it can be integrated into many aspects of your business practices.
Remaining open about the ingredients used in your products and your manufacturing and production processes lets customers know exactly what they’re purchasing. It’s easier for them to trust your brand if they know how your products or services are developed.
Responding to customer questions, complaints, and feedback is another way to remain transparent. For instance, if there’s been a mistake or delay on your end, simply owning that and managing customer expectations reminds them that there are humans behind your pet brand and you’re working to resolve any issues as effectively as possible.
A proactive approach to brand transparency is another excellent way to build trust. Offering behind-the-scenes glimpses of your pet business helps prospective customers build a human connection with the people behind your brand. You can do this by highlighting your employees, sharing initiatives or charitable endeavours in which your brand is involved, or even goals your team is working towards.
This humanistic approach builds trust and can inspire prospective customers to rally behind your brand and support you in meeting your goals!
3. Incorporate customer feedback into brand decisions
One of the best ways to make your customers feel valued is to give them a voice within your business. After all, your products and services were developed for them (and their pets), so why not use their feedback to help inform your brand decisions?!
Customers will usually let you know when they’re unhappy, but it can be really eye-opening to learn what aspects of your product, services, or overall brand they are most pleased with. Sometimes it may not be what you expect, which is why customer feedback is so important in branding.
Developing a system for collecting and responding to customer feedback is the easiest way to integrate it into your brand and marketing strategy. Here are some ideas for how to do it:
Send a survey to your email list every quarter and compile responses into a document for reference.
Request reviews after every product sale.
Reach out to repeat customers and request a phone call or interview to gain insights into what they like about your brand and what they think you could do better.
Respond to negative reviews and work with customers to find solutions to prevent the same issues from happening again.
Once you have a steady stream of customer feedback coming in, you can work with your team to determine how to incorporate the feedback into your business processes.
Finally, when you incorporate customer feedback into your brand, let them know! Send out an email newsletter or make a social media post announcing the change you’ve made and acknowledge that it was based on feedback from a customer. This will reinforce the idea that your business is open to collaboration and remind all of your customers that you truly value their input.
4. Build relationships with your customers
Building customer relationships is essential to the growth and success of your pet brand. Investing time and energy in getting to know your customers and showing you value them will lead to them investing their dollars in your products time and again.
Some brands don’t prioritize relationship building because it does require a significant investment of time, but overlooking it is a mistake.
Interacting with your customers on social media, responding to their emails and direct messages, and crafting personalized interactions rather than templated responses will leave them feeling seen and heard.
Ultimately, customers want to feel that your brand understands and cares about their needs and challenges, and directly interacting with them is the best way to show that you do. At the same time, these interactions can also give you valuable customer insights, which you can use to refine your brand and marketing strategies to ensure your content and communications always resonate.
Taking a humanistic approach to business and treating your customers (and their pets) like real people is the first step toward building their trust. Doing so will result in loyal, repeat customers and can even create loyalists for your brand.
At the outset, building trust may feel like one more thing on your long to-do list of tasks as a business owner, but ultimately, it can be accomplished by treating people like people and demonstrating that you care about them and their pets. The tactics covered above are a great place to start!