Best Practices to Build Customer Trust

“The goal is not to sell a bag; it is to build a relationship of confidence and trust with the customer,” – Damien Vernet

The complicated markets and the multiplicity of commercial relationships typical of modern times make it mandatory for a business enterprise to consistently build customer trust. The efforts must primarily proceed from the belief that the customer is central to the success and longevity of any enterprise. A business may choose to offer excellent service to all customers in a bid to gain a competitive edge in the market. Customer trust and confidence remain vital for every business, not just to win repeat orders, but also because these attributes act as a bulwark against the vagaries of market competition and the emergence of threats to the business enterprise. For instance, a jewellery showroom that stocks a variety of precious metals, gems, and diamonds for sale to customers may rely on excellent service standards to win customer dollars. This plank could comprise the foundation of the jeweller’s corporate reputation. The said business may invest significantly in its efforts to build customer trust because of its firm belief in the fact that such trust will help to expand the business in the future.

Entrepreneurs, business operators, and corporate chieftains must acknowledge the fact that the modern customer can prove to be a finicky creature, because he or she has a plethora of options in terms of every conceivable product and service. However, business growth and a steady expansion of the customer base remain mandatory goals for any business that seeks to operate and flourish in the long term. Given the inherent conflict in the above, every business must work to show customers that it cares for them, that its goals are coterminous with customer expectations, and that the business remains committed to its customers every business day. This approach can help to build customer trust and enhance customer confidence in a business’s ability to deliver. In addition to the above, a business must resolve to address customer complaints and concerns at the earliest, share relevant information with customers, and ignite pride and passion in business activities.

Every business practice need not be focused on the outside world. This implies that a business enterprise must adequately adjust, tweak, and tune its internal processes in a bid to promote and build customer trust. The norms and best practices of customer service should be drilled into every employee and contractor that serves a business enterprise. This is an important starting point in building a durable rapport with customers because employees and contractors represent the human face of a business enterprise. For instance, a building services firm may choose to sensitise its staff members to place the customer first in the course of every business transaction. The business may send its employees and contractors to serve customers at distant locations, but a unified training regime that emphasises the customer’s point of view above all else is sure to help the said enterprise to earn an enviable business reputation. We could say that these employees and contractors are the ambassadors of the said enterprise and their levels of motivation, performance, and customer-centricity could help place the business on a high pedestal that defeats the commercial competition. A consistent approach to meeting and exceeding the customer’s expectations can help the said enterprise to build customer trust while laying the foundations for a long-term business relationship with clients and customers.

Winning the trust of the customer should be a firm-wide commitment in every business enterprise. The momentum in the processes designed to build customer trust must commence from the first contact with a new customer. The business must work to enhance and reinforce the customer experience from the first contact through service delivery, implementation, and after sales support. This sequence can be brief or may be an extended process, depending on the nature of the business; however, a full commitment to the customer should ideally be the constant element attending these steps. Customers, both internal and external, should sense the total commitment of the business through to the final stages of the business transaction. For instance, a bespoke software manufacturer should seek to build customer trust by hand holding the customer through all the steps of the business engagement through to final delivery of the software product. We must note that timelines committed to the customer must be treated as sacrosanct, but the software manufacturer should never allow time to be a constraint in the delivery of a superior product and an outstanding customer experience. Consequent to the above, the business may gain repeat orders from the customer or may win customer referrals that bear the potential to contribute significantly to the bottom line of the said business. The very nature of software products indicates that the manufacturer may have to attend to outstanding issues in the operation of the product; by attending to such instances with alacrity, the said manufacturer may cement its reputation in the market and create a stellar instance of customer delight.

Flexibility in business operations and a zero-tolerance approach to product and service flaws can help an enterprise to build customer trust. We could consider the case of an oil-field services contractor that assists clients globally with services that are consequent to energy exploration initiatives. This contractor offers a wide range of consultancy services in every geography. The firm’s steadfast performance in its duties may win long-term clients but the firm needs to establish solid business credentials to win new customers. An integrated strategy to win new clients may include initiatives designed to build customer trust, combined with value additions that sets the contractor apart from the market competition. We note that the said firm may boost its range of services and assign experienced business executives to service new clients and thereby create emphatic business wins. In addition, the services contractor may choose to add value to its operations by adding innovation to its mix of services and by offering discounts and special offers to new clients. This approach to conducting business may help the contractor to establish a solid business reputation and smoothen the process of sealing new contracts in its sphere of competence. We note that the initiatives designed to build customer trust remain the bedrock of such business strategies.

In the preceding paragraphs, we have examined some of the tactics and strategies that can afford businesses significant opportunities to build customer trust. A consistent delivery of high value business services and flawless products can help any firm to win the confidence of clients and customers. This attribute of trust in business relationships is priceless and can said to act as a force multiplier between the business and its clients and customers. In addition, regular conversations with customers should be par for the course in every customer transaction. These interactions can yield valuable insights into the customer’s mind set and can help businesses to unlock significant value in the course of business operations. These processes should be embedded in every business transaction irrespective of contract value or the standing of the client. We note that a solid business reputation remains the outcome of years of consistent operational performance, a patient approach to unearthing client requirements, flexibility in business operations, and boundless enthusiasm to help the client attain business success.

 

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