7 Tips to Building Trust With Your Customers
Mar 6, 2020
It’s common in business to hear that old saying, ‘People do business with people (and companies) they know, like and trust.’ From my experience working with a variety of business owners and people in all walks of professional life, there is something even more important in play now.
Certainly, one of the biggest factors in building a successful business is finding and keeping your customers’ trust. In fact, 83% of consumers will recommend a brand to others if they trust it, and 82% will continue to buy from companies that they trust – and spend about 31% more than first-time customers.
But that trifecta – ‘know, like and trust’ – is now presumed. It’s the minimum requirement, not the gold standard.
And for anyone considering which is the best promotional product to use to establish more 'know, like and trust,' what I learned from years in business on top of years on the golf course is that people want to do business with people with whom they are interested in building … or maintaining ... more than just a superficial connection.
People now want to do business with people who will spend time building a real relationship. And picking the right promotional product gift supports that.
Sure, there are times when we do business out of necessity. But when someone is top of mind because they took the time to reach out to us as people first, the desire to business grows.
So, the question is: How do you build that kind of connection with your customers?
Here are 7 tips to help you get started:
- Communicate. Communication is a huge part of building and maintaining any relationship. Even while more tasks pile up and we get busier and busier, taking time to send a quick note, make a phone call outside of a sales cycle or even send a promotional product gift goes a long way. While you will always talk to your customers when they are in the process of buying your product or service, it’s important to keep in touch with them on a regular basis. Keep them updated on what’s going on in the company, give them tips, ask questions, send them a ‘thinking of you’ gift – make them feel how much you care.
- Be Authentic. No matter what title you hold or office you sit in, when you build a connection with someone you are the face of your company. People are actually doing business with you, and will continue to do business with you if they believe that you are being honest and genuine while really caring. Share your successes and failures and the lessons that you’ve learned in the process. And don’t make it a one-way conversation. It will go a long way to building relationships with your customers.
- Be Reliable. Keep your promises. If you tell your customer something will be done by a certain date, make sure that you deliver. Of course in a tech-heavy world, there are always glitches in the process – but in those cases, be upfront and let them know what’s going on (see #1 above). Because that’s what people who care about each other do.
- Own Your Mistakes. Things happen that may or may not be in your control: delayed shipping, miscommunication – the list goes on. The key is to not sweep it under the carpet or blame someone (or something) else. Owning your mistakes, apologizing and correcting them will go a long way to building trust. In fact, how you handle the situation can turn a dissatisfied customer into a raving fan overnight. The key here is to own not just the problem, but also the solution. Apologies fall flat when no solution is offered.
- Provide Testimonials. When choosing to purchase a product or service from a company you haven’t used before, testimonials of others can make or break a sale. In fact, most people will seek out the opinions of others – even strangers – before making a purchase. They’ll also seek those opinions to make them feel better about a purchase they’ve already made. Ask your current customers to provide a quick testimonial on your products, services or company in general with permission to share it, then use those on your website and social media platforms to give a glimpse into what others think of you.
- Ask for Feedback. While this may seem obvious, it is often overlooked. Asking for customer feedback serves two purposes: (1) to understand what your customers think of the products or services you provide, and (2) to make your customers feel that their opinion matters. Too often, when the deal is sealed, communication ends. But that’s not how real relationships work. Feedback is just part of what keeps the relationship growing. But keep in mind that you need to do something with that feedback: acknowledge what’s been said and adjust accordingly. If there is negative feedback, act on it quickly and communicate the results to the customer (see #1 and #4 above).
- Keep It Growing. Too often, people put time and effort into building a relationship leading up to the sale but then drop the relationship as soon as the sale is done. That means that the relationship is at risk for being on cooling down or being lost. Both of those are costly. I know – I’ve worked with many business owners who needed help trying to rescue a relationship after realizing that they dropped the ball. Consistent attention is better for everyone and it allows relationships to grow over time – which is better for the people involved and the business.
Building solid relationships take time. In the long run, it will not only lead to a stronger connection with your current customers – it will also attract new customers with ease. And it takes that old ‘know, like and trust’ factor up a notch or two. These are the lessons that I have put into practice to build Wearable Imaging over the last 28 years – and I can help you too. Give me a call at 949.888.7837 or email me at email@example.com to set up your complimentary strategy session. Let me share with you some ideas on how to stay connected and grow your relationships.
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