Build Customer Trust to Stand Out in a Crowd
BY: SHERRY GRAY ON MONDAY, MAY 30, 2016
In today's consumer-driven marketplace, the one thing that will most impact your bottom line is customer trust. Building that trust isn't difficult for a business that values its customers and invests in workable communications strategies. Here are 10 ways to deliver an honest, authentic customer experience to earn customer trust – and loyalty.
1. Always be honest.
While it may sound like a no-brainer, an astonishing number of businesses mislead customers. Buyer satisfaction depends on whether you deliver what you promise, so don't promise anything you can't deliver. This rule extends from product features and reliability to turnaround time.
2. Do what's best for the customer.
Progressive Insurance has carved a sizable niche in the insurance market withquirky commercials and professed commitment to customer care. One service they offer is price comparison – they offer to show you their own prices alongside the prices of competitors to determine the best deal for you, even if it's not Progressive. By giving customers the truth about your services and prices, you may lose a few potential customers, but the ones you win are well-informed and confident on their decision.
3. Make the sale with information.
Old-school sales tactics pale in comparison to sales based on full information. You may still be able to push customers into sales with aggressive tactics, but they'll walk away with mixed feelings. Give them the information they need to make a decision on their own, and they'll feel good about doing business with you.
4. Behave normally.
Treat customers in the same way you would treat friends. Instead of being laser-focused on the sale, spend some time getting to know the customer. Find out what's important to them (and make notes in your CRM).
5. Be professional.
Respect their time, and make sure you know exactly what they are looking for, to determine the best possible solution. Show your customers that you're committed to your career and invested in the company. If you believe, they will believe. Be positive without being insistent.
6. Brainstorm solutions.
When customers come to you with questions, be prepared to help them solve their problems, even those unrelated to your product. If they come to you with random business issues, it shows they value your opinion.
7. Don't trash the competition.
Running down the competition makes you look petty and is not persuasive. Agree with the customer's opinion without jumping on the bandwagon.
8. Look for opportunities to reward customer engagement.
Go beyond rewarding customers for loyalty at obvious points and find opportunities to inspire engagement with little perks. Beggin’ Strips, for instance, randomly sends treats to users who engage on Twitter.
9. Avoid spamming your customers.
Heavy handed scatter-shot techniques once popular with retailers are not only out, they can actively hurt your credibility. Customers don't want to receive sales emails for items they are not interested in. They want personalized, targeted emails offering goods and services they are in the market for or likely to be interested in.
10. Know what they will ask before they do.
All the information you need should be in your CRM. Have the answers ready to frequently asked questions, customer service issues, store policy, specs, reviews, and what people talk about on social media. Being ready with a great answer builds the kind of trust you need for a long-term relationship.
When you inspire and build trust, customers buy from you with confidence and tell their friends. Brands based on trust and loyalty have the best chance of beating their competition and staying on top for the long run.
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