It’s been said that the most expensive thing in the world is trust. It can take years to earn, and just a matter of seconds to lose. Here are a few tips that we have picked up along the way for building trust and credibility with our customers over the past 15 years:
- Be honest and transparent about your strengths and weaknesses. If your product isn’t right for a customer, you should be secure enough to guide them in the right direction, even if it means referring them to your competition. The last thing you want to do is promise something that you cannot deliver.
- Gather testimonials and customer reviews, and encourage prospects to reach out to your references so they can learn more about your products and customer service from a customer perspective. This will help future clients with making purchasing decisions.
- Boost your availability and communication channels. Ensure your phones are answered by real people. Add a live chat option on your website. Reply quickly to customer service comments or questions on social media. Depending on your product/service, consider providing an emergency phone number for after-hours. Bottom line, most people need answers right away. We live in a world were we are use to having answers at our finger tips.
- Never talk poorly about your competition. This will look immature and disrespectful.
- Under-promise and over-deliver. For example, if you expect a product to arrive in a week, tell the customer it takes 10 days. Never risk breaking your promises. A customer will only remember the 1 time didn’t deliver, not the 100 times you did.
- Improve your website security. Use trusted payment options, display your trust badges proudly, and increase your basic SSL protection.
- Engage with your audience on social media. By updating customers with news and information, and responding to questions or comments, you can build brand visibility and trust. This will also allow your customers to view the updates at their leisure, when they have a moment.
- When customers have a bad experience, be appreciative when they tell you about it (rather than just telling their family and friends). Take advantage of this opportunity to go above and beyond to make them happy. A bad experience could help you fix something that is broken in your system, product and hence will only benefit you in the long run. You should thank your customer for bring this up and work in stride to correct the issue.
In short, customer trust is crucial if you want to succeed. Work hard, be honest and always deliver on time.
Until next time… Stay Creative!