How do you gain customer trust?

  1. customer
    Francois Badenhorst

    Francois Badenhorst Business Editor, UKBF & AWEB Staff Member

    Posts: 91 Likes: 18
    1 |

    Trust, specifically as it relates to business, is all over the headlines right now thanks to the ongoing Bell Pottinger scandal.

    It’s a story where Bell Pottinger, by no means angels to begin with, destroyed their business thanks to all sorts of nefarious maneuvers in service of a dodgy South African business family. The London based PR firm, in one ill judged move, destroyed its credibility.

    And there’s all sorts of collateral damage from the scandal, too. KPMG, the august audit and accounting firm, has also fallen under the microscope for its actions in South Africa. The firm stands accused of being incompetent at best and malfeasance at worst. Now KPMG is shedding clients left and right.

    So as far as public trust goes, we’ve had two blockbuster examples in a short space of time. Naturally, the businesses on UKBF aren’t KPMGs or Bell Pottingers. But gaining and maintaining customer trust is a universal travail in business.

    It’s a topic that reared that its head on the Forums recently when Mike_Cartwright asked: How do you earn the trust of your prospects/customers?

    A human touch - actually being present - is a good start. As Fisicx says: “Talking to them usually works well. What doesn't work so well is if there is no human interaction, eg: email contact only or automated responses.

    “Or one company I had contact with only ever communicated in tweets #useless.”

    The key, to paraphrase Clinton, is to project trust. “Don’t lie, don’t spam, don’t rip people off,” says Clinton. But it’s not all negative, projecting trust is a positive activity, too: replying promptly to enquiries, being fair, doing the ethical things “every single time”. “Stop worrying about sales so much and be honest with your customers, even if that means losing a sale”.

    People won’t just remember your business, they’ll remember you. That’s why a personal, attentive service is so crucial. The rapport you build up will pay off.

    WebshopMechanic summed it up neatly: “Try to listen to your prospects and pick up on something personal rather than just trying to sell. Then, when you speak to them again, you have an ice-breaker to open the conversation.”

    UKBF user Bainzee adds: “I've done well by having the simple mindset to educate people rather than to sell to them. Then the prospect knows that I know what I'm talking about and this is a great way to build trust.”

    Business philosophies aside, there are numerous practical steps to take as well. In particular, in our digital age, it’s vital that you focus on having a legit looking web presence.

    Webgeek suggests: putting your face on your website, clear phone number and contact details, clear and open pricing, customer testimonials (things like TrustPilot, Feefo, etc.). It’s bit of a tautology but being trustworthy means looking trustworthy.

    Ultimately, gaining trust stems from your own mindset and attitude. To give Clinton the last word: “Stop chasing money. Aim for something else instead - measure your success by how many lives you've improved, how many people you've made happy, how many puppies you've saved, whatever.”

    Now, that sounds like advice Bell Pottinger and KPMG could’ve used.

  2. Alex Kim

    Alex Kim UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    Posts: 5 Likes: 1
    Trust is everything in the world of business. Word of mouth is the most powerful and the most elusive method of marketing, so if you can take advantage of it you should.

    First, you need to get to the point where customers can trust you. These five methods will help your company gain the trust.
    1. Encourage Online Reviews
    2. Use Content Marketing by Giving People What They Want
    3.Don’t Remove Negative Feedback
    4. Create a Great Customer Service Team
    5. Loyalty Programs

    It’s clear that building customer trust takes time. There are no shortcuts to making this work. Keep doing things the right way and you will get the response you want.
    Posted: Sep 26, 2017 By: Alex Kim Member since: Sep 22, 2017