Make Your Customers Feel Valued
The long term success of any business largely depends on customer trust. Trust is earned by paying attention to customer’s needs and keeping and eye on whether customers are happily satisfied. Most business owners agree that when customer’s feel valued they will trust you and your brand. Therefore, it’s imperative to make building trust with customers a focus for small businesses. As a business owner, you should ask: “What is it that will make our customers keep coming back to us?” – often, and then do what you can to pivot your policies and procedures accordingly.
Here are a few statistics about customer trust:
- Improving customer retention by just 5% can increase profitability by up to 95%. (Bain)
- 80% of your future revenue comes from 20% of current customers. (Gartner)
- Repeat customers spend 67% more than new customers. (Bain)
- Repeat customers spend more than double their original expenditure if they have been customers for more than two years. (Harvard Business School)
As you can see, these statistics prove that investing in your past clients and making their needs top of mind, really pays off in the long run. As a matter of fact, building customer trust doesn’t require a fortune or countless hours. Many small businesses and startups have found success through dedicated customer service desks that quickly and effectively address any customer concerns and issues as they arise.
So how can you gain your customers’ trust and what should be done to make them feel valued?
Here are some important strategies that will build trust with your customers:
1. Respond positively and happily to customer’s concerns
Always be available to your customers and happily respond to their queries. It is important to positively interact with customers and be on your toes to readily address their concerns right away. They will really appreciate this gesture. The fact is customers always have questions, and if no one is accessible to them to have their issues resolved, they will seek help elsewhere. Therefore without a quick, positive response, the first customer trust casualty could be your credibility.
In this age of instant messaging, online chats and the many social sharing tools available, there is no point in making your customers wait for days. To really build customer trust, you need to be aware of and focus on improving your response time. It’s important to use a dedicated service channel with capable staff that can happily provide any assistance necessary. Emails should be answered within a few hours. Furthermore, social media can also be used for customer service as much as it is used for spreading brand awareness.
Whatever method you chose to respond to customer’s concerns focus on timeliness and speed of response first.
2. Update customers on industry trends
Keeping up with concerns and trends in your industry will keep you sharp and allow you to respond to their needs. Occasional reminders and industry updates will positively impact your relationship and build trust. This strategy will help you on two counts. One, it establishes you as a knowledgeable, go-to resource who is working hard to keep relations good. Secondly, staying up on industry trends is a non-invasive way to illustrate the importance of your product or service. In the end, being more of an expert and sharing industry information will invariably help you build credibility and trust with your customers
3. Offer customers personalized service or package
Customers always love it when you remember them. It builds a good impression from the start. Similarly, when you offer a personalized service, product or price for your valued clientele, you develop a bond with them. People feel more trusting of you when you have a custom or handpicked product or service for them only.
Another way to build customer trust and loyalty is to acknowledge special occasions. For instance, you could make a specialized offer or a personalized gift item on a day that is important to them, like a birthday. You can give them gift items with personalized labels and stickers. This personal touch will be heartfelt to your customers for sure. Making a customer feel important helps to build trust.
4. Be honest with your customers
The age-old adage, “honesty is the best policy” is true in every relationship. And being honest and transparent means recognizing your strengths as well as your weaknesses. If your product or service isn’t fit for your prospect, you should be honest with them. Clarity in your brand’s product or service helps guide your prospect in the right direction, even if he/she chooses your competitor. Honesty is true to you… and even if you lose a customer who is not a great fit, it shows you care about their needs. Your willingness to help and guide them to a more appropriate solution helps them achieve the results they’re looking for. Honesty therefore will truly build trust and help you build a long-term relationship and grow your business.
5. Listen and respond to customer feedback
Remember when your customers take time to provide feedback, it is important for you to listen and respond. Customer’s experiences and feedback will help you gauge what improvements your customers desire. Their desires will ultimately help you improve your product or service. The truth is as a customer, it’s extremely annoying to call about the same problem, over and over. Set up ways to listen to your customers let them always know that their feedback is important.
Once you’ve listened to your customer’s needs, you need to act. Customers will feel most valued when you bring improvements to your product or service based on their recommendations. Based on the feedback given by your customers, you can let them know when the improved products or services become available, and thank them for their honesty in providing feedback for improvement. When customers are happy, they trust you and recommend your services to others. Therefore, responding to customer feedback with improvements to your products and services is an essential step to build customer trust.
Gaining your customer’s trust and making them feel special is a successful way of building client loyalty and future-proofing your business. Trust won by following the five suggestions in this article demonstrates your commitment to quality and excellence. At any point of your business journey, you can audit your customer policies, and review your procedures to make sure you demonstrate care and concern for your customers and continue to provide them with what they really need. When you do, you’ll undoubtedly build trust and loyalty.
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