Customers like to do business with brands that show appeal and savviness, perhaps using clever marketing campaigns and offering great loyalty programs. Indeed, attracting customers is one step to gaining their long-term loyalty, but a critical step must take place before any customer becomes a loyal follower: building the customer’s trust. It’s one thing for a brand to be likeable but yet another to inspire confidence in its customers—likeability does not necessarily mean reliability. So what steps do brands need to take to build a foundation of trust with their customers?
Be sincere with a personal touch. Always be polite and respectful with customers, such as addressing them by name, checking for clarity during an interaction, and apologizing for any difficult situations. Customers not only deserve such respect and empathy but need to know that brands value them as people who don’t have time or money to waste. Never forget that time is crucial: answering customers as quickly as possible, keeping them updated about deliveries and any pertinent information that affects them, and following up after customer service cases have been resolved, for example.
Give customers a seamless experience. Eliminating barriers and saving customers’ time are critical to building their trust. Allowing customers to switch seamlessly from one channel to another as needed can be vital to solving an issue or closing a sale with complete customer satisfaction. Optimizing the customer service experience with features such as IVR menus, callbacks, thorough FAQs, strong omnichannel service, and a company website that is optimized for mobile can give customers options while saving them time.
Be consistent. Consistency is the key to reliability. Agents should be trained to deliver quality service with knowledge of the latest brand updates and a consistent script (at least consistent in answers; an agent’s personal touch is always good). Information should also be accessible across all channels and when switching between desktop and mobile versions of a company website. When deliveries are scheduled, the process should always be the same and completely reliable: order placed, delivery scheduled, customer notified with a tracking number, and so on. In addition, departments need to communicate efficiently so as to avoid repeating information to customers, while there should be a seamless transition from one department or agent to the next when customers are transferred during an interaction.
Ask for customer feedback. Valuing customers’ opinions is one solid way to build trust. Asking for customer feedback via post-contact surveys, periodic surveys, and regularly on social media shows customers that you are confident enough to welcome comments yet open-minded enough to trust your customers’ suggestions for making the brand even better. Building trust is also a valuable way to inspire customers to become true advocates. If a customer gives an overall low score on a survey, contacting the customer by phone is a good way to better understand their customer service needs as a call can rebuild trust where it may have been lost.
Show them your appreciation. Loyalty programs are great incentives for customers to keep coming back, such as offering vouchers and coupons. But in tricky situations that involve frustrated customers, it may be important to make goodwill gestures to rebuild trust. For example, if a customer experiences a delayed delivery or a technical issue that is taking too long to resolve, offering a statement credit or voucher is a proactive and professional way to please the customer while showing the customer that your brand holds a high standard for excellent service.
In order to gain customers’ long-term loyalty, brands must first ensure that they take the necessary steps toward building customer trust. Learn about Vocalcom contact center software solutions for delivering excellent customer service.
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