Building Trust

September 29th, 2017 by VADA Benefits and Insurance

Great customer relationships are vital to the success and growth of any business.  Of course, you have to be good at what you do, but in many cases, a successful business is based on one simple thing:  TRUST.  When your customers trust you, they will tend to stick around when times get tough.

Great Service Matters

It all starts with great service. Yes, we’ve all heard this again and again.  But there’s a reason for that.  Think about how you would want to be treated if you were a customer.  Recent surveys have shown that top customer frustrations are not getting timely responses to email inquiries, or even worse, being put on hold for long periods of time.  Make sure you don’t leave your customers waiting.  Strive for responsiveness.  By keeping customers happy, they will remain loyal and do marketing for you through word of mouth.  Remember this principle:  a satisfied customer tells 3 friends, an angry one tells 300! Social media makes this a reality in today’s world.

Consistency is Essential to Trust

Are your employees all providing equivalent levels of service?  Your team should all be equipped with the tools it needs to answer questions the same way.  Trust is created through the consistent actions of your employees. Customers respect and appreciate a business that is consistent and reliable.  Meaning that you either keep your promises, or don’t bother making them.  From a leadership perspective, consistent performance and response shows employees what you expect from them.  Internal expectations lead to external results.

Transparency

Customers are smart.  They know when you are being honest with them.  If you make a mistake, admit it.  Most times, a customer will appreciate and admire you more when you admit to making a mistake and own up to it, rather than playing games or giving them the run around.  Address issues directly and explain how you will handle it, as well as how it will be avoided in the future.  Lead by example here and your employees will admire you more for your honesty.

Listening is Important

Are you a good listener, a really good listener?  Listening to your customers’ concerns is vital to understanding what they are really saying.  If you don’t fully understand the issue, ask questions.  Don’t assume.  Most misunderstandings can be avoided by tuning in and asking for clarification. A good listener makes a customer feel important and understood.

This isn’t a popularity contest.  Sure, it’s nice if your customers like you, it’s so much more important for them to trust that you will deliver on your promises.  It’s not always easy, but in the end the goal is to have customers for life, that will bring you repeat business and more referrals.  And you get peace of mind knowing you met (or exceeded) your customers’ expectations.

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