In a downturned economy it is often more important to maintain and keep current clients than it is to find new clients. One of the major reasons customers leave a business for another provider is due to a lack of trust. Maintaining your customers’ trust can often be a difficult task and needs to be a part of corporate culture and business processes in daily operations. One of the most effective ways to maintain a customer’s trust is through effective and communicative customer service.
One of the most important ways to maintain consumer trust is to provide effective communication. Keeping the lines of communication open in all their forms including telephone, email, newsletters, and social media enables customers to rely on your company for relevant and up-to-date information. This information provides the necessary framework for customers to make decisions on purchases from your company in a knowledgeable way. By having more information available to consumers, they can make impulse purchases as well as researched purchases at their convenience. As soon as this effective communication drops off, consumers can often feel alienated and their level of satisfaction with your company can drop off as well. This will almost always result in a drop in sales.
One of the best ways to maintain and keep trust of customers is to provide the most up-to-date and relevant information in as many ways as possible. One of the largest trust factors for many customers is to find a corporate website and use it as a research base for their decision. This corporate website should be well developed with accurate and up-to-date information without broken links, pop-up ads or other banner type ads on the website. Ensuring that the customer focus of the website is proven through relevant pictures, text, video and other online content provides a great information base for decision-making purchases. If your company is in a technical industry, keep jargon to a minimum and provide explanations in nonprofessional terms in order to provide information that is understandable to your clients.
Any promises should be kept to consumers no matter the cost. Corporate reputations are often built on word-of-mouth or public review forums. By failing to deliver on promises made without effective communication, trust can easily be severed not just for one customer but for the masses. It is much better to under promise and over deliver, always providing better service than a customer expects. Another way to manage a customer trust relationship is to manage expected outcomes which can only be done through effective communication. In this aspect always consider the perspective of the consumer and go the extra mile to fulfill their expectations. Processes within every corporation should be developed to recognize failures and address not only the immediate concern but also the long-term process that added to the failure. Customer care service is the front line for any corporation in ensuring these employees or third party vendors are well trained in every aspect of the company.
Customer loyalty in times of economic turmoil can provide a base of revenue that is consistent and can be relied upon. However, when trust is broken consumers can often be fair weather friends, and corporate revenues can dry up almost overnight. Ensure your customer care services identify well with the corporate brand and encourage brand loyalty at every opportunity.