User-generated content is hot right now, and with good reason. Consumers trust other people’s opinions much more than branded content, which means user-generated content (UGC) is a powerful tool for building trust with prospects and customers and scaling your service & customer success efforts.
UGC is the key to dealing with customer’s trust challenges
According to the recent Trend in Customer Trust research by Salesforce, the low level of customer’s trust in digital platforms has recently been a major challenge for businesses.
Being overwhelmed by a massive volume of information that’s hard-sold on the Internet every day, customers are in doubt and they desire trust. They tend to seek recommendations from someone they know or from people who see things from their point of view: other service users. In fact, Status Labs’ 2019 Reputation Management Report shows that an enormous 78% of consumers trust peer reviews over advertising messages.
It’s time we earned our customers’ trust by utilizing the power of UGC. Created by loyal customers who care about your brand and your products, UGC speaks to other audiences in an honest and reliable tone. So, in order to build a long-lasting relationship with customers based on trust, businesses should endeavor to cultivate an open environment for discussion, interaction and knowledge exchange between their customers.
Why play at authenticity when you can get it right with the help of UGC?
Over 90% of millennials say their decisions to support a brand rely upon its level of authenticity. Therefore, it might not be surprising to you that delivering authentic content is crucial to gaining the customer’s heart nowadays. But the question that remains unsolved is: Why are businesses still struggling to convey authenticity?
The problem is, according to Robert Greene, an expert in the art of consumer seduction, marketers can never be authentic from their side of the conversation. Customers are getting smarter and they can easily differentiate real people’s opinions from branded content.
UGC is an integral weapon for businesses to accomplish true authenticity. 73% of marketing professionals agree that UGC makes marketing more authentic and 50% of them also believe that UGC humanizes marketing messages. Encouraging customers to create and share the messages actively will nurture authenticity from within your brand’s content.
People feel valued when you truly take their opinions into account, or even more, to the core of your customer service.
In 2019 we have automation technology, artificial intelligence and chatbot development which has taken a huge amount of work off marketers’ shoulders and helped them to reach large, more qualified audiences easily. However, these technological advancements have sadly made many conversations with brands come off monotone and robotic to the customers they’re trying to impress.
Let’s avoid this result and keep reminding ourselves that it’s humans we’re talking to. Ultimately, it’s the customer’s opinion that matters and that’s what helps businesses succeed in customer service. The power of UGC lies in its ability to make customers feel heard by delivering their opinions, emotions and feelings not only to the brands but also to their peers.
This blog post was originally published by Ben Foster on September 17, 2017. It was updated by Chi Dang and Danielle Juson on March 21, 2019.
By Danielle Juson
Customer success community expert and writer at inSided. Passionate about sharing the value and impact of community, and enabling companies to get it right. Connect on Linkedin