Creating a strategy that
develops customer trust is the most emotionally and intellectually challenging
thing a company deals with in today's competitive global environment. Devising
and executing customer trust is destined to be a time - and labor-intensive
Only in a relationship of
trust will customer freely pass back and forth information. Trust is the true
differentiating feature for any company in a world of increasingly commodity-like
products and services. A relationship, founded on trust, is the only genuinely
sustainable competitive advantage a company has. Without trust, you're back
to square one - where all other marketing variables, such as competing on price,
design, benefits and most technology can be copied, duplicated, or overcome
Creating a trust relationship
requires, a creative process and a well thought out integrated marketing program
that depends on three distinct factors. The first factor is determining what
the customer wants to hear. The second factor is how the customer what to hear
it (their preferred channel of communications). The third factor of any marketing
strategy in the creative process is how we are going to say it, so that it doesn't
land upon deaf ears and blind eyes.
Paramount, in the courtship
of a customer, is building a trust relationship prior to the purchase. Many
companies try to base their entry into the customers mind with a transaction-based
product-centric sales and marketing approach, setting up an adversary relationship
opposed to an advocate relationship of trust. The customer is left with - can
I trust the product or service being sold. A trust relationship comes about
through collaborating prior to the purchase, during the purchase and throughout
the lifetime of the customer - establishing trust far beyond the general reputation
of the brand.
Failing to establish trust
relationships could prove to be fatal. Integrating and threading the customer
throughout your company requires that you coordinate your activities and marketing
message with respect to your customer. Integration, amounts to, as a concept,
is to behave toward the customer's rational, base on what the customer tells
you about their needs. That requires empathy and ego-drive - Empathy is the
ability to understand how people feel, ascertain their needs and present your
product or service benefits from their frame of reference - Ego-drive is the
ability to commit completely to a particular goal. Five steps to assist you
in developing a relationship of trust with your customer.
1. Develop a customer centric
focused marketing program, based on your customer's perception of needs.
2. Identify what features
and benefits your customer perceive most valuable.
3. Identify your customer
favorite channels of communications and create your strategy around those channels.
4. Generate an involvement
with each customer that would make it difficult to defect and advantage your
5. Let your customer base
drive your marketing decisions.