“How to build trust with customers?”
A decade ago, we asked this question ourselves. But down the lane, we figured it out, put them to practice (extensively) and earned us loyal customers.
A couple of months back, one of our clients asked us the same question. It kind of took us on a memory lane. So, we helped the client by sharing what we did to build trust with our customers along with a couple of new methods.
Last week, we heard back from the client. They are witnessing a significant increase in customer satisfaction rate and their customer retention rates are at the peak.
Quicksprout states that you can increase your profits from anywhere between 25% to 95% when you increase your customer retention rates by 5%. There’s the WOM part of it as well – 83% of customers would recommend your brand to others if they trust you.
So, gaining the trust of your customers will not only increase sales but also puts you in a positive light – drives new customers to your brand and sets sales on autopilot.
Well, that was a brief introduction. Let’s look at the ways that’ll help your build trust with customers now.
How to Build Customer Trust and Loyalty?
Building trust with customers is not an overnight task. It’s a step-by-step process that needs focus and consistency. We’ve mentioned the 8 ways that will help you boost your customer trust and build long-term relationships.
1. Make Your Customer Support Exceptional
Building trust with customers starts from delivering excellent customer service. How your customer support agents perform has a great influence on customer loyalty and retention. A highly efficient customer support team will be able to respond quickly to customer queries and provide instant resolutions.
This, in turn, makes your customers trust your brand and stick to you for a longer period. When you start showing that you care for them by delivering great customer service, they subconsciously recognize your efforts and a sense of trust is automatically created.
To make your customer service team efficient, ensure
- Your agents have the right set of tools to respond to customer queries (live chat, chatbots, etc) to respond to messages quickly.
- There are a set of guidelines, (a playbook sort of) to help agents with common questions.
- Your support agents empathize with customers to build instant connections – helps de-escalate even the toughest issues.
- You empower your agents and allow them to take the best decisions for customers during unprecedented scenarios.
When your support agents go above and beyond to offer excellent customer service, the trust factor gets solidified and boosts loyalty.
2. Be 100% Transparent With Your Customers
An open and transparent policy works best if you want to build trust with customers. When you are honest, transparent and straightforward, your customers will appreciate you.
If and when something goes wrong, say it to your customer straight off the bat. Don’t sugarcoat or prolong it. Say the exact reason why things have gone wrong and what you’ll be doing to fix it.
Honesty + Transparency = Increased Trust & Customer Loyalty
It would be better if you let the customer know what to expect and what not to expect from your business in the beginning. This will prevent misunderstandings down the lane. Your support team does not have to be in a situation where they are asked to deliver something they cannot.
3. Ask Customers for Feedback
Let’s talk about business benefits first.
Asking your customers for feedback will give you important insights. You can make business decisions based on this (who knows? The small insight or feedback you get could be even a gamechanger for your business). You also get to understand how customers feel about your business. It’s your customers who are going to use your product or service and knowing what they feel is crucial.
Now, how asking feedback will help build trust with customers?
When you ask your customers for feedback and opinion, they feel valued. When they know the brand they do business with cares about their opinion, customers will be more likely to stay loyal to the brand and give high-value inputs.
So, make sure you ask your customers for feedback. You can send customer survey questions. While doing so, ask questions like,
- How would you rate your experience with our product/services today?
- How would you rate your overall satisfaction with us?
- Is there anything you would like us to do better to improve your satisfaction?
- How satisfied are you with our speed of resolution?
Also, make sure to include an area where customers can provide their feedback. Customer surveys are one of the best ways to gain customer trust and boost loyalty. You get to show your customers you care about them and your business gets much-needed insights. BINGO!
4. Start Building Trust With Loyalty Programs
Speaking about loyalty programs, Starbucks was the first brand that came to our mind. With the Starbucks Rewards program, customers can earn loyalty stars and delight themselves with free drinks and food.
Who doesn’t love that?
Loyalty programs are a great way to gain customer trust and boost your sales. Statistics say that a massive 72% of adults in the US are a part of at least one loyalty program. They bring a sense of belonging to customers and it slowly becomes a commitment and a practice.
Create loyalty programs with great incentives for customers – offer them an incentive they could not resist. It could be a free subscription, price deduction using reward points, early access to super deals and more. If you’re into the eCommerce sector, loyalty programs should work great for you.
Important Note: Create loyalty programs to offer only what you can afford. Promising and failing to offer the same can break your customers’ trust and steer them away from your business.
5. Use Customer Reviews and Testimonials for Social Proof
Online reviews and customer testimonials are digital recommendations in today’s age. Almost every eCommerce site or product website you visit, you’ll come across customer testimonials and reviews displayed.
It’s because 88% of consumers trust online reviews as personal recommendations. And 72% say positive reviews and testimonials will make them trust a brand more.
If you’re able to build a good online reputation for your business, you can gain customer trust with ease. For this, you need to have reviews and testimonials. Encourage your customers to leave product reviews by following them up using drip campaigns. You can even offer gift cards in exchange for reviews. If you’re running a service-based business, personally reach out to clients and ask them for testimonials.
Display a couple of them on your homepage and have a dedicated page for testimonials. Curious customers will want to have a look before making a decision.
6. Be Available to Customers On Channels They Prefer
Like we said in our first point, excellent support is important to build trust with customers. And being available to them on channels they prefer is one of the things you need to make sure of.
On average, customers get in touch with a business using more than 3 or 4 channels. And they expect a consistent experience no matter what channel they choose to get in touch with (could be by phone, social media, email, live chat, etc). You need to respond to customers immediately and you should not have them repeat the issue over and again.
When you are available to customers on the most important channels, they know that your support team is there to help them out whenever they need you. This helps gain their trust.
For this, you should use an omnichannel support platform. You can view and respond to all your customer interactions across different channels from one inbox – saves time, improves productivity and makes support super easy.
7. Accountability - Take Ownership of the Problem
On a scale of 1 to 10, we’d rate this particular method a full ten. When customers reach out to you with an issue, you should understand they are in distress. And as a support agent, you should take complete ownership of the problem and solve it.
If it’s something above your level, take the issue up with higher authorities and get it resolved. The point is, when a customer reaches out to you with an issue, you should resolve it no matter what.
This helps you build trust with your customers to a great extent.
8. Customers First Approach. Always.
“Put your customers at the heart of your business. Listen to and focus on what they have to say – everything else will fall into place.”
This is one of our most important brand values. Being customer-centric helps a company grow and thrive. They get to build trust with customers and cultivate long-term relationships.
As a business, you need to develop a customer-centric culture within your organization. Make your customer support agents understand how important being customer-centric is and how it can reflect the growth of your company. You can also consider creating an employee incentive program to boost customer service standards.
Here’s an article that’ll help you become a customer-centric company.
When your support agents understand how important building customer trust is, they’ll act accordingly and see that your business has more loyal customers.
The Bottom Line
Customer trust and loyalty are mandatory for a business to survive. Building trust with customers is like laying a strong foundation for your business. All you need to do is, put your customers above all and make them feel the same – be transparent, ask for customer feedback regularly and take ownership of issues.
Once your customers know they are your top priority, you can gain their trust and loyalty with ease. The eight ways we’ve mentioned above can help you accomplish this.
Remember, a loyal customer base is the best asset you could own as a business! That said, start building trust with your customer now!