Transparency: The Key to Building Trust
In business, it is ideal to build a loyal customer base. In order to survive as a company, you need repeat business. The issue is that a lot of advertising and different marketing strategies may only attract an audience that will initially purchase, but have no loyalty to your company. In order to build a loyal customer base, you need to take a look at your company’s core beliefs and practices. Transparency should be apart of the core beliefs and practices if you want to build a loyal customer base.
Transparency, in this situation, means to provide clarity about your company, what you do, how you do it, and anything else that may not be clear on your website. The more information you provide consumers with, the less likely they are going to be suspicious of your company. Full disclosure can aid in building trust with consumers, and once a consumer trusts a brand, they are more likely to become a loyal customer.
The transparency discussion brings to mind a few lessons to live by in order to remain transparent with your customers. For example, when your company makes a change in policy, let customers know. You should get in front of the change and let your customers know, not make them ask you for the information. Consumers want more information these days due to constant internet access. Odds are, even if you do not tell customers something about your policies upfront, they will find out. Consumers have a wealth of knowledge available at their fingertips due to smart phone and internet access readily available. You also do not want them to Google the information because you cannot control what they find on Google, and they may find some bad misinformation as well causing them to lose faith in your company before they even do business with you. Be as transparent as possible. Consumers are typically already skeptical about companies not being transparent with them, so when important information is printed very tiny, it indicates to the customer that you have something to hide.
When you do let your customers know about changes in company policies, make sure you tell them on a platform that they will check. If your reach out to your customers through different channels, make sure to post the change on all of them. For example, post it to your website, different social media sites, send them an e-mail, and possibly call them, if customers like to be reached that way. This will show that you are not hiding any information and being direct with your customers, which they will appreciate and will hopefully help them trust you more. After you announce a change or post new policies, make sure you are easy to reach for questions, comments, or concerns. Customers want to be heard and they do not know if they are heard if you do not respond, so make sure to follow up with them on their questions and concerns.
It is good to setup a way for customers to provide feedback in general as well. Make sure you take the time to listen to ideas they may have and acknowledge their feedback. It is understandable that you may not implement some of their feedback, but you do want to neglect them either. A simple message thanking them for their suggestion can go a long way.
Earning a customer’s trust requires great customer service as well because this how they interact with you. That is why here at BMT Micro our number one goal is to give great customer service to our vendors and their customers. The more you strive to provide great service, the more you will exceed customers expectations and keep them happy.
Just remember, customers are smart and they know when they are being told a lie or half-truth. Customers will appreciate and trust you more if you are honest and forthcoming with information, instead of waiting for them to ask for it. Address any issues with your company directly and explain how you will handle it, instead of avoiding questions from customers. At the end of the day, just remember to treat your customers how you would want to be treated.