Keeping the trust of your clients is essential if you want to grow your business successfully. All too often, entrepreneurs place such emphasis on winning new customers that they take their eye off the ball when it comes to maintaining their existing customer base. Of course, trust is key whether you are presenting to new potential clients or wanting to retain your current customers. To do so, you need to be professional but also appear to be professional at all times. That’s why the sort of modular stands available from ExpoCart for exhibitions are so good at conveying your enterprise’s professionalism even before you begin to talk about your products and services. Essentially, they start to build the sense of trust you will want to establish and then maintain over a long customer life-cycle. How else can you keep the trust of clients once you have won it?
Don’t Make Exaggerated Claims
It is always better to under-promise and over-deliver than to say you can do something when you simply cannot. This is because it is basic human psychology to feel you have been lied to when your expectations have been raised beyond a realistic level. Even if you are not outright lying to your customers – and few executives would admit to that – then the chances are that exaggerating your business’ ability to deliver will have just as much a detrimental impact on trust as being untruthful.
Be Visible – Especially When Things Go Wrong
Let’s say that you mix up a delivery and need to sort it out or that you have missed an order deadline and your customer is waiting impatiently for their goods. These things happen. Most reasonable people realise that delays occur sometimes for good reasons and that mistakes can happen even when a great deal of care is taken to get things right. Tough as it may be to face the music, it is better to be proactive when things go wrong. Explain to your customers that you understand there is a problem and that you are taking steps to remedy them. If you go underground, then frustration will set in that will erode trust and may mean future orders are cancelled. Keep your visibility high if you want to avoid this.
Invest In Data Security
Few businesses don’t collect information about their clients even if it is held in a database that only your team has access to. In the modern age, you don’t have to be an e-commerce business to have to take data security seriously. By investing in third-party data security measures run by experts, you can build trust among your customers that their personal data – especially their financial records – will not fall into the public domain or, worse still, into the hands of cyber criminals.
Be Consistent With Brand Messaging
To some extent, all sales and marketing activities are about communicating well. If you are inconsistent with your brand messages and identity, however, customers can begin to feel confused about what your business is really about. This is a particular problem for companies that are expanding rapidly, perhaps finding new customers in different demographics or market sectors. In such cases, it may be better to launch a separate brand within your organisation that serves these new client bases than to keep it all under one. This way, you can maintain your brand messaging to your current customers without them thinking that your business is no longer for them. Essentially, it is a question of maintaining trust in your brand whilst still being able to grow two or more client bases at the same time.
Augment Your After-Sales Service
If all of your customer service operation is aimed at new clients, then existing ones can feel left out. Make sure that your after-sales service is as good as it can be by providing high-quality technical support and so on to customers once they have made a purchase. If you sell products, rather than services, then consider extended warranties as a great way to build trust in the reliability of your range. For businesses that sell annual service packages, it is a good idea to check in with clients about their views after six months. Don’t leave it until renewal time when it may already be too late to win back lost trust. Another good tip is to offer a cooling-off period or a money-back guarantee in the first week or so following a sale, even if the law does not require it. After all, nothing says you are more trustworthy than that.
To keep your clients after you have won them means investing in staff skills as well as providing them with the necessary tools to do the job. Doing so will help your business to grow, even if you have some operational problems along the way. It is sometimes just as important as making a good first impression on day one!
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