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Failing to Connect: 3 Ways to Build Customer Trust

Can customers trust your product info? Here’s how to avoid sending them running to the competition.

When it comes to customer relationships, the old saying holds true that ‘Trust arrives on foot, but leaves on horseback’. Even the smallest misstep can undo years of reliable service and destroy customer trust in your products, brands, and company. 

One of the first critical tests for customer trust occurs from the moment they search for and discover new products. Marketers and merchandisers must ensure that reliable, accurate, and consistent information is available across every sales channel for customers to have confidence in their purchase. Errors and missing info can lead to lost sales today and mistrust for future business.

But how do marketers ensure they have correct and current info to publish? Too often, internal bottlenecks and system silos keep commercial teams disconnected from the product and engineering teams, where info originates. Tracking down the details is a cumbersome manual process. 

Instead, companies need to center product and marketing teams around one unified digital product thread that connects people, processes, and systems. This ensures a trustworthy, unbroken chain of product information that stretches from concept to customer.

1. Connect People:

Delivering foolproof, seamless experiences to customers requires the whole enterprise to work in concert. Handing off notes at periodic checkpoint meetings may create a lot of noise, but rarely delivers harmony. True collaboration is an ongoing conversation throughout the entire value chain, and it must be incorporated in the one common thread that runs between all teams - the product record. With all discussions, changes, and approvals visible to the entire team, marketers and merchandisers know exactly which product content to update and when.

2. Connect Processes

Most teams clearly outline and optimize processes within departments, but rarely cross the swim lanes to ensure work is not delayed or duplicated in other departments. Shared cross-functional processes with automated workflows break down these traditional barriers to choreograph the contributions of each team along the product thread. This reduces redundant reporting and data stores, while allowing for parallel work that speeds market introductions and better addresses customer needs.

3. Connect Systems

Traditionally, product data resides in a product lifecycle management (PLM) system that is owned by designers, engineers, and product management. Marketers have to extract and manipulate this data for downstream, customer-facing content management systems (CMS) or commerce catalogs. However, improving the product information pipeline requires data to flow across boundaries more than these legacy systems allow. Both product and marketing teams need access and visibility to a common set of reliable, current data all in one platform. Only a single, unified digital product thread provides the consistent, trusted experience customers demand. 

For companies to build and maintain the highest levels of customer trust, a continuous product thread is essential. It delivers complete traceability to ensure data integrity, along with a streamlined workflow for speed to market. 

This level of collaboration demands the most comprehensive approach to connecting all of the above—product value management (PVM). Using a modern single-platform solution for all the functions of both product and marketing teams, PVM enables everyone to focus on other revenue-generating opportunities instead of manually maintaining consistent product information with trial and error. 

By delivering trustworthy customer experiences every day, in every channel, companies earn the long-term loyalty and retention that drives growth and market share. 

Watch The Product Information Disconnect: How Collaboration Drives Business Value & Customer Loyalty to learn how PVM incorporates product information management (PIM) to win and retain customer trust.

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Post by
Jill Mueller
Director of Product Marketing, Propel

Jill has a passion for bringing brands to life to drive strategic growth. Her experience in both retail and manufacturing provides a strong balance of marketing, development, and production knowledge. Most recently, Jill worked with private-equity-backed firms to identify and execute market growth opportunities, including channel expansion, product category launches, and global supply chain improvements.

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Jill Mueller