Customers don’t buy from businesses they don’t trust, end of story. Luckily, building trust in a customer/business relationship doesn’t have to be difficult. While it does take effort, the steps to get there are easy if you are willing to be open, honest, and efficient when communicating with customers.
Below are some of the best practices your customer service team can use to build a long-lasting, trusting relationship with customers:
This should go without saying – a customer service representative who acts in a professional manner will gain the respect, trust, and loyalty of customers. Customer service reps are in constant connection with the customer base, and, therefore, need to act accordingly to gain customer confidence.
Connect with customers via social media.
Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest are some of the best ways to connect with customers, especially if you are running an e-commerce business with no face-to-face connection. According to a 2014 study from Deloitte, 75% of online Americans say product information found on social channels influences their behavior and enhances brand loyalty. Social media is an excellent place to provide customers with product information, reviews from other customers, and fast interaction with customer service. All these factors lead to a trusting relationship between customer and company.
Display and respond to customer reviews – the good and the bad.
Customers are smart; if a business only posts the good reviews, they know something fishy is going on. One of the best ways to gain customer trust is to be openly transparent about the reviews your business is getting, and responding to both the good and bad reviews. Customer service reps who reach out to reviewers are not only showing they care about what the customers think but that they are also open to suggestions and critique.
Offer live chat.
The majority of customers prefer a support system that offers live chat. It eliminates the long wait times that often come with email or phone service, and it gives customers the option to have their questions answered almost immediately. If your business has a live chat option on your website, customers are more likely to believe you will be able to solve their problem. Even if customers don’t use chat, having the option reassures them they can get help if they need it.
Respond to inquiries promptly.
When a customer asks a questions or voices a concern, they expect a fast response and quick resolution. The best thing you can do to gain their trust in your company is respond to all inquiries as soon as possible; a customer who waits and receives no answer will quickly dismiss your business and will be less willing to contact or do business with you in the future.
Be consistent across the board.
The customer service you provide should always be consistent whether a customer contacts you via phone, email, live chat, or social media. Each customer service representative should act respectfully and professionally while answering questions in the same way. Nothing is more frustrating or confusing for the customer than different people giving different answers to a single question. Consistent performance shows customers they can trust your service to always meet their standards.
Admit to mistakes and fix them.
If something goes wrong (even if it was a customer error), the best thing your customer service team can do is to admit the mistake. Address the issue, apologize for the inconvenience, and offer a solution to the problem. Customers will appreciate the honesty and will trust that your team is taking the steps to avoid the issue in the future. If another mistake is to occur, customers will have trust based on previous experiences that the support team will do everything it can to fix the problem.
Value the customer.
Above all else, let the customers know you appreciate them. The customer/customer service relationship is valuable and if customers sense you are making an effort to build and maintain a trusting relationship, they will be more likely to stay for the long haul. The customer experience is the top priority, so give them reasons to trust you – they deserve it!
What is your number one criteria for trusting a company with your business? Let us know!