Gaining Customer Trust – Part I: Hard Won, Easily Lost
I was reading an article the other day about how consumers’ trust in banks and the wider financial sector is at an all-time low. So it got me thinking about the role trust plays in the customer-business relationship, and where, in the delivery of their products & services, financial institutions, brands, and program managers may be putting customer trust in danger.
When you think about it, trust between a customer and a business, product, or service really boils down to three things:
Looking after the customer’s best interests.
Being personal, transparent, and honest.
Delivering what you say you will.
I see these as the three pillars of building customer trust. They make perfect sense at a very basic level: Customers are humans beings and it is human nature to observe others – how they act, what they say, their tone, etc. – and decide whether they trust a person or not. They do the same with businesses. The three pillars are simple enough, but implementing them throughout your business is not. Customers don’t miss a beat and one slip-up can damage trust. With trust being the glue that holds relationships together, damaging it will cost you, customers.
Given that customer trust is so essential to a business’s long-term success I thought the topic deserves a seriously deep dive. One post would just not do this topic justice so we will blogging on this topic over the next few weeks, taking a look at the areas – service delivery, customer service, etc. – that businesses should focus on to ensure that they are delivering on the three pillars mentioned above.