5 Unique Approaches to Cementing Customer Trust
Depending on who you ask, acquiring a new customer can cost between five and seven times the resources of simply cultivating ongoing relationships with existing customers. Bain & Company is the most prominent purveyor of the statistic, but the lesson is clear – cementing customer trust is essential to growing a business.
The modern customer has more choice than ever. With more than 5 exabytes of data hitting the Internet every two days, the noise is overwhelming for a distracted customer. Keep their attention focused squarely on your offerings with the following approaches.
Start with Empathy
It is always easier to learn the nuances of a sales funnel when you put yourself in the shoes of your customer. If you can really feel the pain of those you serve, it will come across in everything from your sales scripts to your daily customer service interactions. You may also be able to predict the needs of your customers before a problem becomes apparent, something that will definitely win you points with legacy customers.
Become a Truth Teller
No matter your industry, customers will appreciate a company that tells the unvarnished truth. A savvy marketer can even elicit some humor from this technique. One strategy that works well is to advertise in a way that turns an exaggerated industry motif on its head. Calling out the overbearing nature of industry standard advertisements instantly sets you apart from your competition. You gain trust because you are pointing a finger at confusing or misleading advice while attaching your brand to the high road.
Customers Do the Best PR
We have entered an age of ubiquitous advertising that has oversold almost everyone. The average customer can see right through an actor or a script. The result is an instant distaste for any interaction that seems fake. Savvy companies are fighting back with PR teams that cannot be interpreted as fake by customers – because they are customers.
Your best customers can easily become your best advocates, and they cost a lot less than hiring a professional PR team. For a few free giveaways, you can target the thought leaders on your social media pages, deputizing them to give away coupons for your next sale or tout the advantages of a product that has been showcased to them exclusively before its release.
Own Your Damage Control
When something bad happens, take it on the chin. There is nothing worse than a company that will not take responsibility for the inevitable mistakes that will occur in its lifetime. Anytime you try to cover a mistake with inauthentic apologies or diversions, you risk losing the most loyal of your customers. Keep in mind that these people likely understand your sales process just as well as you. After all, they are the ones on the receiving end of it.
If a batch of products goes bad or you simply missed the mark, own up to the mistake immediately. Your long-standing customers will likely understand and stay with you as long as you tell the truth and make strides to honestly fix it. The fair-weather friends that you may have earned during a single sales cycle might leave, but they should have never been your priority in the first place.
The successful modern company always has an eye to continuous improvement. If you are still working within the traditional iterative product cycle, consider allowing your customers in on the production process. With their feedback coming at you 10,000 miles per hour, you will be able to consistently improve your products. Your operations and administration will necessarily have to speed up in order to keep up with suggestions.
You can learn of the improvements that your customers want through social media for free. You no longer have to spend thousands of dollars on third-party focus groups and surveys – all of the information that you need to constantly improve is given to you on a daily basis. Refusing to use it is almost a sin, and ignoring it is a surefire way to lose the trust of your customers.
The successful companies of the future will engender trust with their customers today. Although every company’s strategy will be unique, you can certainly follow the tips above to properly order your steps in the right direction. Loyalty is everything – make it a priority to earn the trust of your customers. They are seeking your validation and approval every day through social media, in their responses to your email blasts, and in their opt-in subscription numbers. Give them what they are looking for and solidify your company’s place in the market as well.
About the author:
Reuben Yonatan is the founder and CEO of GetVoIP, a trusted VoIP resource that helps companies understand and choose a business communication solution for their specific needs. With a 10-year track record in building, growing and strategically shaping operational functionality in all his ventures, Reuben assists SMBs align business strategy with culture and improve overall corporate infrastructure.