Building Trust Improves Customer Service

John Krautzel
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Customers and clients have increasing amounts of choice in today's marketplace, and the key elements that attract or retain your customers are great customer service and a bond of trust. If you place building customer trust at the top of your priority list, you're likely to find your investment paying off in customer loyalty. Take a look at a few ways to focus on building trust with your customers.

Respond Rapidly

Make responding to your customers quickly your top customer service priority. With the speed of today's social media, a complaint about your products or service can go viral and speed around the world before you've glanced at the day's mail. Stay on top of customer reactions, and respond right away. When a buyer goes public with a complaint, respond quickly and personally with your efforts to make things right. Doing so not only helps you retain the person with the complaint; it also helps everyone reading the social media exchange feel a sense of trust that your company takes the time and effort to keep customers happy.

Be Transparent

Always be truthful and completely transparent in your interactions with your customers. Even a hint that you're hiding something or not telling the whole truth can break the bond of trust between buyer and seller. Go out of your way to keep your customers fully informed about your products, and provide frequent updates on your efforts to fix any problems when anything goes awry. Establish standing relationships with your best clients, and send out newsletters, emails and tweets to keep the lines of communication open at all times. If your customers know they can count on you to tell the truth, you've strengthened the trust relationship you have with them.

Train Your Customer Service Staff

Of course you're training your customer service staff on all the facets of your products and services that customers might need to know about. Go a step beyond this by adding training on how to empathize with clients. Keeping customers happy can involve defusing frustration, so provide your staff with scripts and language to help them calm down angry customers. Give your employees frequent training to help them learn how to see things from the customer's point of view, and make sure they're constantly updated on any new product launches, troubleshooting tips and product features that customers might need help with. Great communication can make all the difference in keeping your best customers loyal.

A customer who knows he can count on your for honesty, quick response and empathy is one who is likely to maintain a bond of trust with your company through the years. Building customer trust starts with company policies that value these qualities as well as customer service training that keep your staff true to your firm's values throughout all customer interactions.

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