Great customer relationships are always good for the business. When a company has a solid customer base, it is set to progress for the longest period of time. According to the Management Study Guide, once a personal and emotional linkage is built with your customers, it is easy for the company to identify their needs and serve them appropriately. Thus, it is important that customer trust is established. Trust is strongly associated with one’s personal and emotional perspective of something, for which in this case, one’s personal and emotional perspective of the company. Customers are assets of a business. They are the purpose of building the business in the first place. Thus, in order to maintain those assets on the company’s side, customer trust should be built and established.
Put yourself in a customer’s shoe. What product are you most likely to recommend to other customers? Why do you recommend them? The answers are actually the ways for which you would bank on to gain customer trust.
Here are 5 ways which you can build customer trust:
1) Give quality product or service
What product or service are you likely to recommend? Answer: the one with the highest quality. Take for example, in the mobile phone industry. You do not want to recommend a phone which after 1 to 2 years, it gets damaged by itself. You would recommend something that is durable and offers quality services and applications. Customers highly recommend a certain product because they trust the product would never fail them and confident enough that they made a very good advice to a fellow consumer in the market. Producing quality products and services is the most basic strategy to gain gain trust from your customers.
2) Encourage online feedback and respect their opinion
According to the Consumer Review Survey in 2016 by BrightLocal, “84% of people trust online reviews as much as personal information” and “74% of consumers say that positive reviews make them trust a local business more.” Encouraging online reviews and feedback from customers invites other customers to check out your product or service (or your website). However, as much as positive reviews are likely to be displayed, negative feedback are also possible. But in case of a negative feedback, never delete it. It is an instant reaction for us in the business to delete the negative review before anyone else notices. However, customers and clients are smart and they would question the product if all reviews are positive. The thought can go from “Are these paid reviewers?” to “I think I cannot rely on these too-good-to-be-true reviews”. The best action will be to address these feedback promptly and respectfully. Do not be defensive. Try to understand the costumer’s side, admit the flaws, and immediately assure the customer that the flaw would be addressed accordingly in order to improve the product.
3) Be honest and do not promise anything that you cannot deliver
When there is a negative feedback, you admit the mistake and promise to correct that mistake. However, never promise anything that you cannot deliver. From a business sales perspective, it is difficult to say no to a customer. But not saying no would can destroy your company’s reputation and integrity. Take for example, your customer returned a damaged product and you promised to replace it with a new one. The customer demands that it will be delivered on a certain due date, but you know that you cannot. This often leads to distrust and lose of confidence.
4) Stay consistent and be transparent
Be consistent in the services and quality of products you deliver. If there may be problems in maintaining that consistency (for awhile), then address it and be transparent about it. Customers trust businesses who consistently delivers according to their expectations. They trust that your business would never fail them. If a glitch on one of your products is highly possible, be transparent and tell your customers straight. One good example is when a quality car company detects that issues might arise on their brand new model, the car company immediately announces the glitch and recalls all its products sold in the market. This may be costly but it is worth the cost because no one would buy from your company again once the issue would be experienced by a number of customers and you did not do anything about it.
5) Invest on your sales people and employees
Your sales people and employees should reflect the company’s identity – the one you built. Your values and the company’s values should also be their values. Having quality human resources in your organization assures you that there could be no risk (or minimal risk) of disappointing your customers and clients. Remember, the way your people deal with customers will come back and mirror your business. Therefore, invest on training them and constantly reminding them of the culture, ethics and value you practice in your business.
Building customer trust is only the beginning of a good customer relationship. You have to do your best to maintain the trust and the harmony in the relationship. Thus, always be vigilant and updated with what is going on in the market. Always be concerned of how your product is doing the feedback of the customers.