How to win the trust of your customers

Posted in Customer relationship management.

Trust is belief and confidence in the reliability, truth, ability and strength of something (or someone). In terms of building a healthy, sustainable business, trust not only helps to gain new customers but retains those you have for a long time to come, since it creates all-important loyalty. If you are aiming to create a culture of trust amongst new and existing customers, here are some of the things you should never do.

Don’t misrepresent what you’re selling

Saying that a product or service has a feature that it doesn’t have will create distrust and a feeling of disappointment in your customers. Be 100% truthful about benefits and features. Being honest about what you provide places the power in the hands of your customers to decide what’s best for them, instead of you forcing it upon them.

Don’t over-promise and under-deliver

If you know with absolute certainty that you cannot get something to a customer by a certain time, or give them exactly what they want, do not give them the idea that it can be done. If through no fault of your own you cannot do what you said you would, let the customer know ahead of time and compensate them for this in some way.

Don’t speak ill of the competition

It is often tempting for employees to talk badly about competitors, because they want customers to choose their business instead of someone else’s. However, this will come across to the customer as petty and immature in a situation where they would like to see professionalism.

Don’t sell what they don’t need

There are situations where what you’re selling may not be suited to a particular customer. It is understandable to want to keep pushing to seal the deal, but in this case it is not ethical or good for customer relations in the long run. Rather be honest when something is not a good fit.

Don’t ignore problems

It may be difficult to admit to the very people to whom you want to appear as efficient that there are problems, but ignoring them isn’t the way to go. Acknowledge problems, accept blame and work towards a suitable solution. This is a great way of showing your trustworthiness as a company to your customers as well as how you handle crisis situations.

Don’t be inconsistent

When a customer cannot predict your behaviour they will grow to distrust you, because they do not know what to expect. If you’ve always done things a certain way and then start to fluctuate too wildly, it will make a customer wonder whether the business is stable and if what they’re getting is reliable. Consistency should apply to all aspects of your business, including customer service, packaging, answering questions, new products or services, and communication.