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Why trust is key to improving customer experience

TRUST is more than a 5-letter word - and your customers know it!

Photo by Sam Kolder from PexelsPhoto by Sam Kolder from Pexels

What are the key elements your customers expect when dealing with a business or representative?

Just like you, they want consistency, the right answers, an outcome and a knowledgeable employee to communicate with. Your customers want to trust that they will be treated respectfully and receive a fast resolution to their problem or query.

If your customers don’t trust – it’s over. So how do you ensure you have all your bases covered and all your ducks in a row? We’ve devised an easy to remember acronym to remind you what’s important to your customers.

TRUST = time, resolution, urgency, service, truth

Time

It’s precious to everyone, to you it means money, and for your customers, time is just as valuable. Delivering the right answers in the first instance saves you time and money but it also shows your customers that you respect their time and appreciate their business.

When you know exactly where to look and how to carry out a task for your customer, you can deliver your service in the most efficient way possible – and that’s a huge part of the customer experience. Make it easy for your teams to locate the right information and present your employees with information that’s relevant to their work and their customers most common queries, so they can perform their jobs better.

Resolution

A failure to resolve is a failure to be trustworthy. Your customers trust that you will be able to resolve their question or concern and you need to empower your people with the resources to do just that.

When customers come to you with a problem, they expect a reasonable result or resolution to that problem. If they’re applying for council approval, or finance – they expect that regardless of what the outcome is – there will be one.

Talk to your customers with confidence, knowing you have the tools to give them what they need. Come to a resolution with easy to follow processes and instructions and make sure all team member training is up-to-date and complete. When everyone in your company has the knowledge they need, you have no holes, and no gaps. You are resolute.

Urgency

Urgency is not about the time you spend on the phone to someone, it’s about their emotional connection to the service you provide. Whatever the problem is, or the reason they’ve contacted you, it’s urgent to them and the priority is showing you appreciate the importance of their specific need.

There are four types of customers and which ones you have more of will dictate your success: advocates, happy customers, passive customers and detractor customers

Passive customers can damage your brand because they haven’t been given the service they expected, and they don’t trust it will get any better. ‘Detractor’ customers can severely damage your brand reputation, because they are actively dis-satisfied and want others to know it. The more unhappy someone is, the more likely they are to talk, so whilst that should not be the reason for treating each customer with urgency in mind, it’s a very compelling one.

You want your customers to be your advocates, so make them feel like they are your top priority every time – and that even if their inquiry isn’t urgent to them, it is to you.

Service

It seems like the most obvious thing in customer service – the service itself. But because it’s often taken for granted, many employees find themselves struggling to provide the kind of service customers want and need. Service encapsulates the whole experience but it’s also more specifically about your ability to provide your customers with what they want.

It’s also about your level of consistency. Building loyalty means offering a high level of service that doesn’t waver, and it’s about your customers trusting that level of service and believing in you.  

There’s nothing more frustrating for a customer than being told one thing by one person, and something different by another. It’s one thing that will quickly and drastically dissolve your credibility. If you can’t be right all the time, at least be consistent.

When customers come to you with a problem, they expect a reasonable result or resolution to that problem. If they’re applying for council approval, or finance – they expect that regardless of the outcome – there will be an outcome. An emphasis on experience and resolution is key to providing a good service that resonates.

Truth

What’s the first thing you think about when you hear the word trust?

It’s about a person or organizations ability and propensity to tell the truth, to provide access to truth. With so much hype around fake news, false or misleading advertising and competitive strategies – telling the truth is the most important thing you can do.

Having a central source of truth so that your employees have every opportunity to learn and process the knowledge that gives your customers what they need is so important. If a customer is told something – it’s needs to be true. Giving someone false information is not always an intentional or malicious act, but it’s a potentially devastating one.

Be the people who keep their promises.

Be the one who tells the truth.

 

The sales mantra ‘under-promise and over-deliver’ is tried and tested. But wouldn’t it be great if you could just provide awesome experiences all the time? Put trust at the core of everything you do, and you’ll find things naturally start falling in place. That hockey stick curve swings higher and higher so your customers enjoy your interactions and recommend you. Advocacy is a great indication that you have all your ducks in a row. If you’d like to know how to get them there, talk to us.

 

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Picture of Elise Kuchel By Elise Kuchel on June 24, 2019