For businesses that seek loyal, long-term buyers, trust is one of the most important parts of the customer relationship. When you create trust, you make customers feel secure in their decision to purchase from your company; with that confidence, customers have less incentive to seek out new options. Building trust takes time and effort, but the results are often worth the investment.
One of the quickest ways to create trust is to follow through on your promises. This applies to every aspect of the business, from marketing to customer service. If you promise that a product will achieve a specific goal, ensure that it does. If your automated email response system promises a reply in 24 hours, guarantee that a representative follows up on time. This type of business predictability is essential to loyalty. Although the individual circumstances may seem inconsequential, the cumulative effect of consistent follow-through can create trust and confidence.
In general, customers do not appreciate mystery in the purchasing process. To create trust, make a point to communicate clearly and accurately. Send an email when the product ships, and provide an expected delivery date. If something goes wrong with an order, let the customer know immediately. Create clear, comprehensive manuals and support resources to help shoppers educate themselves. Eliminating confusion can reduce the load on your service team; it also lets customers trust that each experience will be easy and painless.
Provide Great Service
When you are trying to create trust, excellent service is paramount. Keep in mind that great customer service is not limited to the support desk — it should be a key component of every interaction. All employees, from the checkout clerk to the janitor, should strive to provide a pleasant and efficient experience. When a customer can expect an excellent experience with each visit to your business, he may be more likely to be a loyal repeat shopper.
Respond Well to Mistakes
Mistakes happen, no matter how careful you are or how well you conduct business. A mistake, even a large one, is not necessarily the end of trust between your company and your customers. The way you respond, however, can make or break the relationship. When your company makes an error, it is crucial to respond quickly and efficiently. The response should acknowledge the problem, accept responsibility, validate the customer's feelings and make reparations. This type of calm, professional response can diffuse the situation before you lose a customer's trust.
Loyal customers are the lifeblood of many industries, as they provide regular income and reduce the need to seek out new shoppers. By taking steps to create trust at every step of the buying experience, you can build a positive reputation that keeps customers coming back.
Photo courtesy of mrsiraphol at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
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