An important first step to providing great services is to build (and maintain!) trust between your company and your customers. Both potential and returning clients want to know that your company is reliable and will serve them with the utmost care when they turn to you for a solution.
Customer trust is most sincere when it is earned naturally. Trust can’t be bought or fabricated; it must be earned.
Here are five steps that can help your organization organically build and maintain customer trust…
1. Respond To All Reviews
Studies have shown that 93 percent of customers will read reviews when researching businesses online.
Engaging with both satisfied and disgruntled customers by responding to every review either on your own site, blogs, or through third party sites, like Yelp and Facebook, shows clients that your company is looking out for them and that you are interested in their experience with your service even after they are gone. Customers want to know your business will have their backs.
Offering additional service to resolve an issue, clarifying queries, or simply saying thank you to those who leave a positive review after a great experience makes your business stand out.
Opening up a channel for two-way conversation between your business and your individual customers proves that your company listens when clients speak. Customers will trust that your business is one that cares.
2. Be More Personal
Scripts for responses are quick, but a personal experience is what sticks.
Customers want to know that your company is made up of people, not robots! Showing customers that your company is more human than corporate makes it easier for them to trust your business if they can picture a heart behind the computer screen.
Encourage your employees to be personal in emails, rather than having a set template, and make it clear that it’s coming from a person. Don’t be afraid to reach out to customers and leave a voicemail, and make connections with your clients.
Engaging with customers, developing personal relationships, and moving away from scripts and templates makes it easier for clients to naturally trust your business.
3. Have A Human Answer The Phone
Press 1 to speak to a representative. Press 2 for more options. *Presses 1 repeatedly*
More often than not, speaking directly to a human can resolve a customer’s issue quicker and more efficiently than navigating through a series of phone menus or speaking to a pre-recorded message.
Customers appreciate the opportunity to speak with a person on the phone and have a one-on-one customer service experience. So, whenever possible, do your best to have a real live human being answer company phone calls.
Having someone answer the phone makes your company seem more personal, reachable, reliable, and trustworthy.
4. Be Active, Be Visible
Engaging with customers on social media and maintaining an updated online presence will show your customers that your company is modern and active.
Take advantage of the “social” side of social media to show customers that you’re real people too! Mix personal and office-related news into your typical posts. Did one of your employees adopt a new puppy and introduce him to your office? How did your co-worker perform in the charity marathon last weekend?
Adding personal touches to your social media makes your company seem more human and shows clients who is really behind your brand. Additionally, many of these fun posts attract higher engagement on social media, increasing your visibility and strengthening your follower count.
Be visible and tangible by encouraging employees to write their own website bios, and be sure they include some relatable details. Make them professional, but have some fun with it! Don’t be afraid to show the human side of your company.
Customers who have a grasp on who you are and what your brand stands for are more willing to trust your business and see it as one they can rely on.
5. Communicate And Be Transparent
The more contact you have with your customers, the better. It can be hard to show customers every side of your company, but the more they feel they know about your values, credos, processes, and goals the more likely they are to have faith in your service.
Acknowledge everything happening within your company, even if something goes wrong. Withholding information can quickly dissolve any trust built.
Keeping communication open and honest will show your customers that their trust and loyalty, not profits, are your number one priority.
Actively taking steps to build customer trust will encourage clients to repeatedly return for your services because they know your business cares about their experience over all else.
The more trust you build with your customers, the stronger your customer relationships will be.
Thanks for reading,
Editor’s Note: Originally published in September 2018, this article has been edited and updated for content in January 2022.