7 ways to build customers’ trust

14th Dec 2015

In an era when customers face an ever-increasing range of choice, competition is intensifying and 24-hour media is the norm, the relationship between trust and customer satisfaction has never been clearer.

To ensure organisations maintain strong relationships with their customers, we’ve identified seven ways to build trust through improved service techniques, as outlined in our report: Can customer service create trust? 

1. Integrate your service strategies

Organisations need to understand how customer service can help them achieve their business goals. A genuine strategic commitment to service at board level will filter down to those on the front line of a business, and customers will recognise this. 

2. Be transparent  

Transparency can make a world of difference when it comes to building trust. Communication between businesses and consumers should always be straightforward and clear. One way to do this is to report on performance to key stakeholders, including customers, employees and shareholders.

3. First impressions count

The importance of a customer’s first contact with an organisation – whether in person, over the phone or through online interaction – should not be underestimated. This is especially relevant when a customer reports a problem, as this Tesco employee’s response to a customer complaint demonstrates. A rapid and personal response (via social media) gave the customer confidence that his “new supermarket friend” was on the same wavelength. 

4. Employ an ‘omnichannel’ strategy 

According to our research, organisations that receive the highest ratings for customer satisfaction and trust score consistently across all the channels of communication they use. It’s therefore vital that customers’ experiences are seamless, easy to navigate and allow them to deal with an organisation in the way they choose. 

5. Seek external endorsement 

Independent accreditation demonstrates a commitment to customer service and shows a business meets defined standards. ServiceMark is a respected national standard that recognises this commitment and improves customers’ confidence in companies. 

6. Prepare for all eventualities

More often than not, the way in which an organisation communicates with its customers in a crisis is as important as the cause of the crisis itself. While you can rarely predict when a crisis might occur, you can put contingency plans in place to help mitigate one. 

7. Keep employees happy

Our research shows there is a clear link between employee engagement and positive customer experiences. As the relationship economy evolves, the former will become even more crucial to building trust with customers, so it’s worth gauging levels of engagement. 

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