Customer Experience News & Trends

5 ways to boost trust with customers

Trust is the foundation for the next great interaction. So you want trust at the heart of your customer experience. 

The problem is, there are so many things that can break down trust: data breaches, one bad service interaction gone viral, product recalls, poor customer experiences, etc.

Everyday actions and attitudes on the front-line and behind the scenes can boost – or even rebuild – trust with customers, according to SiriusDecisions’ Isabel Montesdeoca, Service Director of Demand Marketing, and Peter Ostrow, Research Director of Sales Enablement Strategies.

Here are five strategies that work.

Change the focus

“You want to move from ‘What’s in it for the company?’ to ‘What’s in it for the customer?'” Montesdeoca said when she recently spoke at the SiriusDecisions 2019 Summit.

One key is to take cues from customers on an individual level. Find out and respect their contact preferences. If they prefer calls, make it easy for them to get someone on the phone. If they opt out of email blasts, make sure you pull them from your database.

Get personal

“Match customers’ signals – explicit and implicit,” Montesdeoca said.

Some customers want to feel a personal relationship with the companies, salespeople and service professionals they work with. Others like to keep it strictly business. Making sure you do what they prefer is a way to personalize the customer relationship and build trust.

Ask customers their preferences as far as frequency of contact and type of contact. But don’t just act on what they say. Track their activity and respond in the ways they reach out.

Be dynamic

You can improve trust and nearly every customer relationship with what you gather each time you interact.

“Every interaction can be designed to make an ongoing evaluation of the data, signals and the temperature of the relationship,” Ostrow said. “Then you know how to offer what they need when they need it.”

Bottom line: If you consistently keep tabs on how customers interact with you, what they like and don’t like, and their satisfaction, you can adapt to their changing demands, needs and preferences.

Be interconnected

Disconnects within organizations and between employees often break down customer trust. Customers get frustrated and lose faith in companies when they work with one employee who doesn’t know anything about their many interactions with other people and service channels.

“Every employee should be aware of customer needs, regardless of whether they work with customers or not, or the touch points customers have had,” Ostrow said.

Good internal systems should allow all employees to access customer and account information so they take the next step for customers based on the previous steps.

Make it effortless

Effortless experiences are the keystone of customer trust.

“You want to reduce the friction,” Montesdeoca said. “Get customers to their goals faster, at a profitable level, and deliver value and relevance.”

How? It takes anticipating customers’ motions and re-imagining how you can make those easier. “Constantly thinking about how to make things easier, actually,” Montesdeoca said.

One tip on looking at things from every angle comes from a pro who creates websites for SiriusDecisions’ customers: When she creates a self-service tool – almost anything that customers see online – she asks her teenage son how it looks to find out if it’s appealing to see and makes sense to use. Then she asks her retired mother to try using the site to get perspective on how easy it is (or isn’t) to navigate.

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