Top 3 Ways to Build Trust with Digital-First Consumers

3 min read

February 07, 2023

The modern consumer is a digital one. While it’s true people are returning to physical stores and offices, most continue to rely on digital channels as the first point of interaction (and some have made a permanent shift to digital in post-pandemic).

Although we’ve been online since the ‘90s, the glossy, futuristic visions of digital life in the 21st century, portrayed on the big screen, haven’t arrived yet. Still, although most devices don’t recognize and greet us by name, we’re edging closer to that virtual reality as the demand grows. Since the pandemic, 45 percent of consumers have increased their use of online customer service. 

Consumers want to feel seen and respected as individuals. The right communications technology gives you a wide platform to show them you care. When engaging, the first step is demonstrating your company’s trustworthiness. You can bring ease to this process by practicing the 3 E’s: Establish values, ensure privacy, and enable custom experiences.

1. Establish your values

What’s your company about? Aside from the product or service you provide, your underlying principles should be well-defined, regardless of where you are on your organizational journey.

It’s important to remember that consumers include your customers and the employees who serve them. Both need to know what you stand for as a company, and both will utilize technology in their interactions with your brand. Unified communications software helps deliver a consistent message and seamless experience, regardless of whether consumers interact with your company via phone, email, SMS, Web chat, or social media. Each experience should flow seamlessly into the next for an overall sense of harmony.

Whether it’s increasing awareness of your brand identity among customers or your community culture among employees, clear and consistent messaging helps people feel confident in your dedication to their experience. Employees need to be familiar with big-picture business goals and how their daily tasks support them. Customers need to be assured that you’ll meet your service and product promises and maintain the security of their personal information.

Customers and employees are already creating their virtual-to-real-world blends daily: A customer in a brick-and-mortar store asks a question of an employee, who then goes online to locate the requested product, which the customer then cross-references with reviews of competitor offerings. Unified communications and collaboration solutions deliver all this and more from one interface, keeping consumers where you want them - with you. When shopping for the right fit, make sure to ask:

  • How will the system facilitate collaboration among my employees? 
  • How will it handle customer interactions to deliver an optimized experience? 
  • Will customer and employee systems integrate and improve efficiency?

2. Ensure data privacy

Security must be at the top of your priorities when shopping for the right technology partner. Data breaches are constantly in the news. In 2021, they exceeded the previous all-time high with a 23 percent increase.

When data is collected left and right, consumers need reassurance that you share their privacy concerns. We can all agree – the more fine print, the more apprehension. Everyone wants to know:

  • Where does my data go after I provide it? Did I just agree to let you share it?
  • If I’m no longer a customer or an employee, what happens to my data?
  • How will you handle a leak or a hack? If you’ve had one before, what measures have you since taken to prevent another?

Today’s consumers expect an individualized experience that also respects their privacy. Transparency and simplicity is the best way to deliver both. State your security standards and how your company is adhering to them. Even better, suppose you can demonstrate the privacy features on your communications platform. An FAQs section is another helpful tool to address the above questions in an easily accessible way.

3. Enable a customized experience

Investments in the consumer experience go a long way to building brand loyalty and organizational growth. Although you’re leading with digital, it should feel personal – customers want the human element. Customization is one of the best ways to connect and keep people engaged, especially given the many available options.

For example, 74 percent of customers have used multiple channels to start and complete a transaction, according to Salesforce. This is an opportunity to tailor the interaction process to align with consumer preferences. Do they typically communicate through text, live chat, or email? What time of day? In which language?

By considering their preferences and giving your employees the right technology to maximize their experience, you enable users to reach the right resources and meaningful content fast. When interviewing a potential technology partner, ask them how they will handle these aspects of the digital experience:

  • What’s the average number of clicks to get the desired information?
  • Can the platform deliver optimal functionality on any type of smartphone?
  • How will it make collaboration convenient among workers in distributed teams?

Whether it’s access to a live person or the ability to see order history instantly, consumers want what they want when they want it. Modern communications technology provides the means to go seamlessly from in-person to a phone call to an online interface. Business success in this new era depends on leveraging this capability.

Looking to Optimize Your Customer Experience? Find out Why Your EX Strategy is the Key. >

Over the past two years, the necessity for online-only interactions has raised the bar on technology. Better bandwidth increased global coverage, and evermore user-friendly tools are bringing us closer every day to a genuine virtual reality – exactly what today’s consumers expect.

To stay competitive, modern businesses must manage the dual demand of meeting growing consumer expectations while simultaneously facilitating trust in a digital world. Unified communications technology makes it easy to adapt to each phase of digital evolution.

Today’s iteration is all about trust and personalization. Suppose you can establish and convey your values, ensure data privacy, and enable a customized experience. In that case, you’ll be well on your way to earning your customers' and employees' trust and loyalty.

Categories: Customer Experience

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