BY VESELINA DZHINGAROVA
There’s no denying that trust is important. Research has shown that trust is associated with stronger economic growth, higher degrees of innovation, more stability, and better health outcomes. This principle applies to institutions and sectors of all kinds, from the government to media to business.
The need for trust across all these sectors has become increasingly essential in light of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. In times of crisis, people look to tap into the wellspring of trust more than they would during ordinary circumstances. People must be able to trust the government to implement sufficient measures to curb the spread of the virus, or trust media outlets to deliver accurate information on such a rapidly changing situation. Finally, they must be able to trust businesses to engage in ethical practices and protect their consumer data from cyberattacks and fraud.
If you’re a business owner who is wondering how to build trusting relationships with clients, read on to discover not only the importance of client trust amid COVID-19 but the pillars you must prioritize in order to attain it.
Rise In Online Fraud Amid COVID-19
One of the key factors contributing to the need for client trust during the pandemic is increasing fraud rates. Back in April 2020, it was reported that various fraudulent schemes were continuously rising in prominence. From phishing scams to returns abuse, fraudulent activity diversified significantly following the outbreak. Some fraudsters were even creating fake e-commerce stores and pretending to sell hand sanitizers to consumers in countries that were experiencing dire shortages. In short, the need for client trust is at an all-time high amid COVID-19, as consumer vulnerability is at an all-time high as well.
The Pillars of Client Trust
According to Maura Regan, President of Licensing International, the face of brand trust among consumers has changed greatly amid COVID-19. Now, she shares, the three non-negotiable pillars of client trust include:
- Transparency – Over the years, consumers have grown increasingly concerned with where and how their products are made. Consumers are now seeking out brands that use ethical and sustainable manufacturing practices, and are transparent about such practices. In the wake of the pandemic, this concern has only grown more prominent.
- Purpose and Profit – Similarly, over time, consumers have developed a high degree of concern for social issues and causes. The pandemic has only heightened this level of concern for many consumers. As a result, they want to see businesses aligning profits with purpose; rather than businesses simply taking all the profits for themselves, consumers want to see them donating at least a portion of profits to philanthropic causes. This helps the consumer feel as though they are contributing to society when they make a purchase.
- Emotional Intelligence – Given the global scale of the pandemic, individuals all over the planet were able to empathize with one another in an unprecedented way. Brands are expected to be able to do the same. Businesses need to acknowledge and empathize with the challenges consumers are facing due to the pandemic. Companies will need to prioritize emotional intelligence and empathy at the forefront of all operations and communications.
Ultimately, a company’s main responsibility – and its key to success – is to effectively serve its clients and build trusting relationships with them. The need to prioritize client trust is one that has become increasingly prominent amid COVID-19, a time that is seeing increased vulnerability for consumers from all backgrounds. By educating yourself on the importance of client trust and the new pillars to build to achieve it, you will provide your cherished clients with the peace of mind they deserve.
(Disclaimer: The article is sponsored and hence, promotes some commercial links.)