Customer Experience News & Trends

4 red flags customers have stopped trusting you

Trust is tough to earn with customers … and oh-so-easy to lose. And once trust is gone, loyalty will follow. Here’s how to tell customers’ trust is wavering.

Companies and the people who work on the front line sometimes lose touch with what customers want, need and expect. It’s an unfortunate effect of trying to keep up with current demands.

Customers won’t likely tell you outright they’re having doubts, but there are signs the relationship is breaking down.

Watch what they do and don’t do

Here’s what to look for:

  1. They get advice elsewhere. It may not seem like much when customers say, “I heard somewhere that …” or “I read something about …” If you’re a trusted salesperson, service pro or advisor, they wouldn’t likely be hearing or reading other information. These phrases are signs customers are seeking advice from experts other than you — and possibly building new relationships.
  2. They’re quiet. If customers aren’t giving you as much feedback as they used to, it’s likely they don’t think you’re listening to them. They won’t complaint, offer suggestions or even compliment. Instead, they’ll walk away quietly.
  3. They contact you less frequently. If customers’ orders are coming in later, or they miss making a regular order, they’re likely expressing their dissatisfaction passively. Even worse, they might be exploring other options, and, until a better one surfaces, they’ll ride out a contract with you — doing as little as they have to do to meet their contractual obligations.
  4. They question more. Customers who are losing trust in your organization or the people they deal with usually start questioning more — perhaps your policies, processes, contracts, promises and practices. It’s a sign they feel something isn’t on the up-and-up or they don’t like where the relationship’s going.

What to do

The best bet for any organization is to monitor accounts for these kinds of activities.

Encourage service and sales reps to note changes in customers’ attitudes. Set up alerts for times when order frequency drops or orders are eliminated all together.

Have a team — or at least one point person — who can reach out to customers whose interest and trust is potentially lagging.

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