How to Build Trust with Prospective and Current Customers

As a marketing or sales professional, your task of consistently maintaining trust with your customers, in addition to winning the trust of prospects, is never complete. After all, where do you start to build trust with buyers in today’s noisy and competitive marketplaces? The results from our worldwide 2024 Media Consumption Study reveal some important considerations when building buyer trust.

Vendor loyalty isn’t strong with buyers

Let’s take a step back to understand why trust is so important to build (and maintain) with prospective and current customers. Our study reveals that vendor loyalty isn’t especially strong. 46% of survey respondents indicated they have switched vendors for a product/service, which means retaining current customers requires the same thought and attention as converting new prospects.  

Customer trust is that all-important currency you need to be more mindful of than ever. Trust maintains those solid relationships and reduces the likelihood that you’ll have to procure new leads when a customer leaves you for a competitor.

The silver lining here is that 59% of this survey pool have added one or more new additional suppliers or vendors to their tech stack, as IT budgets and tech investment rates remain steady. This dynamic presents a prime opportunity for you to double-down on your brand and reach out to those new prospects who may benefit from your solution. However, there’s an undercurrent of warning, too: fail to maintain impactful, confident customer relationships and your users could ditch you for another provider. 

Customers need nurturing and support post-purchase

With the first consideration in mind, there’s a big opportunity to continue building trust once a buyer becomes a client, and it should start the minute a purchase is made. Once you’ve closed the deal, share best practices and tips on using the associated product or solution sold. Then, maintain customer engagement by sharing appropriate market insights, trends and product updates regularly and consistently. Nurturing customers post-purchase is especially important, with one in two tech buyers have purchased additional products from a current vendor/supplier.

From a product standpoint, don’t shy away from sharing your competitive pricing with your customers while emphasizing your solutions’ differentiation in your go-to-market strategy, prospect conversations and promotional content. In this vein, respond to market shifts and your customers’ needs by continuing to add new features and capabilities to your solutions that keep customers spending with you.

Tech buyers have serious concerns with trusting AI

How to Build Trust with Prospective and Current Customers
TechTarget & Enterprise Strategy Group, 2024 Media Consumption Study | Worldwide

Finally, let’s discuss the artificial intelligence (AI) elephant in the room (yes, it’s there!). AI misinformation, manipulation and impersonation are top concerns for Americans, according to an Ipsos study.

In our own study, buyers’ perception of AI aligns with this wider sentiment. 91% of B2B buyers said they prioritize information from trusted experts over content that might have been authored by ChatGPT or generative AI (GenAI). What’s more, buyers tell us they value and trust research and analyst reports, case studies, technical advice, white papers, webinars and vendor reviews/assessments when these content types are authored by experts. To this end, organizations should prioritize using experts and analyst content to boost credibility and break through market noise. If your teams intend to use GenAI for content generation purposes, concentrate your AI usage on infographics, news stories and blog posts.

Build buyer trust with high-engagement content

Tech buyers today are spending more time with trusted independent media publisher sites, analyst sites and content, and independent expert technical advice than any other type of content. By integrating these content types into your pipeline you’ll be more likely to convert potential prospects and to continue to engage and educate existing customers. Additionally, promote these content types across multiple channels (for example, lead generation campaigns, nurture prospecting, social media posts on LinkedIn) to ensure your content is visible cross-channel.

Building trust with prospects and customers should be at the forefront of every message and communication you share. Using this tactic, as well as the strategies outlined above, will empower you to gain and maintain that hard-fought customer trust – the gold currency that will enable you to keep more of your hard-earned customers and win deals with prospects.