The power of trust isn’t to be underestimated. While it may take considerable time and effort to achieve, the rewards it can bring to businesses are widespread.
Regardless of whether you’ve just started out or have been established for several years, which sector you operate in or where you are based, trust applies to all businesses. It can last a lifetime and, at the same time, be lost in the blink of an eye.
But this blog isn’t about focusing on lost trust, it’s aimed at turning your attention to building trust and nurturing customer loyalty for many years to come. Trust is one of the catalysts for growth, without it, prospects wouldn’t become customers, and customers wouldn’t become loyal brand ambassadors.
However, when you’re focused on generating new leads and converting more customers into prospects as part of your growth plans, it’s easy to overlook your existing customers. To help prevent this from happening to you, here’s some best practice advice on maintaining that all-important consumer trust, regardless of how rapidly you grow.
Don’t Let Your Customer Service Slip – Ever
Your existing customers deserve to be treated with the same level of customer service as your new customers. As obvious as it may sound, one of the best ways to show your customers how much you value them is to provide them with exceptional customer service.
Responding promptly to their queries, giving them all the details they need, being polite at all times and dealing with any issues efficiently are just some of the ways this can be achieved. Always have in the back of your mind that it takes just one bad interaction for a customer to go elsewhere and never come back. What’s more, there’s no stopping them from sharing their bad experiences with others or on social media, which is the last thing you want. Where possible, always aim to pre-empt customer requirements by implementing good practices so there isn’t any room for dissatisfaction to creep in.
Make Your Customers Feel Valued (at All Times)
All of your customer interactions should ideally be positive ones, even if customers are contacting you with an issue. In the case of issues, look to turn them into positive experiences by listening to your customer, understanding their situation and providing them with a viable option to rectify the situation swiftly, with minimal hassle on their part.
In terms of everyday customer interaction, being responsive and reachable is essential. How long do they have to wait to speak to somebody if they call you? Is there an option for you to call them back so they don’t have to wait? Are they dealing with bots or people on live chat? Are they being treated as though their custom matters to you? Do they feel like just another number?
This is where social media platforms, such as Twitter, can be used to your benefit because they enable you to have open communication with your customers and help them instantaneously. (Note: you do have to be responsive at all times to prevent any negative issues from snowballing for all to see).
Reinforce the Reasons Why Your Customers Choose You
Fact – it’s a competitive world out there and generating a strong brand presence is key to standing out from your competitors. While customer feedback isn’t anything new, it is something that can be used to keep you at the forefront of people’s minds and reinforce why they should continue to choose you.
Regularly promoting your positive testimonials, reviews and case studies is a tried-and-tested tactic that works across multiple channels and has the ability to resonate with everybody. Sharing feedback from real-life satisfied customers will make them feel appreciated and clearly demonstrate you’re a company that’s trusted by others.
Review and Refine Your Customer Journey
Putting yourself in your customers’ shoes is something all businesses should do. In doing so, it’ll enable you to fully understand what it’s like to deal with your company from their perspective.
If you haven’t already done so, take the time to map out the entire customer journey, with a view to making sure that all of the touchpoints (moments your customers come into contact with you) are memorable for all the right reasons. The ultimate aim is to delight them at every touchpoint. It could involve something as simple as not spamming customers with sales messages, personalising your communications and showing them how much you value them, which brings us nicely to our final piece of advice…
Reward Your Customers for Their Loyalty
Who doesn’t love being rewarded without having to go above and beyond? We can’t think of anybody who’d say ‘no’ to this question. As simple as it sounds, acknowledge your existing customers by rewarding them for using your product or service.
How you choose to reward them is entirely up to you. It could be something as straightforward as offering them XX% off on their birthday or customer or product purchase anniversary. Or you could implement a dedicated loyalty scheme in which they collect points or something similar in return for something free or money off their next visit or purchase. Again, the rewards don’t have to be big and elaborate statements, but they do need to make your customers feel special. And if you’ve done your homework and put yourself in your customers’ shoes, you’ll have no problem with executing this tactic to full effect.
As the saying goes, ‘Trust takes years to build, seconds to break and forever to repair.’ If you aren’t already doing so, remember your existing customers at all times and nurture those valuable relationships with them because it will pay off in the long run.
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