Trust: A Critical Element of Your Customer Relationships

2 min read
May 28, 2024 8:35:17 AM
Trust: A Critical Element of Your Customer Relationships

Trust plays an important role in your relationships with your past, present, and future customers. It can help reattract customers who have switched brands, retain your current customers, and build a strong reputation that attracts shoppers.

But what is trust?

Trust boils down to establishing a belief that you will follow through on what you say you will do. Customers who trust a brand are confident that they will receive the benefits they’ve been offered through their relationship with that brand and that the brand will act in their best interest.

Trust is important when building customer relationships because it reduces effort and anxiety in their decision making. Customers can predict what will happen next based on the foundation you’ve established. This trust stands in for knowledge, allowing customers to take steps forward with you more efficiently.

How do you influence trust?

Unfortunately, there are many ways for trust to be broken. We know this from our own personal relationships, and brand relationships are no different. Some specific steps that can damage your customers’ trust include:

  • Breaking promises
  • Ongoing or unexplained failures
  • Treating customers with disrespect
  • Casting blame or suspicion on customers
  • Interrupting or inconveniencing customers’ lives
  • Staff or brand representatives exhibiting a lack of knowledge or understanding
  • Disorganized problem resolution
  • Negative opinions or associations of the brand
  • Conflicting values

Despite the numerous ways trust can be harmed, there are also many ways it can be earned, built, and rebuilt:

  • Keep promises
  • Convey clear, succinct expectations
  • Provide consistent messaging
  • Ensure quality in product AND support system
  • Guide consumers through change
  • Deliver meaningful, individualized interactions
  • Ensure support is comprehensive, seamless, timely, and effective in resolving issues

In every industry we study, there are specific ways that trust can be influenced, and certain actions can have greater or lesser impact on trust. Regardless of the industry, however, “Level of Trust” reigns as one of, if not the, most impactful components of overall satisfaction with a brand. Customers need confidence that the brands they do business with are looking out for their best interests. 

How are you building trust with your customers?


Learn More: To explore how trust is influencing your customer relationships, contact our team today.  

About the Author: Breanne Armstrong is Director of Insurance Intelligence at J.D. Power. Her area of focus is on the customer experience in auto, property, and individual life insurance and annuities. She has over 15 years of research and consulting experience and 7 combined years at J.D. Power working within the Insurance Practice. 

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