The relationship that a company has with its customers can be good. It can even be great. But very often consumers are laboring under the impression that the companies they do business with don’t always have their best interests at heart. According to the 2018 Trust Barometer from Edelman marketing consultancy, almost half of Americans do not trust businesses to do what’s right. Whether it’s things like hidden fees and legal mouse-type or lousy, robotic customer service and gradually disintegrating product quality, companies often unwittingly send off signals that they are not to be trusted.

But there are things that you can do to help win them over and show them that your company does care. Maybe you can solve one of their unmet needs, offer them a new, novel way to save money, or solve an emerging threat to their safety and well-being. This doesn’t need to be a new product that you build or a program that you create from scratch. Often, there are ways to partner with other companies, white label their solution, and launch it relatively quickly.

Many of our clients see credit education and/or identity protection as services that can accomplish the goal of improving loyalty while also generating leads and revenue. For many of them, these are NOT core elements of their business. But often they are related to the core business in ways that address real gaps that customers have. And they help customers protect themselves financially.

The need for credit education

While it has a significant impact on their financial picture, many consumers struggle to get a grip on the key factors influencing their credit profile. The average credit card debt for balance-carrying households, for example, is $16,048. That’s a lot of money, especially if they’re paying the average interest of 14.99%.

Companies can help their customers get smarter and feel more empowered by alerting them to changes in their credit score and educating them on key household finance issues such as maintaining a budget, saving for retirement via employer-sponsored retirement plans, and making smarter decisions on key personal finance issues such as health care spending and credit card usage. According to Experian data, educated consumers are more likely to take action to maintain or improve their creditworthiness and ability to pay, thereby increasing their eligibility for the products you sell.

The need for ID theft protection

Consumers are also facing an unprecedented onslaught from hackers trying to swipe their data, their identities, and their money. According to the Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC), there were 1,579 data breaches exposing nearly 179 million records in 2017. That represents a 44% increase in the number of breaches and a 389% increase in records exposed.

Some companies are stepping into the fray to help their customers protect sensitive personal data such as their social security number, children’s identities, banking information, and more. Companies are also providing monitoring services that help their customers know if their identity is being used on the dark web, in criminal databases, at payday loan providers, in court proceedings, and elsewhere.

By adding information and services that go above and beyond what people expect from your company, you demonstrate that you do indeed have customers’ best interests at heart and are worthy of being a trusted part of their lives. Hey, they might even wear your logo-adorned t-shirt.