Why Every Business Needs to Build Customer Trust — and How to Do It
With more companies competing for their hard-earned dollars than ever before — and with the security of their private data becoming a greater concern with every high-profile data breach that hits the media — earning the trust of customers has become a key goal for forward-thinking businesses.
Really, there’s no shortage of good reasons why building trust with customers is important. First of all, there’s the simple fact that customer trust leads directly to customer loyalty, which increases customer retention. And when you have a high customer retention rate, you’re spending less to earn more. (Read more about the benefits of customer retention here.)
Customer trust is also becoming a powerful way to differentiate your business in an increasingly competitive marketplace. Startups understand this point particularly well; many are achieving big gains by leveraging superior customer care to undercut more established competitors who may not be focusing on their customers as much as they should.
“New startups are popping up in all industries that are making a splash because of their focus on customer experience and their willingness to try something new,” as Blake Morgan writes at Forbes. “These companies see and address customer pain points, which helps build a trusting relationship.”
New startups are popping up in all industries that are making a splash because of their focus on customer experience and their willingness to try something new, These companies see and address customer pain points, which helps build a trusting relationship.
So, whether you’re managing a startup that needs to build a customer base, or an established business seeking to preserve the relationships you’ve spent years building, building trust with customers should be a key operational goal. And it’s a goal that applies not only to your marketing and customer care teams, but across your entire organization.
With that in mind, here’s a rundown of a few steps you can take to ensure that you’re actively working towards building customer trust on a company-wide basis.
5 Ways to Build Customer Trust
#1: Solicit Feedback on a Regular Basis
Are the people that purchase your products or services satisfied or dissatisfied with your business? As we’ve explained in detail before, there are a more than a few ways to measure customer satisfaction. But few methods are as effective as simply asking them, via regular customer satisfaction inquiries delivered via your website, email, social media, or a variety of other methods.
Because they demonstrate that you care about the experience you’re offering people, and that you’re always interested in improving that experience, satisfaction surveys are a great way to build customer trust. They show that you’re open to admitting that you may not be getting things exactly right, but that you’re trying to learn how you can improve.
When it comes to soliciting customer feedback, though, it can be tricky to strike the right balance between too much and not enough. If you request feedback too rarely, you may be missing important opportunities to reach people before they jump ship to a competitor. But too many requests can have opposite of the intended effect, annoying rather than pleasing customers.
Pro Tip: If you’re in doubt as to how — or how often — to solicit customer feedback, consider bringing in an expert to make sure you’re getting it right. Partnering with an established on-demand contact center service provider with a proven track record of achieving high customer satisfaction is a great way to do just that.
#2 Never Forget that Honesty Is Always the Best Policy
It may seem like a cliché, but that doesn’t make it any less true: Sometimes, things go wrong. Everybody knows it, and everybody (well, almost everybody) will be willing to forgive and forget if they just get an honest and up-front explanation of what went wrong, why it went wrong, and what you’re doing to fix it.
Whenever a mistake occurs, don’t want for customers to complain — get in front of the issue with an announcement that’s likely to reach those affected, whether via email, website, social, text, or whatever their preferred method of communication may be. Chances are good that they’ll not only forgive the mistake, but trust you more for putting their concerns over your own instinct to save face.
#3: Improve Your Customer Complaint Resolution Process
Too often, businesses either undervalue or ignore the complaints made by their customers. And that’s a mistake: There are few faster ways to lose customer trust than to ignore their attempts to reach out to you for help. Underlining this lesson is the fact that we live in an era of instant social media gratification, where unresolved complaints can quickly spiral into full-blown PR crises via Facebook or Twitter.
Instead of losing a customer forever — and risk having them voice their grievances to the whole world on social media — you can seize the opportunity to build trust by making the effort to address complaints promptly and in a positive way. After all, as research from Glance Networks shows, 70% of unhappy customers say they’re happy to continue purchasing from companies that resolve their issues.
“70% of unhappy customers say they’re happy to continue purchasing from companies that resolve their issues.” Click To Tweet
So, take a second look at your customer complaint resolution policy, and ask yourself honestly: Is it set up to ensure that the voices of your customers are heard? If not, it’s time to adjust your game plan. And if you’re not sure how to do so, our quick guide to improving your customer complaint resolution process is a great place to start.
#4: Make Security a Priority
Never forget that the trust of your customers only goes as far as the security with which you treat their data. Yes, this is truer of some industries than others — healthcare and finance, for example, have specific obligations and regulations. But it’s important for any business in any field to take security seriously. (And if you do business in California, protecting customer data is now a legal obligation.)
From securing your online shopping cart to encrypting all web data, the list of action items for achieving full data security is long and comprehensive. As such, it’s also an objective that’s worth entrusting to the experts. If you don’t have the expertise to confidently ensure data security, it may be time to consider partnering with a tech-focused business process outsourcing specialist who can do so on your behalf.
#5: Personalize Your Marketing Efforts
There’s another side to the coin of customer data: With every transaction, most customers understand that they’re giving you a certain amount of their private data. And, while they consider it very important for that data to be kept secure, they’re also open to the idea of you using it to give them better, more specific offers (particularly younger consumers).
According to research from Salesforce, 61% of millennials “are happy to share personal data if it leads to a more personalized” experience, while “58% will share personal data to power product recommendations that match their needs.”
“61% of millennials “are happy to share personal data if it leads to a more personalized” experience, while “58% will share personal data to power product recommendations that match their needs.”” Click To Tweet
So, using data to deliver specific offers that align with their purchasing history can actually work for building customer trust. These offers can be delivered via website popups, email marketing, social campaigns, and other methods — the point is that you’re paying attention to what they like, and making the effort to give them more of it, instead of boring them with the same old boilerplate messages you send everyone else.
Learn more about how we can help you implement the contact center strategy that works best for you: Contact us today to schedule a complimentary consultation with a Working Solutions specialist.Let's connect.