EIGHT WAYS TO BUILD CUSTOMER TRUST AND LOYALTY
Before we part with our hard-
Here are eight ways to build a solid bridge of trust with both new and long-
1. CREATE REALISTIC CUSTOMER EXPECTATIONS. Guide your customer to a clear understanding
of exactly what you will provide. Detail what is included in your service and what
isn't. Explain what will result in added fees, and how and when you'll be billing.
SIDE TIP: It's tempting to promise whatever the client asks for without checking
the schedule or verifying that it's feasible. Over-
2. EXPLAIN THE PROCESS. When clients understand how and why things work, it helps them to know what to expect and when to expect it. By understanding procedures in advance and then seeing them in action, your client's trust factor builds as things progress.
3. CLARIFY THE CLIENT'S ROLE IN THE PROCESS. When clients understand their part, they know in advance what they'll need to be involved with and what progress will happen without further decisions. Be specific about what the client needs to do. As work moves forward, it will help you to work as a team, which in turn builds trust.
4. POINT OUT POTENTIAL PITFALLS. This is against some companies religion, but it usually brings a greater degree of trust because, quite frankly, things CAN go wrong. Reasonable people accept this. By pointing out possible problems ahead of time, it not only inserts a reality check into the process, but softens the blow should something happen down the line. Caveat: communication and due diligence are keys to this being successful.
5. REVIEW THE CONTRACT THOROUGHLY. Go over all agreements in detail with the client.
Trust takes time to build but is easily broken. A glossed-
6. NEVER MAKE YOUR CLIENT FEEL STUPID. The best way to avoid accidentally impressing your client in this way is to keep their value in the forefront of your mind. It's unlikely that you set out to make a client feel stupid, and people come with all sorts of sensitivities that can be accidentally triggered. It could be an attitude, an offhand comment, or a look that gives the wrong impression. Stay conscious of your thoughts. They can easily surface without your noticing. Speak carefully.
7. DON'T ALLOW INTERRUPTIONS. Give your client your full attention. Taking calls
on your cell phone, or allowing other matters to distract you from the moment can
make your client feel unimportant. And don't rush the conversation -
8. KEEP ALL AGREEMENTS. Deliver what you promise. Even a small thing like arriving a few minutes late can break trust. If you need to amend something due to circumstances, most people will be reasonable and work with you if you include them in the process (use good communication skills!).
Riding High Inc.
P.O. Box 1016
Eureka, Mt. 59917
Ph. & Fax (406)889-