How Your Business Can Earn the Trust of Your Customers
Earning the trust of your customers is vital for any business, especially one that has only just started. The only problem is that earning trust can be difficult if you don’t have many customers because it is often spread by word of mouth. However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t actively try to engage with your customers and strive to build confidence and trust in other ways.
Get Some Testimonials
For new businesses, this can be tricky, but there is no reason why you can’t ask your customers for a testimonial if they have had a good experience. Some companies even place their customer’s names and photos on posters and advertising so that their customers see that it’s genuine. Although many customers will believe a company when they post how well they are doing, others need a more natural source, and customer testimonials can do the trick. As more customers have good experiences, you can update the testimonials so that they are fresh and relevant. You should also ask for opinions on your social media accounts like Twitter. You don’t want to filter them as you need your customers to believe and trust you. If some customers are unhappy, then you can seek to help them so that you are seen as an engaged company.
Encourage Reviews on Other Sites
More customers are now relying on external sites of review companies than the businesses own posted reviews. That is because some sites can have reviews posted by people who haven’t owned one of their products. As well as trying to moderate your review board more effectively, you can also encourage your customers to post on these external sites. Mention the sites on your website and post a link to them on your social media. It will help your customers to see that you are genuinely asking for their opinion and you are happy for that to come from anywhere. As you get more reviews on these sites, post the results on your website, so people know that there is a lot of positive support.
Connect Through Social Media
One way that you can start the road to trust and respect is through social media. These platforms have made a unique change to the way people interact, and also the way they interact with companies. Many businesses now have a dedicated team that monitors and respond to customers posts. They do this not only to build relationships with their customers, but also because replying promptly to posts show that they are engaged and care about customer service.
Show Your Professional Affiliations
Customers like to see that companies have won awards or are members of professional affiliations. It gives the company more credibility, and it also shows off your achievements which you need to do. It is also important that you also show your official membership to any organization that you belong to, especially if they are needed to comply with the law.
Give them a Guarantee
Lots of companies now offer some type of money-back guarantee for their customers so that they can give the product back if they aren’t happy. Although this can worry some businesses, there is a lot of evidence to suggest that this type of policy is popular with customers. If people go shopping and buy something that is a lot of money, they can worry that they might lose their money if they don’t like it. Therefore, if you offer a money-back guarantee, you will give them a reason to trust you enough that they can return it. If you believe enough in your product, then this will be an easy thing to do. There will always be those customers that don’t like your products and want their money back, but these should be rare compared to those that will love them.
Respond to a Crisis Quickly
One of the ways that customers decide which companies they trust and those they don’t is when things go wrong. It doesn’t only mean when they have a problem with a product, though this is important, it is also when there is a problem with data or hacking of your company. When these incidents occur, you need to be honest and open about the issue and tell your customers as early as possible. Even if you haven’t had time to deal with the breach, you still need to give them the opportunity to change passwords and check their accounts. If you try to deny any knowledge or give no information, then your existing customers will be upset, and you will lose trust. These problems linger in people’s minds for a long time, so you will also have issues attracting new customers unless you deal with it correctly.
Get Your Brand Right
One of the reasons some companies are eager to buy existing brands is because they already have a history and trust with their customers. People associate brands they have seen for a long time with credibility and trust, which can take years to acquire. You need to ensure that your brand is one that is easy to recognize and will be spotted by your customers wherever they are. It needs to convey what your company is about but be easy enough to recognize from a distance. You can use companies like SmashBrand to help you find the type of branding you need, and what message it sends about you.
Make Your Customer Service the Best
Most of your customers will have their first experience of your company through customer services. This team will deal with the majority of your communications and so they have to be the best you can make them. Training is one important way to make them a good team, you need to give them the tools and experience to deal with almost any satiation with calmness and politeness. It is also important that you choose the right people for the job on the customer service team. Sometimes the best option is to look from within your company for these vacancies. That is because they already have experience of the company and they know about any issues that might arise. They should also know the computer systems and will be able to track issues with orders quickly. You should also encourage your staff to offer vouchers or refunds if there are problems that delay a resolution to a complaint or query.
Take Complaints Seriously
Some customers love to complain, but that doesn’t mean that you should dismiss them without any investigation. One of the biggest issues customers have about companies is that they don’t listen and will brush off any complaint without due process. You need to ensure that your company doesn’t behave in this way and that any complaint is reviewed and investigated properly. It is the reason why most organizations now record calls from their customers so that any claims of abuse towards the customer can be reviewed. It also helps to hear what the customers said and how they reacted. You need to have a dedicated complaints procedure that your customers can follow and a prompt reply. Be honest about how long it will take to investigate, and always give them an answer within that timeframe.
Be Good to Your Employees
It is fair to say that not all companies are always good to their employees, and some can be demanding to the point of unacceptable. The thing to remember when dealing with your employees is that you want them to be a good advocate for your business. They are customers as well, and they also spread word of mouth just like other customers. If you are a bad employer, then they will tell their family and friends, and this will spread to others quickly. Similarly, if people know that you treat your employees well, they will be more inclined to think better of your business as a whole. Another benefit is that it will also reduce the risk of your employees going to your rivals in the market to work, which will be especially tough if they are an experienced worker.
Building trust with your customers is hard work, but the benefits of doing so cannot be underestimated. However, you need to ensure that this is a genuine desire to build trust and not a public relations exercise.
About: James Daniels is a freelance writer, business enthusiast, a bit of a tech buff, and an overall geek. He is also an avid reader, who can while away hours reading and knowing about the latest gadgets and tech, whilst offering views and opinions on these topics.