Trust: Communication tactics to help you earn it

With sweeping negative customer feedback dominating the Australian news feed about some of the biggest brands, including the likes of Qantas, it is easy to understand why trust in Australian businesses might be taking a hit.

Research gathered from studies showcase the demise in brand, business and leader trust across the country:

  • The Ipsos Global Trends survey for 2023 found that 60 per cent of Australians do not trust business leaders to tell the truth (compared to 53 per cent global average).
  • The Customology Unspoken Customer Report found that in 2023, 48 per cent of Australian consumers believe brands lie in their marketing and 69 per cent do not trust brands with their personal information.

So what are the communication tactics you can implement to help build a strong, trusting connection with your consumers?

Communication tactics to help build brand trust

Consistent messaging

Developing a set of key messages will help you talk about your brand consistently across all your communication channels such as website, social media, press and advertising.

The tone and language used should also resonate with your audience. Use human-centric language free from technical jargon, particularly if you are a customer-facing brand.

Create a two-way dialogue

Your purpose is to fulfil your customers’ needs, in the hopes that they will stay loyal to your brand. For this reason, you should actively seek their feedback and suggestions by creating an open dialogue.

Monitor the conversations your customers are starting on your social media channels and through online reviews and respond to keep the conversation two-way. Express your genuine care for their queries and comments and explain how you will actively address their needs.

Take it one step further and consider soliciting more detailed qualitative insights through issuing surveys to your customers. This will show a true commitment to taking their feedback on board.

Tell your brand story

Every brand has its story – the journey taken to being built from the ground up. Telling that story can build relatability with your customers.

Share authentic stories of the real people who work hard to keep your brand going. People particularly love to learn about the leaders who have passionately driven that journey, so be sure to share your founder’s story and the process (and possible failures) that led to where you are now.

Showcase your brand purpose

Take your brand’s purpose – its vision, mission and values – and promote it across your communication channels. When potential customers see these demonstrated, they may feel an emotional connection due to having similar values themselves.

Considering the growing importance stakeholders are placing on brands to have clearly outlined environmental and social impact goals, a brand that outlines their purpose to make a positive impact on their customers’ lives and society at large may find trust easier to earn.

Leverage social proof

Utilise your brand heroes – those loyal customers of yours, and their positive testimonials, reviews and case studies as social proofing.

Promote your awards, certifications and strategic partnerships as further proof of your credibility as a reliable brand that strives for excellence.

Showcase expertise and thought leadership

Each brand has their niche of expertise, and your customers come to you for yours. Extend this beyond showcasing your expertise in the product/service you have created or provide and showcase educational/informative content relevant to your whole industry.

This demonstrates you are staying on top of emerging trends and news and are conscious of keeping innovative.

Respond to crises in the right way

As a business, it is more likely than not that you will make mistakes or circumstances will arise where your brand may not be looked upon favourably.

How these situations are handled can determine if issues that are bubbling away will turn into full blown crises.

Managing your organisational issues and crises in the right way is key for preventing further damage in trust in your relationships with stakeholders.

Read our five top tips for managing your brand and reputation in a crisis.

Connect with us today

Phillips Group has significant experience advising a wide range of organisations on building, maintaining and protecting reputations and a wide variety of approaches and techniques to win stakeholder trust.

Connect with us today to learn more.