Do not underestimate what trust can do for your business—especially when 83% of customers say they would happily recommend a business to others if they trusted it. While trust helps generate positive word-of-mouth, it also creates customer loyalty, which can help your business grow immensely as returning customers spend approximately 31% more than new customers. Customer trust and loyalty go hand in hand and are both crucial factors in a businesses long term success.
But how does a company get to the point where customers trust them enough to vouch for their products and services? While it’s not something that can be done overnight, there are actionable steps that can help pave the way towards this goal. Here are 5 tips you can start with:
1. Encourage your customers to leave reviews
Encourage your visitors and customers to leave reviews about your product and service. This shows customers you are listening to them and interested in their needs. Customer reviews can also help you uncover areas in which your business can do better, improving your ability to meet your customer’s needs.
Make sure reviews are visible and offer constructive, relevant information—regardless if the review focused on a product or your service. The more reviews you have on your site, the better, so make sure customers are encouraged to leave a favorable review of their experience after they conduct business with you.
2. Avoid shortcuts and clickbait tactics
Keep in mind that the way you market your business reflects on your actual products and service. If you’re trying to drive traffic to your site and take shortcuts by employing clickbait techniques or overpromising, you’re likely to lose your customers trust and future business. Be honest on what you can offer and make sure that you, at the very least, meet customer expectations. This will establish trust between you and your customers and create a strong foundation for creating a loyal customer base over time.
3. Don’t remove all negative feedback
You can’t please everyone—that is simply the reality of doing business in the real world. Customers understand that. With that said, don’t be too quick to delete the negative feedback that comes your way. It actually helps boost a product or service’s credibility. Instead, use the opportunity to show that you care about each one of your customers by responding to negative feedback. A review page with nothing but positive comments will likely make your customers assume that you are filtering out negative ones or are planting fake reviews. This can build distrust among your customers.
4. Put a lot of focus on your customer service
Not only is impeccable customer service great for your overall business reputation, but it also helps establish trust and builds long-term loyalty. Answer customer questions whenever you can, attend to their needs, take criticism with grace and address them.
In a lot of cases, all a customer wants is to know that their needs are being taken into consideration. Knowing that a company is going above and beyond their call of duty when it comes to customer service will illustrate how much your business cares about them.
5. Offer loyalty programs
To maintain trust and build long-term loyalty among customers, make sure that you incentivize them. The best and simplest way to do this is by implementing a loyalty program. Existing customers are 50% more likely than new customers to try new products. Offering loyalty programs to existing customers who are already interested in your products further strengthens their ties to your business and lets them know that you appreciate them.
Offering perks such as insider info, exclusive deals and special sales are some examples. You can try out various programs to see what your customers respond to best.
Building trust and loyalty among customers is something that takes time and resources. However, these five steps will get you started in the right direction. Always keep in mind that your customers simply want to feel heard and appreciated. The more ways you can show them they are valued, the more they will trust you and remain loyal to your organization.