One of the most important aspects of building a successful business is creating a trusting relationship with your customers. Many companies do not take this particular skill seriously and it hurts them in the end. Customer service is extremely important, especially in this day and age of social media. Happy customers drive business, whereas unhappy customers can kill a business at an extremely fast pace. It’s all about word of mouth and that can work with lightening speed through the Internet and social media.
Studies show that 58% of customers tell their friends about bad customer service experiences. In fact, disappointment with customer service is the #1 reason customers leave a business. If you want a successful business, customer service will be the key.
10 ways to build a trusting relationship with your customers
1. Be Genuine– Show your customers that they are a priority and that you truly care about their needs. Let them see the person behind the business. This is important, even when communicating through social media.
2. Respect Your Customers— Patience and respect go a long way to resolving customer concerns before they escalate and become serious problems. 89% of customers do business with a competitor after a bad customer experience . If customers feel valued and respected, they will be much more willing to discuss options and work together for a solution.
3. Listen— Really listen to your customers. Not only will they feel like you truly care about them, but it will also give you feedback and let you know what things you could do to improve your business. There are many different ways to obtain feedback from your customers such as surveys, social media, email and more.
4. Continue to Satisfy– A business is never stagnant–it is either improving or declining. Continue to provide services and specials that will cater to your customers’ needs. Improve services as needed and come up with new services that will enhance their experience with your company.
5. Treat your Customer Like a Valued Partner–Let your customers know that you value their opinion. Work quickly to solve issues that might come up and take feedback seriously.
6. Build Trust— It takes 12 positive experiences to make up for a negative one. Trust is a fragile thing and can be easily broken. Alert customers when making changes to your company, especially major ones. Sudden changes don’t go over well. Let your customers know how the changes will affect them and what they can expect.
7. Be transparent–Honesty is the best policy. When your business makes a mistake, own up to it. Don’t always try to be right. Customers are willing to forgive and still give good recommendations when they feel that a company has been upfront and honest with them.
8. Follow Through on your Promises— Nothing can hurt your business or destroy trust more than not following up on your promises. Be realistic in your goals and expectations, both for your business and your customers.
9. The Customer is Always Right— Once a library charged me for damage to a book that I did not do. When I confronted them, their response was that many people lie so they can’t trust me. That was a BAD customer service choice. I later learned that I wasn’t the only one that they had dealt with in a distasteful manner. I warned everyone I knew to beware of borrowing books from that specific library (there were a lot of libraries to choose from). Take responsibility for your business. Have a customer service plan that will turn unhappy customers into your strongest allies.
10. Always Say Thank You– Always let your customers know that you appreciate them and their business. Really, they are the reason you are in business in the first place. Make sure your gratitude is catered specifically to the customer. No one likes a fill-in-the-blank form letter. Showing sincere gratitude for your customers is one of the best ways to keep them for the long haul.
Source: To read more check out: http://blog.kissmetrics.com/true-love-with-customers/