As it appeared in the Daily Nation on August 4th 2020
Dr Lucy Kiruthu
As customers, we like to buy from businesses that we trust. When we visit a supermarket, we most likely select brands that we have had an experience with or that other people have recommended to us. When we need a new service provider, we often ask for referrals from family, friends or colleagues. When visiting a new place and need food and accommodation we tend to find out if there are restaurants and hotels that we may have experienced elsewhere. As businesses, when our customers trust us, they are most likely to come back for more and can positively refer us to others. Every person who owns or leads a business must have an interest in the level of customer trust. Can your business confidently say that it has won the trust of its customers?
Trust is the foundation of the relationships that businesses have with their customers. Businesses earn or loose trust through everyday interactions with customers. The believability and reliability of our services and products contribute significantly to the level of trust that our customers have. The consistency or inconsistency of our actions and inactions over time also determines if our customers will trust us or not. For example, when we are open and honest with our customers about our business, we are likely to win their trust. However, when there is dishonesty or inaction on our side, trust is eroded. When product performance is as promised, trust is earned. However, when a product fails, or a service is below standard, trust is lost. Once customer trust is eroded, broken or lost, it becomes extremely difficult to win back the customer and mend the relationship. Do your customers trust you?
When our customers trust us, it means that they will stay with us much longer. It is customer trust that begets customer loyalty. Building customer trust needs to happen during everyday interactions. This results in happier customers. Further, it means that when we have customers that trust us, we do not have to keep spending to reach out to new customers to replace those that leave because of lack of trust. Trust helps us to hold onto to our customers for long. If our customers trust us, our products and services it means that our businesses have a higher chance of survival. Do your customers trust you?
Without customers that trust us, it is impossible to build a successful business. Unfortunately, many businesses are not intentional about building customer trust. Why let trust erode through broken promises and poor quality products and services? If a business does not care about building customer trust, it would be difficult to sustain itself. This is because the business has to constantly look for new customers. Smart companies both small and large focus on building customer trust. They build customer trust over time. If your business has broken customers’ trust in the past, it is time to rebuild it. Choose to be truthful, reliable and go beyond your customers’ expectations. Every smart business should be intentional about building customer trust. The results of customers that trust a business are always evident in its good performance!
Dr Lucy Kiruthu is a Management Consultant and Trainer. Connect via twitter @KiruthuLucy