Polish your customer relationship management strategy with these tips.
Earning trust from your customers can deliver considerable benefits to your company – from word-of-mouth referrals and social recommendations to more frequent and substantial purchases. However, according to the 2018 Salesforce “Customer Trust Trends” report, 54% of customers believe that companies don’t have their best interests in mind. This lack of trust is a serious problem that companies of all sizes need to address. Here are a few simple ways you can begin to build trust with your customers:
- Keep the customer’s best interest at heart
- Avoid making promises you can’t keep
- Be reachable
- Improve your security
- Communicate more
- Ask for feedback
Keep reading to learn more about each of these customer relationship management tips.
Keep the customer’s best interest at heart
At the end of the day, customer trust depends on your ability to meet their expectations. Keeping a customer-centric culture at the heart of your company means basing all forms of communication on the customer’s needs and interests – and not on what or how you want to sell. This approach automatically results in better customer service because it transforms customer-facing mentality from “us” to “you.” For our company, this philosophy helped us coin the phrase, “we don’t sell office products; we help you buy” – and all our staff, from customer service to our founders, live by these words.
Avoid making promises you can’t keep
One reason for the lack of trust in brands is that customers tend to feel sales and service teams lie or exaggerate just to get a sale. Because customers can feel deceived or manipulated when they don’t get what they paid or asked for, be careful not to make promises you can’t keep. Instead, focus on creating realistic customer expectations based on what you can actually deliver. If you’re not sure you can meet a customer’s request, try using positive language, finding the closest solution, and provide a dedicated explanation.
Have you ever contacted a company with a question or problem only to be placed on hold for what seems like forever? If so, you can understand why being easily reachable and cutting down wait times made it onto this list of ways to build trust with customers. When you call our office, we don’t have an automated system or call wait times – you’ll get a live person who can help. Customers feel comforted and valued when they know they can contact a business any time they choose. Even if your company is not open 24/7, make sure your customers have multiple ways to reach out – even after your office has closed for the day. Whether that’s providing a dedicated account representative, a phone number with a messaging service, a live website chat, or social media accounts – or a combination of these – be sure and make it easy for customers to reach you when they experience an issue.
Improve your security
With more businesses in the spotlight for misusing or failing to protect customer data and information, security matters when it comes to building trust. What it comes to data, your customers want to know their sensitive information is in good hands and will only be used to improve their experience. Consider adding SSL protection to your website, using only trusted payment options, and installing protection against malware, hacking, and other security threats. If you handle data in real time, make sure it is in a secure location that cannot be easily accessed. Also, if you do share data with third parties for certain web enhancement or marketing features, be up-front about it in your data and website policies and share with your customers.
You can also build trust by outfitting delivery and on-site teams with apparel that displays your company logo or name. From caps to shirts and name badges, investing in branded corporate wear helps provide instant identification – and peace of mind – upon entering your customer’s home or building.
Customers always appreciate transparent and frequent communication – and it needs to start from the very first interaction. As a prospective customer is assessing your ability to address their stress points, touch base with them regularly to answer questions and provide additional insights into your capabilities as they relate to their needs. Then, throughout the customer relationship, continue to showcase this level of accessibility and responsiveness. Having regular contact can be as simple as a quick monthly phone call to update a customer about their account or your policies, or recurring email check-ins.
Are you training your team on customer service? Review these tried-and-true customer service skills every employee should have in their arsenal.
Ask for feedback
Consumers like to know that the businesses they work with genuinely care about their opinions and needs. One simple – and incredibly helpful – way to convey that message and establish trust is by asking for feedback through surveys or other methods. This feedback not only helps your customers feel heard, it also can be used to drive improvements to your products, services, or customer experience policies. For example, if some of your customers feel they can’t get ahold of you, perhaps you can implement live chat on your website or ensure that more staff are available to answer the phone.
These ways to build trust with your customers can be incorporated into your customer relationship management strategy to increase customer satisfaction and improve brand loyalty. Find more helpful hints for the workplace on our blog.
If you’re not yet an EZ Office Products customer, call our local customer concierge to discuss how we can help your Wisconsin-based business thrive at (608) 310-4300 today.