3 things brands do to lose consumer trust and loyalty

Trust is everything. Whether you work in B2B or B2C, having your customers trust your brand is an absolute must – and this is never more important than in 2020. COVID-19 has decimated a range of industries, and with it, has redefined the way that customers behave. Even previous loyal customers are reconsidering their options, seeking out new opportunities, and retreating to brands they consider ‘safe’ in uncertain times. 

But surely brands are going above and beyond to maintain trust, you ask – surely they’re trying anything to hang on to their loyal customers?

Nope! Here’s how brands are regularly losing consumer trust in 2020, and how to avoid making the same mistakes in your business. 

Giving customers the silent treatment after COVID-19 

Put your head in the sand throughout lockdown and now aren’t quite sure where to turn? You’re not alone. Shutting down in 2020 was unavoidable – but shutting down communication wasn’t. Businesses need to be upfront and clear about what’s changed in the wake of COVID-19, and where they’re heading now. Whether that’s extra PPE for staff, cleaning schedules, or government schemes, your customers enjoy being informed - so keep them in the loop. 

Your customer’s experience always needs to be at the forefront of your mind – if they don’t enjoy interactions with your brand, then they’re unlikely to return. The more that you can provide value and entertainment, the more likely they are to trust you as a business.  This is the time to engage with your loyal customers, entice them back, and show them that you’re worth their custom. Reach out, promote an offer, and be clear in your communication about what you’re doing to keep them safe. 

Thinking GDPR is a thing of the past

If you’re collecting data, you need to make sure it’s GDPR compliant. This is important for every business, and is a major reason that consumers lose trust in a brand. If brands aren’t transparent about what data they’re collecting, and why, then they risk losing even the most loyal customer to a competitor. 

Aside from protecting yourself from massive data breaches, you should also ensure that your privacy policy is up to date and clear. You can also collect data more efficiently by providing value to your customers along the way. A recent campaign by Il Makiage included taking a quiz to find a good foundation match – in which they asked the user which brands they usually purchased from, how often they bought makeup, and how much they usually spend. Information that they needed to provide the right quiz result? No. Information that they wanted so they could map out their competition and the usual buyer journey? Yes. Aside from using some smart gamification tactics (more on this later), they were honest and upfront about why they needed the data – boosting users’ trust in the brand. 

Letting the competition get ahead of the game

The easiest way to lose a loyal customer is to let a competitor get ahead. If they offer a better service, a better deal, or are just viewed as more trustworthy than your brand, then it doesn’t take much for customers to jump ship. It’s not enough to rely on the same tactics you used in the past – you need to start thinking ahead and using new methods to attract and engage with previous and potential customers. 

In the wake of COVID-19, customers are increasingly expecting more from brands, and are looking for new ways to engage with brands and build trust. One strategy that’s taking over is gamification – using gaming principles to add entertainment to your interactions. Gamifying your marketing doesn’t just build trust but can be useful to create long-term customer loyalty. Consider the points system you encounter in any coffee shop, or even the little ‘100%’ badge you get for completing your LinkedIn profile. These are both types of gamification, and you can bet that the competition have jumped on this long ago. 

Concerned that your customers might be losing trust in your brand? It’s not too late to get them back. Creating a network of loyal customers is the key to a thriving business – something that has never been more important than in 2020. To help, we’ve put together a webinar on how to smash your sales targets this year – sign up free here to get ahead of your competition, just in time for Christmas